When we last left the bust of Thomas Vincent Ramos, Garifuna hero and organizer of Garifuna Settlement Day, it was sitting outside the home of its creator, Stephen Okeke, who was seeking $40,000 to take it off his hands. On Friday we met a group of Garifuna who are stepping up to the plate. Bert Ramos is a grand-nephew of Thomas Vincent Ramos and he told us why it is important to him that T.V. Ramos come home to Dangriga.
Bert Ramos – Fund-Raiser
“So today, we are here launching our account number for us to buy this monument from Mr Okeke. Along with me I have my two brothers, who [have] joined me so that we could make this possible, to have an account to raise funds for us to take [this] Thomas Vincent Ramos monument to the right place. We don’t feel like it’s really right for it to be out here for sale, and so I had really wanted someone to come along with me, and I brought out my thoughts to Mr. Okeke, and he said that there is someone else who is also interested. My brothers here call me, and they say that they are onboard with me and all I need was 3 persons that could get this thing started. It doesn’t matter how the monument was build or what, but today we know that it’s a monument that we the Garifuna people appreciated and so we would like all the Garifuna people just put a little token to our account and we will definitely have this monument in Dangriga for the 19th of November celebrations.”
According to Bert Ramos, they will be holding a Culture Day next week in Belize City at the Battlefield Park as their first major fundraiser but will be depending on fellow Garifuna in Belize and in the Diaspora to contribute. But the effort is not limited to the Garifuna, as explained by Walter Gillett, who is a member of the fundraising committee.
“I’m asking all Belizeans, not only Garifuna, to come out and support this worthy caus4e, because it’s not only Garifuna that celebrate the 19th. It’s all Belizeans. So I’m asking all Belizeans, let’s get this monument where it properly belongs, down in Dangriga, for the 19th.”
The Belize Bank account number is 69522325705.