On Wednesday we told you of new assistance for the Police in fighting crime. The other half of the crime-fighting equation is community outreach, and in Police Precinct 2, located south of Central American Boulevard, it is Sergeant Brent Hamilton and others who are leading that fight. On Friday they received musical instruments to form a drum corps from area representative Wilfred Elrington. Accepting on behalf of the Police was Senior Superintendent Marlon Allen, who detailed the donation.
Superintendent Marlon Allen – Senior Superintendent:
The Mahogany Cadets representatives here today are receiving some well-needed equipment in the drums that we see here today. These instruments comprise of six snare drums, one base drum, six sets of drum sticks, and other accessories which was achieved through the gracious and kind efforts of the Honorable Minister Elrington, who has a special place in his heart for the development of the youth in the city.
Hon. Elrington is a musician himself and still regularly plays in a band at the age of 64. He told the gathering how he got started in music.
Hon. Wilfred Elrington:
I will tell you why I am so interested in music. We came from a very large family. We had a family of 14 children. My father had 14 children. Money was always short in our family. My mother had to be a magician to mind on the salary that my father got. But my father was a musician and during Christmas-time he would play music every night, and it was from the music that he played that we got the money to celebrate Christmas. So it was the music that he played and the money that he earned that we bought the cake and the lemonade and the gifts for Christmas. So I started playing music when I was 12 years old, and from the money that I made playing music, because we used to play for the celebrations in the tent, from the monies that I made from playing music, I was able to buy my school uniform, pants and shirt, and I continued to do that.
Hon. Elrington also sponsors the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence next door to the police station. A second building is under construction whose lower half will house a music hall for that institution’s band. The plan is to create a larger band with other cadets from Belize City and Belize District. Hon. Elrington explains why music can be both profitable and entertaining.
Hon. Wilfred Elrington:
I am trying to get as many of you young people as possible to get interested in music. I was so happy to hear Mr Whylie say that they’re going to form an entire band, because that is exceedingly important. A band, apart from the cultural education that you get, will help you to earn additional money. I can tell you, in the bands that I continue to play in, because I continue to play in bands even now that I am 64 years old I continue to play in bands for funerals and the like, and we also have former member of the Police Force who play the band with us and make extra money in that way. So I want to urge you cadets in particular, to learn the music. Music is not only beating the drums, you have to beat the drums and by playing the notes. But this is a beginning. Once you learn to play the drums or any other musical instrument, you are well on the way to getting yourself an additional chance of having a good and prosperous life.