A Tribute to George Price (By Ernesto L. Thimbrel)

A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE PRICE

“Wake up and work” and “peaceful constructive Belizean revolution”; words forever etched in our hearts by the father of a grateful nation.  Colonial exploitation, racial discrimination and even devaluation ; all ideologies battled by  George Price with resilience and determination.

Born January fifteenth nineteen hundred and nineteen In Belize City to his father, William, and mother, Irene.  A graduate of St. John’s College at the tender age of sixteen , who would later walk the corridors of power and honored by the Queen.

A champion of Belizean independence and national unity he challenged everyone to love his or her community.  A selfless man who served his country with humility, yet a master orator, who spoke with ingenuity.

Goodbye to our Belizean hero may you forever dwell in our hearts and soul, you were an inspiration to both the young and the old.  You fought for our country and urged us go forward ever and backward never, now you’re there in heaven, but your legacy will live on forever.

You lived your life like a lighthouse in the stormy and raging seas, never fading or giving in to the pressures of opposition. Your memories will live on from Victoria’s Peak to the sparkling cayes.  Your light will to forever shine of your masterpiece, Belmopan

Ernesto L. Thimbrel – September 25, 2011

AN AMAZING MEMORY…

I met George Price in June of 1984.  He was the guest speaker at my graduation from high school, at that time, Belize Technical College.  I was the salutatorian and so I was seated up on the stage right next to him.  It was a very hot day and I was wearing my gown on top of my dress which was long-sleeved.  I was so hot I started to swoon and Mr. Price caught me and called someone to take me off the stage and give me some cold water.  After the graduation, he came to check on me to see if I was feeling better.  He then told me the name of my father, and all my father’s career history and some information about my father’s family roots in PG!  He even told me that the guy who was his driver was my distant cousin, which I was unaware of!  He had an amazing memory.

(Story submitted by Carolyn Hulse)

TRAVELING WITH MR. PRICE

The tour of Belize in the 1970s was undoubtedly the most memorable experience in my career (…) It was hard work as we traveled to every village and settlement of this country. We used just about every available mode of transportation, chief among them was the Premier’s trusted blue Land Rover driven by Jimmy “Loco” Dawson (although that got bogged-down off the beaten path of “proposed” road and required all the mechanical and man-power, including that of the Premier, to get out the muddy mess). We traveled on the backs of mules and on land clearing tractors. We trekked through jungle trails and knee-deep swamps to reach villages like More Tomorrow in the West, up hills and down hills, fording rivers to Jalacte and other Maya villages in the South – Mr. Price always in the lead.

During one of the tours, I had the misfortune to make contact with Poison Ivy, which left my hands swollen for days. Walking through jungle, I experienced body invasion by busy ticks. We traveled through coastal mangrove swamps on a very dark night in a cranky dory form Monkey River to the village of Independence, unable to make too rash a move as we were attacked too many times by too hungry mosquitoes. The one comforting thought that quickened my steps and hastened our arrival at our destination was the prospect of a neat drink of local rum followed by another quick one ‘down the hatch’.

My late night hangouts at the local watering holes after a day’s tour usually resulted in many lectures from Mr. Price that “late nights and early mornings don’t mix’’, and a variation on that theme, with the central theme being the virtues of good and clean living. Penance would be early morning Mass in the community in which we had spent the night, if there was a church or a priest available.

(From the introduction to George and the People -a photo documentary by Norris Hall)



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