Saturday, May 31, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: On June 1, 1797, a vote that changed the course of Belizean history took place. An assembly of settlers was asked to vote on whether to evacuate the settlement against the advancing Spanish fleet sailing from Mexico, or stay and fight to preserve it.
The vote was 65 to 51 in favour of staying, the deciders being a group of 12 free black men and 2 whites living at what is now Flowers Bank Village.
A monument in their honor was dedicated some time ago and their courageous decision is annually memorialized at the Flowers Bank Creole Festival, which kicked off today.
Highlights include a reenactment of the final decision in Belize Town performed by the Veranda Tales Theater Group managed by Joseph Stamp Romero.
Speakers included former area representative and historian Fred Hunter and current representative Edmond Castro; Kriol activist and archivist Myrna Manzanares and visiting Venezuelan Ambassador to Belize Yoel Perez Marcano.
All spoke of the need to keep the distinctive cultures of Belize and the accomplishments of our ancestors constant in the memory.
The Institute of Social and Cultural Research (ISCR), a division of National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), also presented six new “Community Hosts,” individuals trained in the knowledge and history of the village by village elders.
They will now take on the role of tour guides to visitors to the village.
The Festival continues through Sunday with cricket, football, canoe racing, maypole plaiting and traditional Creole dishes and music.
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