Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019. 5:54 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Eight years ago, all Belize was in mourning as the Father of the Nation Rt. Hon. George Price died from complications of a fall at home. Today, the party he helped found paid its annual tribute to him at his gravesite at Lords Ridge Cemetery in Belize City, remembering his service to his nation.
Wreaths were laid at his tomb by P.U.P. leader John Briceño; niece Alice Castillo and Mayor of Belize City Bernard Wagner, as well as by the constituency committee of his former stronghold of Freetown at the bust near the entrance to the highway now named for him.
Castillo told attendees that “Uncle George” lived to serve – his God, his family and his country. Not too proud to pick up stray garbage, or too cowardly to stand up to the British colonial overseers and rapacious Guatemalans, Price lived by example, and earned the adoration of all who knew him, and who continue his legacy.
Colleague and former Prime Minister Said Musa, comparing Price to the likes of George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan, said he may not have been fully formally educated, but he studied at “the university of the people” – the public meetings and his tours of the country where he met the people, listened to them, and drew from them his principles – brilliance, wisdom, integrity and a commitment to national liberation.
Opposition Leader Briceño, asking for child volunteers to tell what they know of a man they never met, was told he was a fighter, a leader, a national hero, and that he reserved the property on which Holy Redeemer School sits – demonstrating, perhaps, a commitment to education.
And the P.U.P. leader said he is all of these and more – and much of the story has not been told, such as his bravery in leadership over a half-century. The examples of unity such as our flag and anthem makes us a much greater force than divided and is a call to “get up, wake up and build this special place…he wanted all of us to wake up and work to build Belize,” Briceño told his audience.
And on this National Service Day, the P.U.P. and others were active in community service, painting, cleaning, building, distributing food to less privileged individuals, and generally trying their best to emulate Mr. Price’s work.
The party continues to campaign for his birthday, January 15, to be a national public and bank holiday.
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