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A tribute to Richard Harrison

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Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2020. 2:03 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Sebastian Morales: On Thursday February 6, 2020 in the afternoon it was reported that Belizean Businessman/Activist, Richard Harrison had tragically died in a traffic accident.  It was definitely unforeseen.  The news was shocking and just unbelievable.

We have since had some time to assimilate this great lost.  I can only imagine the tremendous pain and void that will remain in the lives of his immediate family and loved ones. The Psalmist told us that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

We acknowledge the invaluable contribution to our country by this Belizean Icon.  He was instrumental in the formation of many businesses.  He freely gave business ideas to anyone who asked or would simply take time out to read his posts.  He was a founder of the La Ruta Maya.  He actively promoted the planting of Summer of Gold – Cortez Gold Trees.  He supported the Scout Association of Belize.  He was a voice for many in politics.  Lately he was active with the Belize Citizens Committee and the Clean Water Alliance advocating for an end to water pollution.  He was very vocal in many matters that affected Belizean society.

Mr. Harrison’s death should cause us to ask questions and demand answers.  What really took place on the day of that accident?  How did this really happen?  Are trucks carrying lumber required to meet any standards? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that other drivers are safe when these types of vehicles are on the road?

Some years ago the government identified funds for the Belize Road Safety Initiative.  One of the main objectives of this initiative was to see a decrease in the frequency and severity of accidents specifically on the George Price Highway. With the recent reports of fatal accidents on this highway it is clear that this objective is not being met.   How many more millions will be spent?  How many more lives will be lost?

In the forest a canopy gap is formed when a huge tree dies.  A gaping hole is left which allows for light to reach the forest floor and for new growth to emerge.  I wonder who will now stand up and fight for all the causes Mr. Harrison was championing.  It will be arduous for any person to singlehandedly attempt to replace this giant Belizean Summer of Gold!  He leaves a gap that just cannot be filled. Maybe it is now for all of us to emulate a little of what he did so compassionately in order to make our Jewel a better place.

In the final days of his life Mr. Harrison penned a prophetic poem entitled “Clear Road Ahead”.  It wonderfully encapsulates his life’s journey.  He lived a full life.  He was truly a man of all seasons and an inspiration to many.  Farewell Mr. Harrison.  Our country has lost a truly Good and Upright Belizean Citizen.  I am sure you can now see beyond the horizon and clear is the road ahead…

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