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Religious Affairs Minister says secular funeral for Sir Manuel was good sendoff

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Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2022. 2:28 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: He is now at rest, but even in death, late Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel had some tongues wagging – on the manner in which he asked the country to memorialize his passing.

Unlike the services for the late Right Honourable George Price and Dame Dr. Minita Gordon, among others, Sir Manuel’s state memorial was a fully secular event – no reference to church and traditional Christian funeral practices and featuring brief remembrances interspersed with musical selections.

Belize has seen nothing like it but Minister with the portfolio for Religious Affairs and noted Price scion Henry Charles Usher said that’s exactly how Sir Manuel, now revealed to be an atheist, wanted it: “I believe that was the wishes of Sir Manuel Esquivel and his family and we have to respect [their] wishes.”

Usher, who attended, said he was impressed by the musicians’ performance and the speeches from Esquivel’s son David, former Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and current Prime Minister John Briceno, and so it was a proper send-off, in his view befitting the stature Sir Manuel was held in.

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