Thursday, October 27, 2011

HAPPY DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY

A Royal Wedding Anniversary to Dame Elaine and Winston Middleton of Belize City. And what a special accomplishment! They were united in marriage on the Oct 27, 1961. As we looked back over the years, we can only say that this is truly a test of love. After 50 years of marriage, we are proud to say that the dedication in this partnership is stronger than diamonds.

Proud parents of Yvette, Dean and Teri and blessed to be the grandparents to eight wonderful grand-children.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! We love you immensely!
Yvette, Dean and Teri
Read more on Dame Elaine Middleton here:http://www.villageviewpost.com/2010/04/belizean-spotlight-april.html

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TRACK SHOES FOR BELIZE AMATEUR ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

A shipment of track shoes were donated to the Belize Amateur Athletic Association by Dean Middleton and Village View Post. Team Belize is participating in the Pan American Games in Mexico City from Sunday, October 23, to Saturday, Oct 29, 2011.

Nine Belizeans are in action at the Pan American Games and currently they are not in line for any medals, but are doing their personal best.

Kay De Vaughn, Linsford Avila, Kenneth Brackett, Tricia Flores, Charnell Enriquez, Jorge Jimenez, Kenneth Medwood, Jason Jones and Julia McCord

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ANOTHER EGYPTIAN-ISRAELI PRISONER RELEASE DEAL

Ilan Grapel
Egypt is very busy these days. A week after Egyptian security officials helped to secure the deal that brought Israel Defense Force soldier Gilad Schalit home in the prisoner exchange with Hamas, another held Israeli is about to be freed. 

According to Egyptian media reports, Israel and Egypt are putting the “finishing touches” on a list of prisoners to be freed in exchange for Ilan Grapel. Grapel is a US-Israeli dual citizen that Egypt has charged with spying, sedition and inciting Egyptians to violence during the 18-day revolution that unseated president Hosni Mubarak. The 27-year-old’s release was reportedly worked out as part of the deal that brought home Schalit, but it’s unclear when exactly the exchange is going to take place.

Grapel emigrated to Israel in 2005 from New York and served in the IDF during the 2006 Lebanon War, where he was wounded in action. Currently enrolled as a law student at Emory University in Atlanta, Grapel was at the time of his arrest working for Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, a non-governmental organization, in Cairo. Friends, family and US and Israeli officials have all dismissed the charges against him as “bizarre” and “ludicrous” and some point to photos Grapel posted on his Facebook page of himself in Cairo as proof that he was no spy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

REMEMBERING RT. HON. GEORGE CADLE PRICE- BELIZE MISSION TO THE UN

Click on photo for a closer view
Memorial service for Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price at the Community Worship Center- Church of the Nazarene- Brooklyn, New York- Dr. Rev. Elmer Gillett.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BELIZE AT THE PAN AMERICAN GAMES IN GUADALAJARA, MEXICO

Back row - Kay De Vaughn, Linsford Avila, Kenneth Brackett
Front row-Interim President, Belize Amateur Athletic Assoc., Deon Sutherland, 

Tricia Flores, Charnell Enriquez, Jorge Jimenez
L-R: Hilly Martinez, Genral Secretary; Harry Pilgrim, Treasurer and Deon Sutherland, Interim President
Nine Belizeans are scheduled to be in action at the Pan American Games currently underway in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Held every four years during the lead up to the Olympic Games, the Pan American Games are the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games. The history of the Pan American Games dates back to 1951 when the Games were first hosted by Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 2011 Pan American Games mark the 16th celebration of the Pan American Sports Organization event. 

Athlete highlights are Tricia Flores, who took two gold medals in Long Jump and a silver in Triple Jump at the 22nd Central American Senior Athletic Championship held in Costa Rica of this year, and is the current record holder in Long Jump since 2010.

Charnell Enriquez, took the gold medal in the 4 x 100 quartet with Julie McCord, Kiana Martinez and Tricia Flores at the 22nd Central American Senior’s in June of this year.

Kay De Vaughn, took the silver in High Jump at the 22nd Central American Senior Athletic Championship held in Costa Rica in June of this year.

Kenneth Medwood, a Belizean-American graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, currently majoring in Sports Psychology at East Los Angeles College; a gold medalist in 400m Hurdles at the22nd Central American Senior Athletic Championship .
Tricia Flores second double gold medalist in Long Jump at the Central American Senior Athletic Championship held in Costa Rica in June of this year    
(L) Kay-De Vaughn - Silver medalist in High Jump  at the Central American Senior Athletic Championship held in Costa Rica in June of this year  
Kenneth Medwood gold in 400m Hurdles at the Central American Senior Athletic Championship held in Costa Rica in June of this year  

Belize Track and Field listed on the Pan American Games Roster are:


MALES
Jason Jones 400m
Jorge Jimenez 200m
Kenneth Meadwood 400m hurdle
Linsford Avila - high Jump
Kenneth Brackett - long jump

FEMALES
Charnelle Enriquez - 100m
Julia McCord - 200m
Tricia Flores - long jump
Kay De Vaughn - triple jump

Male 4X100m Relay
Male 4X400m Relay

Female 4x100m Relay
Female 4x400m Relay

Coach Mr. Ernest Morris
Head of Mission Mr. Albert Jones

Absent from the list of athletes representing Belize is Central American Games gold medal winner in the 100m and 200m, Kaina Martinez. According to BAAA Interim President Deon Sutherland, the BAAA had been reluctant to make any definitive statement regarding the status of Kaina’s participation in the Pan Am Games, because they have been unable to make any direct contact with her, neither by email or telephone, since she has reportedly been undergoing intensive training at her new post with the Coastal Zone Management. The BAAA has received a letter from the Coastal Zone in regard to her training, but still no direct word from Kaina.    

Good luck Belize!

Photo credits #1 &  #2 courtesy of BAAA
#3, #4, #5: A Buen Paso.cr, CACAC Athletics, Reuther's

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NEW YORK BELIZEAN COMMITTEE SEENAGER PAGEANT

Here we are again! The annual Miss New York Belizean Committee Seenager Pageant on Saturday, November 12, at Bishop Perry Hall, New York City.

Plan your weekend in the style and get ready for the “Divas”, they are back. Be wise and book your reservation early.  

Let everybody know, let the word of mouth do the working, forward it on Facebook to all your great party friends. Come to celebrate, come and dance!

The event starts at 7:30 p.m.! 



Monday, October 17, 2011

MIDDLE EAST WRAP: ISRAEL PREPARES FOR THE RELEASE OF GILAD SHALIT

Gilad Shalit-5 years ago\
It says: A moment before Gilad gets home!…Let’s all take a step back, and give the family the time they need for healing and reclaiming the life that was taken from them five years ago.



Weekly round-up of the Hebrew newspapers in Israel; covering the major events happening in Israel and the Middle East

Last weekend was the holiday of Succot  in Israel, the shops and newsstands were closed, and the newspapers did not print fresh editions in deference to the occasion. But the electronic media and Internet sites continued to be preoccupied with the aftershocks of the news that rocked the country on Tuesday, October 11th, when it was announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a prisoner swap that would free Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held in captivity for the last five years.



It was learned that Shalit would be returned to Israel sometime within the next few days or even hours. According to Haaretz, he will be transferred to Egyptian custody through the Rafah crossing before being sent home to Israel.


According to the Hebrew-language news site Ynet owned and operated by Yedioth Ahronoth, Shalit is expected to be reunited with his family on Tuesday or Wednesday. The website reported that while Shalit would be escorted out of Gaza, Israel would at the same time release 450 Palestinian prisoners in the first stage of the agreement. The second stage of the agreement would be the release of the remaining 550 prisoners, whose identities will be determined by Israel. This release is due to take place in two months, according to Ynet.
Shalit will be met by an IDF representative in Egypt, where he will undergo medical tests for purposes of identification. According to Ynet, he will then be flown by military jet to an army base most likely in central Israel, where his family – and, perhaps, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - will greet him. After undergoing a battery of further tests, Shalit will be flown to his home in the Galilee. He will be accompanied by military psychologists throughout his return.


All media outlets reported that Shalit’s parents, Noam and Aviva, had left their protest tent in Jerusalem, the site which served as the headquarters of their campaign to bring public pressure to bear on the government in favor of a prisoner swap. After an exhausting five years, the Shalits returned to their home in the Galilee community of Mitzpe Hila, where they will await the arrival of their son.


While the tenor of the coverage has been mostly positive, there is strong opposition to the prisoner swap, particularly on the part of the bereaved kin of those who were killed in Palestinian terror attacks. “I have been fighting this deal for the last five years and I am wholly opposed to the release of terrorists, murderers, and convicted criminals,” Yossi Mendelovich, who lost his son Yuval in the suicide bombing on the No. 37 bus in Haifa in March 2003, told Ynet. “I think that enforcing the law and shielding murderers from the public is an essential element for any sovereign state. For all intents and purposes, the state of Israel is capitulating to a terrorist organization and is freeing murderers.”


In the last 24 hours, fresh details have emerged regarding the processes that led to the deal’s eventual approval by the Israeli cabinet. Haaretz and the Walla! online news service offered behind-the-scenes reports that shed light on the disputes and disagreements among the ministers who were called upon by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to sign-off on the prisoner swap.


Uzi Landau, the national infrastructure minister, went head-to-head with the defense chiefs who recommended that the deal be approved. According to Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid, Landau scolded Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, who reversed the agency’s earlier opposition to a prisoner swap.


"In the past, we did not support the deal," Cohen is quoted as telling the cabinet ministers during the fateful four-hour session. In describing the Shin Bet's efforts to minimize the security risks of releasing Palestinian prisoners, he said: "It was like an equalizer in a stereo system. We inherited the framework of the deal and the game was with the tones – who would be deported, who would go back home and would be released with restrictions." When Cohen said that he recommended approving the deal, Landau erupted. "You are a public servant," he told Cohen. "Your job is to provide data, not to recommend." 


According to Haaretz, “A few ministers responded to Landau and sided with the Shin Bet chief, but the officials most supportive of Cohen were his colleagues – IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Mossad chief Tamir Pardo.


‘I send soldiers to battle, and it is my duty to share my professional position on the matter,’ Gantz said. ‘The deal is the only way. It is possible that we will encounter some of those released in future military activities, but according to our assessments we think releasing the prisoners is acceptable in terms of security.’ Pardo also reacted strongly to Landau's statements. ‘I am in charge of combatants and I'm committed to them,’ he said. ‘It is my duty to say whether I am for or against, and the government will decide what it will. In this case, I am for the deal.’”


The top story on Army Radio’s website quotes a White House spokesperson as saying that the Obama administration hails the prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas. Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, said that the deal was “long overdue.”


"We are pleased by the reports that Mr. Shalit will be home soon with his family," he said. "The president, as you know, has called many times for his release, and that his release is long overdue.”


In other news, the White House did react negatively to reports that the Israeli government was considering ways to legalize the unauthorized West Bank outposts that were built by settlers on privately owned Palestinian land. According to Haaretz and Army Radio, the State Department voiced its displeasure at news that the Justice Ministry would establish a task force that would mull legal avenues the government could take to avoid implementing a High Court order requiring the demolition of the outposts.


"The United States has a clear policy – we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," a U.S. official said, adding that Washington opposed "any effort to legalize settlement outposts, which is unhelpful to our peace efforts and would contradict Israeli commitments and obligations."


The websites of both Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post give prominent coverage to remarks by Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren in the wake of revelations that Iranian agents had plotted to assassinate the Saudi envoy in Washington. Oren gave television interviews in which he expressed concern that the Israeli embassy may have also been a target.


In Washington, U.S. officials said it was ‘more than likely’ that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the head of its elite Quds force knew of the alleged plot. But the officials acknowledged that they had no hard evidence for the claim. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, also said it was possible that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not know.”


In an interview with MSNBC, Oren said that the Israeli government was taking these developments seriously, and that the plot is ‘definitely an escalation,’ according to Haaretz. "We know the Iran regime. This is a regime that has not only sponsored terrorist organizations in our area, Hamas and Hizbollah that have fired thousands and thousands of rockets at our civilian population, but they've struck abroad as well," Oren is quoted as saying in the interview.


The Post reported snippets of Oren’s interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. The ambassador touched on subjects like Iran’s nuclear program and the pending release of Gilad Shalit. According to the story, Oren reiterated that “all options were on the table” with regards to a possible military strike and that the Shalit deal was a result of Israel’s “contract” with soldiers who could be assured the state would do all in its power to win their release if they fell into captivity. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

BODY OF EDWIN GILLETT SENT TO HAWAII INSTEAD OF BELIZE

Former Chief Immigration Officer of Belize- Edwin "Eddie" Gillett

October 14, 2011

Former Chief of Immigration Edwin Winston Gillett passed away on October 5th while visiting his family in Los Angeles. His family was preparing for his funeral for Sunday, October 16th in Belize, but when the casket arrived on October 14th they found the body of a Caucasian female.

It seems, the airline which was bringing the body to Belize made a huge mistake and attached his documents to the wrong casket. It goes without saying that this huge blunder has caused his family great distress on top of their grief.

American Airlines Jim Wilson International Desk was contacted by Village View Post and they have confirmed that the body of Edwin "Eddie" Gillett was located in Hawaii. His remains are being re-routed to Dallas, Texas and will arrive at the Phillip Goldson International Airport in Belize at 2:05 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

If the body arrives on schedule the wake will take place in Crooked Tree Village Saturday night and the funeral on Sunday as previously planned.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

REMEMBERING EDWIN WINSTON “EDDIE” GILLETT- 1948-2011

The former Chief Immigration Officer of Belize- Edwin "Eddie" Gillett
Edwin (Eddie) Gillett Jr., was born on December 26th, 1948 and died on October 5th, 2011, at the young age of 62. He was the son of Edwin Gillett Sr. and Maryann Westby Gillett, both deseased. His eldest brother, George, to whom he was very close, also died a few years ago. Eddie, who is nicknamed “Pumpkin” by most of his friends, is survived by his wife, Faye Perriott Gillett, and their two sons, Lydell and Lowell. He is also survived by his older brother, Donald, and youngest brother, Stephen “ Stebo” Gillett, and his four sisters, Burma Flowers, Gwendolyn Tillett, Elestine Gillett and Jennifer Wilkerson, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

Eddie was born in Crooked Tree Village and attended the Crooked Tree Government School. He joined the Belize Police Force on May 1st, 1970 and graduated from the Police Training School on November 1st that same year, with a marksman badge for shooting on the rifle range. He reported for Beat Duty at the Central Police Station in Belize City. He was well liked and admired in the Police Force. During a transitional period bent 0n improving the immigration image at the airport, he was assigned posts at the Police Headquarters and Quarter Master Departments in Belize City.  Eddie came through as usual, and eventually worked his way up through the ranks to become the Chief Immigration Officer of Belize. He retired a few years ago and built a home in Crooked Tree Village where he and his family spent quality time among relatives and friends.

Eddie was also an outstanding sportsman, playing on the Police Cricket Team.  He was the open pace bowler and a fairly good batsman as well. He even played cricket last Easter Sunday in an over fifty match-up game against the visiting Goldies Team from Los Angeles and did very well. He also enjoyed playing a game of domino, joking and clowning around with his friends in his usual happy-go-lucky ways, always with a bright smile on his face. His favorite partner, Gilroy Nicholson, had just returned from vacationing in Belize, when Eddie arrived last week in Los Angeles to visit his brother, Steven. Gilroy who lived and worked for many years in Los Angeles was showing him around for the past few days. They were scheduled to go on another outing the day he died, but cancelled due to the heavy rain. L.A.P.D. Officer, Sheldon Nicholson, had a special dinner at his home for him on Saturday, October 1, and plans were for all of his colleagues and cricket buddies from Belize to meet and dine with him in Los Angeles. 
(L-R) Back row 6th-Eddie at his last cricket game, Easter 2011
Friends visiting Eddie in Los Angeles:(L-R) Earl Nicholson, Sgt. Sheldon Nicholson, Sheldon Nicholson, Jr., Sylvester Nicholson, Gilroy Nicholson
Last Easter at Eddie's home in Crooked Tree Village; brothers (C) Steven and (R) Donald.
Eddie's last cricket game in Crooked Tree Village: Easter 2011
His body will be flown to Belize tomorrow, October 14 and a wake will be held in his beloved Crooked Tree Village on Saturday night. Funeral services will be at the Crooked Tree Nazarene Church at 10:00 a. m. on Sunday, October 16, 2011. The Rev. Archibald Gillett will preside over his home-going service. 

Edwin was well liked and will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.  We express our sincere condolences to his entire family. 


Winfield Tillett and Linda; all photos by Winfield Tillett

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH- OCTOBER 2011


This is a segment to honor and recognize outstanding Belizeans and their descendants for their accomplishment and contributions to life.  As a proud Belizean, I believe it is imperative that we support and promote Belizeans both at home and abroad. You are an important part of our community. We hope we can inspire our children to reach for the stars.

You can nominate a candidate for Belizean Spotlight that you believe has excelled or contributed to our life. 
Previous “Spotlight of the Month” can be found in the archives.

Postmaster General of Belize- Elston R. V. Wade, Jr.
Belize’s Postmaster General, Elston R. V. Wade, Jr., has worked in the public service for the past 32 years. A graduate of St. John’s College, he started as a clerical assistant on February 19, 1979 at the Licensing Authority.  He later earned an LLB Level One Certificate from the University of the West Indies.  Originally from Bermudian Landing Village, in the Belize District, Wade has a rural upbringing as well as a strong belief in the Catholic faith.  In addition to his career in the public service, he has also ventured into real estate, sports and the livestock business.  

Wade began cycling around the same time he entered the public service.  Although an avid rider, he was considered a rookie on the professional scene and for the first time he rode the Cross Country in 1979. He said that his friends still tease him about being the only rider in white shorts – black being the customary color for bikers shorts at the time. His stint in cycling lasted about three years, as he found himself being more interested and involved in track races. He also discovered another interest, and so along with Dickie Bradley, he started to broadcast track and cycle races in the 1980’s. Wade says that the pair of them moved the level of announcing cross-country to higher heights, doing pedal-by-pedal commentary and live interviews with cyclists while they were riding.

Meanwhile, his career in the public service continued to progress. In December 1980, he was promoted to the post of licensing officer, which he regards as a natural transition since he had been doing much of the work already – inspecting and licensing vehicles, taking people on driving tests, and playing a leadership role in the Licensing Authority.  In 1986, he was promoted to the post of Chief Licensing Officer. He implemented ways in which to promote the bureau and even attempted to convert the authority to a full statutory body to give it more autonomy, but instead, Government decided to make it a department. A determination for a full conversion was later made in 1992, and as a result of that reorganization, Wade was moved over to the Post Office, to fill the post of Assistant Postmaster General. He was promoted to his current title of Postmaster General in 2006.

Alongside his professional achievements, Elston Wade, Jr., also made advancements in his leadership role in sports. In the 1980’s, he was involved in a number of sporting organizations. In 1982 and into the 1990’s, he was the secretary of the Belize Cycling Association and he served one term, beginning in 1999, as the Vice President of the Association. He was the Secretary of the Belize Horse Racing Association in the early 1980’s, at which time he was also Secretary of the Belize National Sports Council. From 1996 until September 2011 - except for the year 2000 when he stepped down - he served as the President of the Belize National Cricket Association. One of the most significant accomplishments under his tenure with BNCA, was the Association’s accession to the International Cricket Council in 1997, which allows the association access to funding, training and equipment. In addition to this, he also managed the National Cricket Team, which participated in tournaments hosted by the International Cricket Council (ICC), on numerous occasions.

Wade is the son of Elston Wade, Sr., a long time cattle rancher; and his wife Bernice Wade (deceased). He is also the father of three children: Kennard, 28; Jason, 24 and Monique, 22; and proud Grandfather of two: Kenyon and Amyrah. His wife, Pamela, is the mother of his two youngest children.  With the exception of his Children, he describes his biggest accomplishment to be his ascension in the public service, from a clerical assistant to the rank of Postmaster General. He began working at the age of 19 and by the time he was 26, he was in charge of a unit of government; an accomplishment worthy of praise and applause. 

Wade considers himself to be a fierce nationalist who will always defend Belize against those who wish her ill. He is convinced that his career in Public Service is coming to an end and in light of that, has been respectfully enthralled with ideas on how he can better serve his community, following his retirement. He sought political office earlier this year but was unsuccessful.  Wade still believes that he can best serve the Belizean people as an elected member of the House of Representatives.  From a modest, humble son of a dedicated cowboy, Elston R. V. Wade Jr. has risen to be one of the most impressive, dutiful and memorable Postmaster General in Belize’s history.  One of his favorite quotes is:” If everyone is against you, but God is on your side, then the majority is with you”. With so many remarkable achievements attained, it is safe to say that the majority is with him. 

We wish him well in his future endeavors. 


Friday, October 7, 2011

YOM KIPPUR- 5772

Ten days after the beginning of the new Jewish year, Jewish people experience the holiest day of the year- Yom Kippur (יוֹם כִּפּוּר, Day of Atonement). According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into the Book of Life (סֵפֶר הַחַיִּים,Sefer HaXaim), on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. During the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and against other human beings. On Yom Kippur, the entire day is spent fasting and praying for God’s forgiveness and for a good year to come. 

The Torah calls the intervening period Yom HaKippurim (יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים), and commands us not to work on the last day, Yom Kippur, and to afflict our souls. 

"בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי בֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ תְּעַנּוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם, וְכָל מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ הָאֶזְרָח וְהַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם.כִּי בַיּוֹם הַזֶּה יְכַפֵּר עֲלֵיכֶם, לְטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם, לִפְנֵי ה' תִּטְהָרוּ." (ויקרא ט"ז, כ"ט-ל')
“In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and shall do no manner of work, the home-born, or the stranger that sojourneth among you. For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins shall ye be clean before the LORD.” (Leviticus 16:29-30)

In order for us to "afflict our souls" Jewish people abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint their bodies, do not wear leather shoes, and abstain from marital relations during Yom Kippur. 

On the days preceding Yom Kippur a blessing for good inscription in the Book of Life is added to the blessing of Shana Tova (good year): 

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּגְמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה, 
Shana Tova uGmar Chatima Tova
Have a good year and may you be inscribed in the Book of Life for good. 


Source:eteacherhebrew newsletter; Photo:ILoveHebrew

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

TRIBUTE TO BELIZE'S 3OTH ANNIVERSARY IN LOS ANGELES


TRIBUTE TO BELIZE...It was a special year for Belize, the celebration of the 30th year since she said good bye to British rule. And as you might expect, Belizeans in Los Angeles were in the mood for celebrations. The Los Angeles area is home to one of the largest concentrations of Belizeans in the United States, and about 250 of them and other friends of Belize joined the Belize Ambassador to United States, Nestor Mendez and Belize Consul General of California, Hon. Roland York at the Los Angeles City Hall to celebrate in style. The presence of love, pride and dedication to Belize was felt throughout the rotunda hall for the appreciation of our nation and culture that continues to excel through love and unity.


Ambassador Mendez spoke about how far Belize has come in just 30 years, and paid special tribute to Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, the Father of our Nation, who died two days before the 3oth anniversary. 

As I greeted my fellow Belizeans, my thoughts immediately wandered into the past.  I have been living abroad for many years, but still feel Belizean in so many ways. And when I think about this year’s independence theme, “Honoring our history, celebrating our cultures, and uniting in peace”, I feel that it really captured the Belizean spirit at city hall. Even more so when performer Danki Man took to the stage to sing two Belizean patriotic songs, “Tell Guatemala leave Belize Alone” and “Belize on Fire” and the Elegant Flare Dance Group under the direction of Lorna Smith followed, bursting out onto the floor with their high energy dance filled with ethnic rhythm, music and dance. A beautiful evening was had by all Belizeans.     

3o years, it seems almost like a dream!! Happy Birthday Belize!
Proclamation for Belize's Independence presented to Ambassador Mendez and Consul General York from the City of Los Angeles.
Lourdes Saab Chief of Protocal for City Hall presenting a certificate of appreciation from the County of Los Angeles to Belizean community in Los Angeles. 
                              The Belizean task force for the Consul General's office in Los Angeles.
Mally Tillett displaying the proclamation; she is an active member of the Consortium for Belize Development, San Diego Chapter. 
(L) Adela Pederson, President of the Consortium for Belize Development in San Diego traveled to Los Angeles for this occasion.
                                Former Belize Consul General to California, Roy G. Young
(R) Jim B. Clark Director of Federal Relations and Intergovernmental Relations for Los Angeles County

 Sandra Gillett of A Taste of Belize in Los Angeles



Photos: #1,2,4,5,10,11,12 are by Photographer, Francis Estrada

ISRAELI SCIENTIST WINS NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his controversial discovery of non-repeating patterns in atoms called quasicrystals.

He is the third Israeli to win the award in chemistry, and the 10th Israeli to win a prestigious Nobel Prize in the country's 63-year history.

The Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Shechtman, a professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, had discovered quasicrystals, that appeared to be like "fascinating mosaics of the Arabic world reproduced at the level of atoms" and which never repeated themselves.

Shechtman, who was born in Tel Aviv in 1941, had to fight hard for his science. He received his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from the Technion, and joined the faculty in 1975.

It was while he was on sabbatical at John Hopkins University and working with the National Bureau of Standards in 1982 that he discovered a startling anomaly in the atom patterns of a quasicrystal, a metallic alloy.

A history of Nobel winners from Israel

In 2009, Prof. Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her ground-breaking work in understanding how cells build proteins. She was just the fourth woman to win the prize in chemistry.

Yonath, who is the head researcher in the field of structural biology and biochemistry at the Weizmann Institute, is widely considered the pioneer of ribosome crystallography. Her research, carried out over a 25-year period, has revealed the modes of action of over 20 different antibiotics that target bacterial ribosomes.

Her research lays the groundwork for scientists to start developing new bacteria-resistant antibiotics that better target the ribosomes of pathogens to avoid the problem of resistance.

Other Israeli Nobel prize winners include Israeli mathematician Yisrael Robert Aumann, who received the Nobel Prize for economics in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation through game theory analysis.

Other notable Israelis who have won Nobel Prizes include Prof. Daniel Kahneman, who won in Economics in 2002 and Profs. Avram Hershko and Prof. Aaron Ciechanover of the Technion, winners of the Prize in chemistry. Three Israeli politicians have also won the Nobel Prize for peace - Menachem Begin in 1978, and Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ORGANIC FARMING IN CROOKED TREE VILLAGE

Farmer-Austin Gillett
This is a picture of an eighty year old organic farmer of Crooked Tree Village in his corn field. Historically, small organic farming has always been a way of life on the island of Crooked Tree. Villagers traditionally do not use chemicals or pesticides to control insects or weeds; back in the day, my dad used to rely on plot rotation, crop rotation and manually removing weeds by hand. Farmers of the village used to plant corn on a plot the first year with beans, okra, melons and pumpkins in between to enrich the soil and keep weeds and pests at bay with a lot of manual labor in between for coming years.
Villagers in Crooked Tree checking out the organic produce from farmer Steve Flowers (R)
Chemicals and pesticides came at some point from the Government of Belize, but were used only as a last resort. But today family farmers are beginning to go back to the old ways; chemical-free organic corn and vegetables.

Organic family farming was always around, but farmers were not aware of how important it was. The market for pesticide-free organically-produced foods is catching on quickly; but I am not aware of any national standards for organic food in the Belize District area; at least not in Crooked Tree Village.

A couple of years ago I visited a cacao farm in the Toledo District and the cacao farmer told me that his farm is a member of the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association which supplies fair trade cacao for a UK company-Green and Black ‘s organic chocolate.

So far, no agent from the Belize Agriculture Department has visited Crooked Tree Village to educate the farmers on becoming truly certified organic farmers.