Thursday, July 25, 2013

Belizean Spotlight: National Hero of Belize

PHILLIP S.W. GOLDSON (1923-2001)

Born of humble parentage on July 25, 1923, in Belize City, Belize, Philip Goldson started life as a person of modest means and was able within his 78 years to soar above the various diverse circumstances that would govern his illustrious life. His early education was at St. Mary’s Primary School in Belize City, and he went on to study at night to successfully obtain the Cambridge University Overseas Junior Certificate in 1939, and the Senior School Certificate in 1941.

Political career: After working briefly as a civil servant for six years, Goldson became enticed by the beginnings of the Nationalist Movement in Belize of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The route into politics at that time was by way of the labor movement, and in 1949 he became the National Organizer of the General Workers Union, and later General Secretary.

Together with early activists like John Smith and George Price, he founded the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950 and served as Assistant Secretary. Convicted of seditious intention in 1951, Goldson was sentenced to one year in prison.

Differences in opinion caused Goldson to break with the PUP in 1956, becoming Party Secretary of the newly formed National Independence Party (NIP) in 1957, and Party Leader from 1961-1974. He served as Deputy Party Leader from 1979-1982 of the United Democratic Party (UDP), formed out of the NIP and two other parties in 1973. He formed and led his last political party in 1991.

In the 1984 elections he not only won his seat but also was able to celebrate the victory of his party, the United Democratic Party. In the new Government Mr. Goldson was appointed Minister of Social Services and served with distinction. Even opponents were heard to say, “Goldson, blind, sees some things more clearly than men with two good eyes.”

Late in his career, at the age of 51 in 1974, he began to study law, subsequently called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn, London, and to the Belize bar the following year.

Although blinded by glaucoma in 1978, Goldson remained active in politics and as a member of the House of Representatives up to 1998. He was known to always be an unpretentious and humble man, as a politician and statesman.


In the 1984 elections he not only won his seat but also was able to celebrate the victory of his party, the United Democratic Party. In the new Government Mr. Goldson was appointed Minister of Social Services and served with distinction.

As Minister he established the Family Court, the Belize City Urban Department, the Department of Women’s Affairs, the District Councils, Disabilities Service Division, and launched the Belizean Partners in Service to Belize, which inspired Belizeans in North America to establish the Consortium for Belizean Development in November 1985. In mid-1986 he became Minister of Labour and Social Services.

His interest in disabilities led to his election in 1986 as President of the Caribbean association of the Disabled and in 1987 Vice-President of Rehabilitation International.

When a new terminal building was to be built at the International Airport, the Prime Minister and Cabinet decided to rename the facility the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport. It was fitting tribute to an outstanding Belizean citizen.

Mr. Goldson accepted the honor with humility and announced he would retire at the end of his term to devote his time to writing, the law, and his work for the disabled.

However despite his retirement, on January 13, 1992, he was instrumental in the formation of the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR).

* First Leader of the Opposition in 1969, as the Leader of the National Independence Party.

* Re-elected to the Albert Division of Belize City from 1965 to 1993.

* As Member for Social Services, coordinating the rebuilding of Corozal Town after Hurricane Janet in 1955.

* Minister of Local Government, Social Services and Community Development 1984-1989.

* Minister of Immigration, Youth Development and Human Resources 1993-1998.

* Elected to the Belize City Council in 1974, 1977 and 1983.

* The first Belizean statesman to speak before the General Assembly of the United Nations, when he addressed that body in 1967 on the Guatemalan question.


1989: The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport named after him.

2001: Conferred with the Order of Belize for his patriotism and political work.

2008: Conferred with the Order of the National Hero (posthumously).

Via: Government of Belize Press Office

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Beautiful Belize - Back To Nature With Belikin

Belikin, the beer of Belize, celebrates the natural beauty that Belize has to offer. Belikin is proud to call Belize, this lovely place, full of nature and culture, its home.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Two Words: Character And Intregity

Belize lost to the USA 6-1 in their first ever Gold Cup match. But they've already won in a much bigger game on the world stage, and this game isn't played on the soccer field.

This has nothing to do with how Belize performed against the United States, in the country's first ever CONCACAF Gold Cup game, a 6-1 loss on Tuesday night. This has nothing to do with Belize keeper Shane Orio's solid individual effort in front of goal, despite allowing six on the evening. This has nothing to do with Ian Gaynair's unmarked header in the box in the 40th minute, Belize's first ever goal in a major competition. 


Hate Or Free Speech: Minister Lisel Alamilla Expresses Concern

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Lisel Alamilla has written a public statement on her Facebook page expressing grave concerns about what she perceives could be the promotion of hate crimes against gay men and women in Belize.

Minister Alamilla posted the statement below along with photos taken during the pro-constitution demonstration in the Toledo District of southern Belize last week. The photos depicts the hanging in effigy of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM).   

"I do not oppose persons having different views or religious beliefs but it concerns me immensely when those are being communicated by misinformation, manipulation and fear which could result in hate crime.

Belize is not a melting pot, the Belize that I know is a country where persons of different cultures, ethnic groups, religious beliefs, languages and history come together under one banner and respect diversity. We are a reef people, we are a forest people, we are Belizeans.

The photo that was shared with me, that I am now sharing with you is EXTREMELY concerning and even frightening. Have those persons who are organising the various activities opposing the gender policy & the UNIBAM case crossed the line ? Will they soon be hanging women who dare to be leaders, would they have hanged my son who was disabled, would they hang me because I am mestizo who married a black man, you may say absolutely NOT but tell me then why is it okay for them to have the cardboard cut out of a person, with a noose around its neck and the word UNIBAM written across its back ? Is this not promoting hate, will this not lead to hate crimes ? In fact is it not already increasing the violence against persons who from the LGBT community for their sexual orientation/identity. This is personal for me, my loved ones are at risk and our right to be different is at risk.

As to the UNIBAM case, this is in the courts let the courts decide. As to the gender policy, it not a homosexual policy it is policy that guides how government will protect the rights of ALL its people, that is the responsibility of government."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Americans Celebrate the 4th - Happy Independence Day!

US Embassy, Belize

If you are living in the USA, most of you are probably taking the day off, right? It's Independence Day or 4th of July Holiday.

Two-hundred and thirty-seven years after independence from Great Britain, the people of the United States still celebrate its independence in a big way.
Americans across the country gathered Thursday for 4th of July festivities. From the reopening of the Statue of Liberty, to the best fireworks display at the annual Capitol Fourth outdoor concert in Washington, D. C., there was plenty of activities for everyone. 
I immigrated to the U.S. A. thirty-six years ago this November. 

I am grateful for what she has given me and most of all for welcoming me and given me three wonderful children and a very good life.

God Bless America!!! I am truly grateful!!!

Happy Independence Day!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

U.S. Says 'Very Concerned' About Unrest In Egypt - State Department

CAIRO — Army troops backed by armor and including commandos have deployed across much of the Egyptian capital, surrounding protests by the president's supporters, and at key facilities and major intersections.
Associated Press reporters in various part of Cairo say the troops, backed by armored personnel carriers and in full combat gear, have deployed on strategic bridges and near protest sites by supporters of embattled President Mohammed Morsi.
The deployment is part of a move by the military to tighten its control of key institutions Wednesday, slapping a travel ban on Morsi and top allies in preparation for an almost certain push to remove the Islamist president with the expiration of an afternoon deadline. 
In Washington the the U.S. State Department said the United States is 'very concerned' about the situation in Egypt; of the sweeping protests surrounding a stand-off between Egypt's armed forces and Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

"The situation in Egypt remains fluid, and the United States cannot confirm whether a military coup is underway," department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters.

"We do ... remain very concerned about what we're seeing on the ground," Psaki said at a State Department briefing.