Today, three Belizeans were awarded with the title of Artist Emeritus at the Museum of Belize for their outstanding contribution to Belizean culture. The National Institute of Culture and History ( NICH) hosted a short ceremony where Gerald “Lord” Rhaburn, Myrna Manzanares, and Florencio Mes were were honored. Mes’ for his contribution by way of playing harp music, Manzanares for her writing about the Belizean Creole Culture which is shared locally and internationally, and Lord Rhaburn for his iconic songs as “If you bawn deh, you bawn deh”, “Pump it up”, “Gumagarugu Water”. The Minister of Culture, Patrick Faber addressed the gathering.
Honorable Patrick Faber: “Artist Emeritus Award as you have seen is a beautiful plaque, trophy, whatever you would like to call it. It is something that of course our awardees can hold in their homes and as I know Lord Rhaburn will do take it out around to show it off but of course that is one thing. We know that being an artist in Belize especially in the early years has always been very difficult and it is not the most financially rewarding profession and so many times we have our artist getting to the point where they are older and of course they sometimes end up in a little struggle financially and so we in the government and the National Institute decided that they ought to be a financial award.”
The financial award amounts to five hundred dollars each that the three awardees will receive on a monthly basis for the rest of their lives. They received their first honorarium at today’s short ceremony.