And finally, this evening: On Friday, the nation marked the 223rd anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye, an important highlight of the September celebrations. While the celebrations themselves were muted due to COVID-19, an official ceremony marking the historic day was held at the Government House in Belize City. Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Francis Fonseca delivered remarks in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Celebrations Commission. He explained how the battle more than two centuries ago is much like the fight against the coronavirus.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “The battle we face today is that of protecting the health and safety of our people while at the same time gradually and responsibly reopening the Belizean economy, returning to the classroom and reengaging with our families, friends and communities for social activities. Vaccinations represent our best hope and opportunity for achieving these objectives. The more Belizeans that are vaccinated the greater the likelihood of us resuming some elements of our pre-covid way of life.”
Meanwhile, Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner used the theme of the celebrations to illustrate the work needed to be done to get back to normal. He expounded on how his council will do its part to help people during these difficult times.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “This year’s September Celebrations theme is our call to action. It’s our instructional chant to guide us through this grueling storm. Through hopeful hearts it’s our collective empathy and community spirit that will kickstart our return to brighter days. At City Hall we will continue to promote the social and economic development of our municipality through our numerous national and local development programs and through the provision of effective and efficient services to our many residents. We also plan to continue working closely with our central government and regional partners such as the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network to improve our response to the twin threat of unplanned urbanization and climate change. All with a view to create a society that is more sustainable, inclusive, safe and resilient. We promise to always put our people first. We also encourage citizens to lend a helping hand whenever they can, however they can to whosoever is in need. While charity starts at home it certainly can’t end there.”
The ceremony lasted just over an hour, which included the installation of Druewel Jones as the new Queen of the Bay and cultural performances by Cocono Boy.