The Government of Belize has announced the naming and renaming of five landmarks around the country. During his Independence Day address yesterday in Belmopan the UDP’s Leader-elect Patrick Faber paid tribute to Belizean heroes including the late Right Honorable George Cadle Price and Honorable Philip Goldson. In that same vein, Faber announced that other Belizean heroes are being recognized and memorialized through the naming of thoroughfares, bridges, and structures. The first announcement came for the Airport Link Road which will be officially opened this week.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports: “Before I close today allow me this opportunity to salute and honor notable Belizeans who are befitting of such recognition. To begin with I wish to salute our national heroes the Rt.Honorable George Price and the Honorable Philip Goldson, our Prime Minister Sir. Manuel Esquivel, the Rt.Honorable Said Musa and the Rt. Honorable Dean Barrow. To PM Barrow I say thank you for your indomitable spirit in leading this country with distinction over the last twelve and a half years. Thank you for lending your wisdom and your ability in service to our beautiful Belize. Thanks for being a man among men, I am certain Prime Minister that those who pen history have already stated their accord of your stature and accomplishments. In addition to the recognition of our maximum leaders I would wish the nation to join me in saluting a few other Belizeans whose contributions have been stellar to Belize’s formation. Our recognition for them on this day will go beyond words and will hopefully be etched more permanently in history for their contributions. I begin with Belizean patriot John “Johnny” Smith who helped to form the People’s Committee back in 1950 and became the first leader of the People’s United Party and later broke ranks with them. For his contribution to Belize we today declare that the new airport link road which will be opened later this week will be officially named the John Smith Airport Link Road.”
Another prominent Belizean recognized is Clifford Betson. Betson was a crucial player in the Labour movement in Belize. He along with Antonio Soberanis had fought for better wages for the people and for representation for the poor population. Betson led a strike over seventy years ago that saw three hundred workers obtain a wage increase and that also saw the expansion of the workers’ union. While Betson already has a street named after him in Belmopan, he will also get a bridge and a building in his memory.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports: “It is now proposed that the Chetumal Street bridge that connects the north side and south side of Belize City be called the Clifford Betson bridge. The new home of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in the City of Belmopan shall hereafter be known as the Lee Richardson building in honor of his stellar contributions in our struggle to nationhood. As work now progresses on the Coastal Road that connects the Belize and Stann Creek districts it is more than fitting that the name of our former Prime Minister Sir Manuel Esquivel be attached hereafter in recognition for his contributions to Belize. And last but not least – lest we are accused of not seeking equality Ms. Kim to honor our women – the new government administration building that is being constructed at the southern foot of the newly named Clifford Betson Bridge will be named in honor of devout retired public servant Mrs.Eleanor Hall for her many years of stellar service to Belize.”