This morning at the Bliss Institute for Creative Arts, a forum was held about Phillip Goldson, his life, his achievements and contributions to the Belizean society. Part of the Forum’s round table discussion was Former Prime Minister of Belize, Manuel Esquivel, Maud Williams, Nuri Muhammed, Hector Silva and Gilda Lewis. Esquivel spoke about Goldson’s determination and tenacity and when he was once accused of issuing passports and work permits.
Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel
“Mr. Goldson was a person who I really only got to know after he became a member of the UDP because prior to the formation of the UDP he had gone to become a lawyer in England and unknown to most people he was already going bling so that by the time he returned to Belize as a lawyer he was totally blind although nobody could detect it because of the courage that he had to continue on in his work as a politician and it is that kind of tenacity that cause his tenacity in standing up to the British, standing up to the PUP and at times standing up to the UDP. He was accused of issuing passports and work permits which was a great injustice because as I said by then he was totally blind and some of the people around him and it is my conviction would just get him to sign these things with him having full faith in them that it was legitimate. Never the less he was the one that took that blame. What I would like is for history to correct that because it was totally unfair and people still refer to it today as if it were the truth and it is not.”
Esquivel also spoke about one of the great contributions that Goldson made to society; the Family Court.
Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel
“When he became a minister he kept with that kind of portfolio for the development of people, social services. One of the things he created is the family court and why would he do that? because people with family disputes would have to go to a magistrate’s court and bear their troubles to the general public he saw that this was an injustice and discouraged people from standing up for their rights and so he created the family court so that people would not be exposed to public view in discussing their family problems I think that was a great contribution.”
As well Maud Williams spoke of old times when Goldson would use to call her for small chats, and when he told her that Belize needed to go to International Court of Justice to settle the Belize Guatemala dispute.
Maud Williams – Sister
“When he was living at that same South Street corner, he used to call me because I was working right down the street at the Anglican Diocese and he would say Maud come and one day when I went there he said to me “You know the only way we will be able to settle this dispute with Guatemala is to go to the ICJ.” I did not know anything about the ICJ so I said ICJ what are you talking about and he explained to me what it was. So when I hear people now saying that Mr. Goldson that you must go to the ICJ I can tell them that he told me that that is where we need to go to settle the dispute.”