November 18, 2016 marked ten years since Catholic Bishop, Osmond Peter Martin retired as the leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize and Belmopan City. Following retirement he relocated to Dangriga Town for a quiet life with family members and this morning he passed away. We hear more in this report from correspondent Harry Arzu.
“Dangrigans and by extension the country of Belize are saddened by the passing of the most Reverend Bishop Martin who passed away at about 3:30am in his home here in Dangriga. The late Bishop Martin was consecrated Bishop on October 7 1982 and was named Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan on January 16 1984. In 2007 Bishop Martin submitted his resignation to the Vatican in December upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75. Eslyn Chan who is currently the secretary at the Roman Catholic Mission here in Dangriga spoke on her first encounter with the Bishop at her confirmation ceremony as a child.”
“My first encounter with the late Bishop Martin was when I was assisting Sacred Heart Primary School and he was the one who did our confirmation the 21st of March 1993. It is very sad to have found out that our reverend Martin passed away. He is going to be in a resting place now may he rest in peace.”
“On September 18 2007 Belize’s highest award was conferred upon Martin during Belize’s 26th anniversary of Independence. He was 86 years old.”
A release from the Roman Catholic Diocese said funeral arrangements are pending, awaiting further consultation with his immediate family and bishops in the region As was mentioned, on October 7, 1982 he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop. He became the first Garifuna and Belizean bishop for the Church. His ordination had the presence of his parents as well as the former Governor General of Belize, Dr Dame Minita Gordon and the late Right Honorable George Cadle Price as well as high officials of the Catholic Church from around the world. At ten o’clock this morning, bells at all Roman Catholic parishes were rung to mark the Bishop’s death.