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Former Magistrate Herbert Panton Laid to Rest

Attorney and Senator Herbert Panton was laid to rest today with an almost 3-hour service. Several reflections were made by close friends and relatives including his wife, Tracy Panton. Chairman of the United Democratic Party, Michael Peyrefitte spoke at length to the caliber of man, husband and father he was.

Michael Peyrefitte, Chairman of UDP: “Herbie would say “This dah no wah memorial, this dah wah bazaar’ and he would have it no other way. I don’t know what I can add to what has already been said other than just more stories that reflect the same thing. I have three stories that to me signify who Herbert Panton was and is and as I relay them, I will try my very best to give the sanitised version of what he said. I mean, the Bishop is here man. Just a few years ago it was Herbie, myself and the late Charo Swift, of blesséd memory, both of us were encouraging Herbie to go to law school. So Herbie said, “How will I pay for that and how will I get in?”  Charo Swift said “Well there’s a way to get in through Guyana now Herbie. You apply. I did it. Let’s go. Follow me.”  Herbie said “And Mike that leaves you then to tell me how I pay for it!” I said “No Herbie, you have to get a scholarship or you have to get a loan” and so Herbie, we broke from there and Herbie said “Mike, I got in. In terms of the payment, no scholarship right now so I had to mortgage my heart, mind, soul and the rest of my body to get into law school and if it doesn’t work out Mike, you will pay the loan. I’m making you know one time.” Fast forward a few years and he’s a magistrate and we were in Benque and when we broke for lunch, I also invited the prosecutor so that you know, no bias, you know we’re inviting him, we are as colleagues sitting for lunch and I said Herbie “How is the law thing working out boy?” He said “Well Peyri, it isn’t working out badly you know and I am now able as a professional to provide comfortably for my children who are my most serious concern.” Herbie hardly ever had a totally serious moment but whenever Hope and Adrianna would come up, Herbie would get very very serious. Even one time, Adrianna I think you went into Cellular Plus and somebody said “Oh you know that’s Herbie’s daughter with Tracy” and I said okay hi. I said “Herbie, I met your daughter.” “Yo meet ah weh?” I said “Calm down Herbie, I just met her. I didn’t know” and he didn’t smile really, he just.. But when it came to you two, your well being, your future, those were the most sacred things to him and I wanted to just let you know that today.”

In her reflection, Area Representative Tracy Panton spoke of the spiritual convictions that Panton lived by. It was during this presentation that she confirmed her determination to continue pursuing the leadership seat for the UDP.

Tracy Taegar-Panton, Wife of Herbert Carton Panton: “Herbert lived fully alive every day he shared this time and space with us. He marched to the beat of his own drum. He lived and he died by his own terms. There are so many lessons we can take from his life. He lived with humility. Yes, he enjoyed the finer things in life, afterall he had me, but he had no ears about him. He valued humanity. He loved others unconditionally. He was the most kind and generous soul I have ever met. He was brutally honest. He spoke his truth and he spoke it loudly and clearly. He stood on the strength of his convictions whether they were popular or not. Herbert may not have been everybody’s cup of tea but he was, as Carol said, unapologetically himself. This took strength of character and uncompromising integrity and courage. He protected his family with great personal sacrifice until he made his transition. I have a hunch that he will continue to do so in the spiritual realm. He advised that we best use our energy to remain true to ourselves, to shine our light so that its hue could help us to navigate the path we were each created to take and that everything we need to know will be revealed to us at the right time in the right order. For when our hearts are in the right place, mi amorcita, the universe sets out our blessings differently. I will hold onto your wise counsel. My darling Herbert, you were wise beyond your years, deeply spiritual and full of love and compassion. I will honour the request you made of me and I will continue to fight for the greater good of the United Democratic Party and more importantly for Belize and for all Belizeans. The love we were so privileged to share with you Herbie will serve as our buoy as the Good Book declares, weeping may endure for a night but joy will cometh in the morning.”

Panton leaves behind two daughters, Hope and Amaudi and his wife, Tracy.