A week ago, the Belize City Council announced that tenth day bram was cancelled due to insufficient funds. Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold stated that the budget which the Council normally receives from the National Celebrations Commission for the festivities was cut by twenty percent. In a turn of events, Patrick Faber, the Chairman of the National Celebrations Commission revealed that the central government will help to make the September bram possible.
Patrick Faber – Chairman of National Celebrations Commission: “As you may know I chair the September Celebrations Committee and some time ago in those discussions in the committee’s meeting we made it plain that we were not in a position to do the usual amount that we honored last year and that came primarily because we did not receive the funds as we had anticipated. Folks will remember that last year we had a contribution I think from $100,000 from our friends in Taiwan towards the activities of NICH and the September celebrations and this year that amount was cut to $75,000. As a result of that the Belize City Council received a cut I think from $75,000, which they received in the previous year to $60,000 and subsequent to that the Council announced that it would not be able to do the 10th Bram. We felt that that was unfortunate and the Mayor reached out to me and I decided that we ought to sit down indeed and try to work it out. I think the news of the cancelation of the 10th Bram didn’t go over well with the Belize City residents especially. It is something that residents of the city have become accustomed to after being a part of the parade even if only on the sidelines people want to go somewhere and do something in terms of the celebration after the parade and after the official ceremonies. And so the mayor and I and Deputy Mayor Arnold met in a brief meeting yesterday afternoon where we agreed that the council will go forward and that the Government of Belize will try to find the additional funds of $10,000 to ensure that the bram is bigger and better than ever.”
Mayor Bernard Wagner explained how the parties were able to solve the problem so residents of Belize City can enjoy the September celebrations.
Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “I reached out to him following the announcement that we weren’t going to have the event and subsequent residents giving their views on the matter and I said we had to see how we could as a council reach out to the Deputy Prime Minister given that he is the head of the Celebrations Committee and he was gracious enough to say ‘Listen let’s meet.’ and we felt there mere fact that he gave us that room to meet was something huge and yesterday we met at his office and were able to work out those finer details. It was never a matter of us not wanting to have the bram, it was always a financial matter and so when the Deputy Prime Minister told us ‘Listen we’ll come up with two thirds and we will be able to cough up one third of the cost.”
Wagner was happy with what the meeting of the minds was able to accomplish, but even more so, he was pleased with the leadership that was displayed as a result.