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Belize History Association NEWSLETTER Vol. 1 - Issue No. 1 December, 2016 Fostering Patriotism and Promoting
Belize History Association
NEWSLETTER
Vol. 1 - Issue No. 1
December, 2016
Fostering Patriotism and Promoting Belizean History

Highlights of the 2016 BHA Lecture

Spanish Reports on the Battle of 1798: Preliminary Findings

AInstitute for Social and Cultural Research

s part of the 2016 September Celebrations, the

Belize History Association (BHA) and the

(ISCR) hosted a national lecture on 7 September 2016 entitled: “Spanish Reports on the Battle of 1798:

Preliminary Findings”. The panel of distinguished presenters included: Dr. Angel Cal from the University of Belize (UB), Dr. Herman Byrd from the Belize Archives and Records Service (BARS), Mr. Giovanni Pinelo from the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR) of the

National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), Dr. Martin Ramos and Dr. Juan Castillo from the Universidad de Quintana Roo (UQROO), and Maestro Eduardo Montalvo Pool from the Universidad Intercultural Maya de Quintana Roo, (UIMQROO). The presentation was based on an ongoing research of over 1200 pages of Spanish reports which focuses on the events surrounding the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The lecture took place at two venues. The first was at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Belize City

(Cont’d on pg.2)

Attendees at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts
Attendees at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts

Message from BHA Chairperson

Message from BHA Chairperson Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter. We are very excited

Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter.

We are very excited to share our first newsletter with you. Our goal is to keep you informed about the efforts of the Belize History Association and to share with you a small sampling of the story of our beloved nation.

We believe that every Belizean is a member of the Belize History Association. Whether you're new to our association or already an active member, friend or partner, our hope is to continue to help in shaping where we are going in our future by sharing our past story on which our country is built.

We invite you to send us interesting historical experiences for us to learn from.

Three newsletter issues each calendar year will share past and present stories that make Belize what it is. Our newsletter is just one way we can share Belize's history. Another way is to become active members of the Belize History Association. Visit our website at belizehistoryassociation.org and like us on Facebook. Stay tuned.

Dr. Abigail McKay

Editor

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2016 BHA LECTURE

(cont’d from page 1)

from 9:30 to 11:00 in the morning. The second venue was the Jaguar Auditorium at UB Belmopan Campus from 2:30 to 4:00 in the afternoon. Both venues were packed to capacity with students, teachers and members of the general public. On the following day, the presenters went on a tour of St. George's Caye, through the kind sponsorship of John Searle and his wife Linda Searle of Sea Sports Belize.

The BHA wishes to thank all the stakeholders and attendees who made this event possible. To learn more, visit our website at www.belizehistoryassociation.org or give us a call at

822-3307.

Research panel at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts
Research panel at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts
Message from BHA Chairperson Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter. We are very excited

Full house of students at the Jaguar Auditorium, UB

Message from BHA Chairperson Welcome to the first issue of our newsletter. We are very excited

Dr. Cal presenting at the UB Jaguar Auditorium

Illustration of Spanish document
Illustration of Spanish document

Fun Facts

The Three Earls in Cayo

EARL Haylock built the Low Wooden Bridge. (1970) EARL, the Hurricane, destroyed it. (2016) EARL Trapp, Mayor, rebuilt it. (2016) How do you like that piece of history? – Contributed by Joe Awe

BHA Newsletter –2– Vol. 1 - No.1
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BLAST FROM BLAST BLAST FROM FROM THE THE THE P P P P P AST AST
BLAST FROM BLAST BLAST FROM FROM THE THE THE P P P P P AST AST

BLAST FROM

BLAST

BLAST

FROM

FROM THE

THE

THE

BLAST FROM BLAST BLAST FROM FROM THE THE THE P P P P P AST AST

PPPPPAST

AST

AST

We have found Convention Town at last

Following the Convention of London in 1786,

over 2,000 persons, including whites, free-blacks,

free-coloureds and enslaved Africans, were evacuated

from the Mosquito Coast to the Settlement in the Bay

of Honduras. This was part of a trade-off between

Britain and Spain to end hostilities. The location

where these people settled has been a mystery to

historians. Here is an article from the Belize

Historical Society (No. 1) explaining its location:

We have found Convention Town at last.

What, you didn't even know it was lost? Well, it was

and that just goes to show how obscure Belize history

really is. Here we've had a Lost Village over a century

and you didn't even know it.

Here is the story:

Back in 1786, the British and the Spanish added

several new terms to their Treaty of 1763 (the one that

allowed the Baymen to cut logwood but did not state

where). The new agreement was called a Convention

and formed a part of the old Treaty.

Under the Convention, the Spanish agreed to allow

the Baymen to extend their logwood cutting from the

Sibun River to the Hondo River, and the British agreed

to evacuate their subjects from the Mosquito Shore.

The British appointed the first Superintendent of

the Settlement in the person of Colonel Marcus

Despard and made arrangements to transport all the

British subjects from the Mosquito Coast to Belize in

1787.

At this time there were not more than 400 people in

Belize. It was expected that 2,500 evacuees would

descend on the Settlement before the end of the year.

You can imagine the sentiments among the "old

timers". They were about to be outnumbered six to one

by the newcomers. (We've had a few Central American

refugees enter Belize over the past ten years and our

reaction has been one of serious concern, to say the

least. The Old Baymen must have been fit to be tied).

Serious questions were asked. Where will they

live? What lands will they get to cut timber on? Can we

maintain control of the Public Meeting? And more.

Early in 1787 Colonel Despard ordered the

Government Surveyor, David Lamb, to survey the

entire south side of the Haulover into lots from Rogue's

Point (where Government House is now) to about

where Richard's Sidewalk is now. Perhaps he planned to

give the lots to the evacuees. No one knows for sure.

Members Donate Books to BHA Collection

BHA members donating books
BHA members donating books

A books to the BHA library collection. Mr. Fred

t a general membership meeting on the 24th of

January 2015, four BHA members donated their

Hunter gifted his book entitled “The history of the sover- eignty of Belize by occupation force of arms treaties” (2013). Mr. Frantz Smith provided us with his book titled “A History of Enterprise in Belize” (2013). Ms. Montserrat Casademunt donated “British Honduras: The invention of a colonial territory Mapping and spatial knowledge in the 19th century” written by Odile Hoffmann and published by her Cubola company. Ms. Ifasina Efunyemi presented us with “When British Honduras became Belize: A Peace Corps Memoir,

1971-1973” (2014) donated and written by Ted Cox.

Other members have pledged to expand our collection by donating their books to the BHA. Most recently, we received several books by Ms. Myrna Manzanares who has written on traditional games of Belize and short stories from

Gales Point Manatee. It is a great joy for the BHA to count with persons who take the time to write about Belize's culture and history and we look forward to many more works to be published by our members.

(Cont’d on pg. 4)

(Cont’d on pg. 4) BHA Newsletter –3– –3– Vol. 1 - No.1
(Cont’d on pg. 4)
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MEMBERS DONATE BOOKS (cont’d from pg.3)

These publications are now available for research purposes at the Institute for Social and Cultural Research in Belmopan, which functions as the BHA Secretariat. You can also purchase these books at a local bookstore or check them out at a library near you. If you would like to purchase a signed copy from the author, you should join us at our next general meeting!

Visit us at www.belizehistoryassociation.org
Visit us at www.belizehistoryassociation.org
MEMBERS DONATE BOOKS (cont’d from pg.3) These publications are now available for research purposes at the

Like us at facebook.com/belize.history.association

Join us at our next

General Meeting

Saturday, 21 January 21 2017

Museum Building, Mountain View Blvd.

in Belmopan.

365 Days of Belizean History The 365 Days of Belizean History project aims to educate the
365 Days of Belizean History
The 365 Days of Belizean History project aims to
educate the general populace and visitors about
Belize's history. It is a collaborative effort of ISCR,
students from the History Program at UB, and
volunteers of the Belize History Association. The
release of the calendar is scheduled for mid-2017.
We invite you to submit historic dates to
bha.belize@gmail.com or call 822-3307.

Belize History Association

Commissions

Research & Promotion of History

  • 1. Fred Hunter

  • 2. Cesar Ross

  • 3. Frantz Smith

  • 4. Abigail McKay

  • 5. Emily Martinez

  • 6. Giovanni Pinelo

Social Media & Website

  • 1. Frantz Smith

  • 2. Brenda Armstrong

  • 3. Yaya Marin Coleman

  • 4. Felene Swaso

  • 5. Montseerrat Casademunt

  • 6. John Dunn

  • 7. Carlos Clarke

  • 8. Mariela Coc

  • 9. Andre Marsden

Newsletter

  • 1. Abigail McKay

  • 2. Ivory Kelly

  • 3. Fred Hunter

  • 4. Myrna Manzanares

  • 5. Jose Perera

  • 6. John Dunn

  • 7. John Mena

365-Day Calendar Project

  • 1. Gian Vasquez

  • 2. Jose Perera

  • 3. Brenda Armstrong

  • 4. Felene Swaso

  • 5. Baldomino Barboza

  • 6. Ifasina Efunyemi

  • 7. Cesar Ross

The Belize History Association (BHA) is a non-profit organization established in 2014 to spearhead, conduct &
The Belize History Association (BHA)
is a non-profit organization established in 2014 to
spearhead, conduct & promote research on Belize’s history.
Join the cause!
Subscribe our newsletter and become a member at
www.belizehistoryassociation.org
BHA Newsletter –4– Vol. 1 - No.1
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AT THE MUSEUM The Belize City Museum Courtesy: Rolando Cocom Entrance of Museum of Belize By

AT THE MUSEUM

AT THE MUSEUM The Belize City Museum Courtesy: Rolando Cocom Entrance of Museum of Belize By

The Belize City Museum New Exhibit Opened

Courtesy: Rolando Cocom Entrance of Museum of Belize
Courtesy: Rolando Cocom
Entrance of Museum of Belize

By DR. ABIGAIL MCKAY

Tding that houses the

he

two

year

con-

struction of the buil-

Belize City Museum was completed in 1857 as a pri- son and was built with bricks, known as “London

Stocks” brought from England and used as ballast on ships. The Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of scientific, historical or artistic interests. These include the earliest stamp of Belize depicting Queen Victoria (1837) and a well-preserved jail cell. Located

in the Fort George area of Belize City, the Museum provides an excellent overview of the story of Belize. The first floor

Courtesy: Belize Archives
Courtesy: Belize Archives

His Majesty’s Prison, Belize, Br. Honduras

has plenty of exposed original brickwork. A historical tour

via photographs and artefacts document over 350 years of Belize City's history and people. On its second floor the Museum houses a permanent exhibit of ancient Maya artefacts, including pottery, ornate stelae, a replica of the famous 'Jade Head' and smaller, elegant pieces of Maya jade and stone jewelry. There is also

Courtesy: Rolando Cocom
Courtesy: Rolando Cocom

Present-day Museum of Belize

room for special

exhibits such as the permanent display on Insects of Belize. The museum opens Monday to Thursday each week from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 4:30pm. There is an entrance fee of $5 and on Saturdays free to Belizeans. Children under 13 no charge. US$5 entry cost for non-residents. The museum has a small gift shop.

References:

http://www.nichbelize.org/mob/the-museum-of-belize.html;

enSLAVEd The Rise and Fall of Slavery Belize

By DR. ABIGAIL MCKAY

AT THE MUSEUM The Belize City Museum Courtesy: Rolando Cocom Entrance of Museum of Belize By

A n exhibition

titled “en-

SLA VEd”

opened at the Museum of Belize at its Gabourel Lane, Belize City address on 1 August 2016 and will remain open for an entire year. The exhibit looks at the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the history of resistance in Belize. The launch on August first coincided with Emancipation Day as celebrated in many former British colonies within the Caribbean and the United States in observance of the libera- tion of slaves of African descent. The Belize Archives and Records Service collaborated with the Museum of Belize. The exhibition maps the journey of the slaves from West Africa to Jamaica in the Caribbean from where most slaves came to the Belize Settlement, dat- ing back to the 1800's, and where systems that were created in the colonial past still exist today. For example, Sambai, theorized to be ritual rhythms and dance from the African homeland of escaped slaves, continues to be a key cultural part of the Gales Point Manatee villagers. The call and response harken back to a time when marooned ex-slaves gathered together to sing and dance. The exhibition features three major rebellions, including the May 1820 one on the banks of the Belize River, where forty slaves took up arms against their masters and held that place hostage for three months. The exhibition creates a distinct feel of what life in the settlement may have been over two centuries ago. The Museum of Belize remains dedicated to the promotion of Belize's culture and history.

References:

Http://www.nichbelize.org/mob-hoc-welcome/welcome-

to-the-museum-of-belize-and-houses-of-culture.html;

Http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/132836

http://www.belizeit.com/museum-of-belize.html Http://nationalkriolcouncil.org/the_kriols/dance BHA Newsletter –5– Vol. 1 - No.1
http://www.belizeit.com/museum-of-belize.html
Http://nationalkriolcouncil.org/the_kriols/dance
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PEOPLE & CULTURES OF BELIZE Bram in Gales Point Manatee By P HYLICIA P ELAYO B
PEOPLE & CULTURES OF BELIZE Bram in Gales Point Manatee By P HYLICIA P ELAYO B

PEOPLE & CULTURES OF BELIZE

Bram in Gales Point Manatee

By PHYLICIA PELAYO

Bthe village of Gales Point Manatee located at the

ram is a Creole (Kriol) festivity held during the

Christmas season. Today, it is mainly carried out in

peninsula in the Southern Lagoon of the Belize District. Hyde (2012) has indicated that Gales Point Manatee was a secondary maroon settlement established in the 18th and early 19th century. Bolland (2003) also references the establishment of maroon settlements by the 1820s. Through oral testimonies collected in Hyde's (2012) research, it is believed that these maroons first settled in the hills and areas surrounding Gales Point Manatee and later resettled in the current location of the village. Today, the village is still relatively remote and not easily accessible by public transportation. It has largely remained a rural settlement with a very small population of 296 persons. The village has retained an almost homogenous ethnic make-up with 89% of the population identifying as Kriol according to the most recent census (Statistical Institute of Belize, 2013). This large percentage of Creole ethnicity can be traced to the village's early African ancestry, an ancestry which is still reflected in the celebration of Christmas Bram. The term 'bramming' is used to the describe participants’ involvement in the various activities of Bram merry-making, dancing, singing and feasting (National Kriol Council, 2011). During enslavement in Belize, the Christmas season served as the greatest opportunity for communal recreation among slaves between long periods of working at timber camps (Bolland, 2003). The Christmas season was an opportunity for African groups and families to re-unite and served as an outlet for cultural expression. Myrna Manzanares describes Bram as “a spree traditionally done during the Christmas season. It is an exodus of people dancing in the streets from one house to the next, the goal of which is merry-making by singing, dancing and playing music at each house as a sign of good cheer” (n.d.). The brokdong rhythm is the type of music played during Bram. The drummers play the traditional call-and-response folk songs to the brokdong rhythm (National Kriol Council, 2011). The unique sound of the brokdong was created through a mixture of household implements and musical

instruments. Manzanares recalls that, “they use to use things outta the house, I remember as a child they take the comb and they put like a lil silver paper on it… and they blow it and make music, they use to have the grater and you get a fork and you rub that together…that make music” (2014).Today, this is rarely seen and is a practice that would be found only among the community elders only. According to Emmeth Young, a lead bram musician, “in ancient times, earlier times, we use to use the accordion because we had people here that played the accordion, and the banjo,” (2013). However, this has changed. He is now one of the few remaining musicians in the country with the traditional knowledge and craftsmanship skills to make the Kriol drums.

Drummers performing at Christmas Bram
Drummers performing at Christmas Bram

Another component of the celebration is the sambai, which is a fertility dance originally held during a full moon. It is danced in the form of a ring around a fire, which is seen as a symbol of virility (Hyde, 2012). In the past, the sambai was done from the month of November leading up to the days of the Christmas Bram. Today, the sambai has merged with the Bram and is mainly done during Christmas night. There are many other aspects of the Christmas Bram that need to be recorded. Residents from the Belize River Valley have also said that Bram was an integral part of the Christmas celebrations in places such as Burrell Boom and Willows Bank. This means that there is a need for more of us to sit down and talk with our elders to record the splendid history and traditions of Belize.

PEOPLE & CULTURES OF BELIZE Bram in Gales Point Manatee By P HYLICIA P ELAYO B
PEOPLE & CULTURES OF BELIZE Bram in Gales Point Manatee By P HYLICIA P ELAYO B

References: Bolland, O. N. (2003). Colonialism and Resistance in Belize: Essays in Historical Sociology.

(Cont’d on pg.7)

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XP E E E E E XP E R R N N I I E E
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By JOSE R. PERERA
H
H
MY
MY

Mago. She was named Hattie. I was 11 years of

Y first experience with a hurricane came on

the thirtifirst day of October 1961 - 55 years

age at the time. I can recall that afternoon, after being

excused from regular classes at Holy Redeemer Boys’

School, along with two equally inquisitive schoolmate-

Damaged Belize City Swing Bridge
Damaged Belize City Swing Bridge

friends, our curiousity whizzed us to Newtown

Barracks on the coast of Belize City to observe the sea

and its environs. We looked out to sea with expectant

awe to report to the world but we were so disappointed.

Even today, I could clearly remember the sea. It was

a calm, dull yellow, all the way to the horizon and

PEOPLE & CULTURES OF BELIZE

(Cont’d from pg. 6)

Benque Viejo del Carmen: Cubola Productions. Hyde, R. (2012). Stone Baas People: An Ethnohistorical Study of Gales Point Manatee Community. Journal of Belizean Studies Vol. 31 No.2 , 8-66. Manzanares, M. (2014, December). (P. Pelayo,

Interviewer) Manzanares, M. (n.d.). All to the Sound of Brokdong. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from Belizean Journeys:

http://www.belizeanjourneys.com/features/brokdong/news letter.html National Kriol Council. (2011). Bram and Brokdong. Retrieved June 23, 2015, from National Kriol Council:

http://nationalkriolcouncil.org/the_culture/dance Statistical Institute of Belize. (2013). Belize Population and Housing Census.

Young, E. (2013, December 26). (M. Manzanares, S. Solis, & G. Pinelo, Interviewers)

beyond. Where the sea and the sky met was hardly

noticeable, as everything looked the same dull yellow.

In later years I got to understand the phenomenon. The

yellow afternoon sun was straining its light through an

overcast sky and created the effect in the cloud cover

which was, in turn, reflected on the calm sea. At the time

we boys weren’t concern with the unusual coloring of

the sea and atmosphere. We came to see some action but

there was none. We then quietly left for our respective

homes.

XP E E E E E XP E R R N N I I E E

Graph showing track of ‘61 Hurricane and its 3-names viz. Hurricane Hattie, TSs. Simone & Inga.

Later, at home, I can remember bringing up some

groceries and stuff from our grocery store from down-

stairs to our upstairs residence. That was to be a life-

saving move on the part of my parents. My dad had

boarded up the windows of our shop and home so we

gathered our necessities and moved out to shelter at

Maestre’s building on Cleghorn Street.

(Cont’d on pg.11)

Courtesy: ambergriscaye.com
Courtesy: ambergriscaye.com
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B u i ld e rs o f B e l i z e
B u i ld e rs o f B e l i z e

Vivian Seay (1881-1971)

By DR. ABIGAIL MCKAY

Sjust across the border in Xcalak, Mexico. She

ervice: Entering the pupil-teacher system as a

teenager Vivian Seay taught in British Honduras and

volunteered during the influenza epidemic crisis of late 1918-1919, led the Black Cross Nurses of the UNIA in a 1920 survey of Belize Town's poor neighborhoods where infant mortality was high, and led the care and cleanup in the aftermath of the 1931 hurricane. A Belize City street is named in Vivian Seay's honor and she has been featured on a Belizean postage stamp Leadership: Vivian Seay founded the Black Cross Nurses by March 1920 and successfully advocated for formal Black Cross Nurses' training in maternal and infant health. In 1933, as a member of the Town Board, Vivian Seay proposed an Employment Bureau for unemployed women and helped create a fund to distribute groceries to deserving families. In 1934, she spoke in favor of legalizing divorce and unsuccessfully proposed a Women's Land Settlement Scheme to move 50 single mothers out of Belize Town onto their own farms. In 1935, she called for women's voting age to be the same as men's voting age at 21 years to ensure women would not be discriminated based on age. She co- founded the National Party in 1951 and the British Honduras Federation of Women in 1952. She co-led the 1961-62 Save Our Country movement that unsuccessfully challenged the name change of September tenth to “National Day.”

B u i ld e rs o f B e l i z e Vivian Seay

References:

Herrmann, Eleanor Krohn. (1980). “Black Cross Nursing in Belize: A Labour of Love,” Belizean Studies 8:2 Ministry of Health. (1985). Origins of Tomorrow: A History of Belizean Nursing Education. Belize. Macpherson, Anne S. (2003). “Colonial Matriarchs: Garveyism, Maternalism, and Belize's Black Cross Nurses, 1920-1952,” Gender and History 15:3 (November): 507-527 ----- (2007). From Colony to Nation: Women Activists and the Gendering of Politics in Belize, 1912-82. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

“If you want the skills to unlock mysteries, tools to think critically, and the back- ground
“If you want the skills to unlock mysteries,
tools to think critically, and the back-
ground to pursue teaching, law, public
service, or academia, then join the pack
and study History at UB!”
—Rolando Cocom (2011, UB)

Joseph Alexander Bennett

(1929-

BAlexander Bennett spent

orn in Belize Town on 14

March 1929, Joseph

B u i ld e rs o f B e l i z e Vivian Seay

his early employment years as a pupil teacher at Holy Redeemer Boys School, having successfully passed a First Teachers' Exam. After attaining his First Class Teacher's Certificate, he ran the small school at San Pablo Village, Orange Walk, for three years before returning to Belize City studies to obtain his Catholic Management –provided secondary school certificate at St. John's College and teacher training profes- sional qualifications in less than four years. He taught primary education in Succotz, Cayo, for one year before becoming part of the teacher training team for Catholic teachers at St. John's College. Two years later, Mr. Bennett successfully completed a first degree at the University of the West Indies in History, Economics and Spanish. Upon his return to Belize, Mr. Bennett worked at Belize Teachers' College and eventually was given the task of getting the Junior Secondary School established. This meant he had responsibility to plan the whole academic programme for the school, along with the teaching staff that he helped to identify. He led the Belize Junior Secondary School Number One, for three years then left Belize in 1971 on a United Kingdom Scholarship to pursue a 3-year advanced education course. Upon his return, he worked as an Education Officer on curriculum matters, first at St. Mary's School and then at the Curriculum Unit at the Belize Teachers' College campus until his retirement.

(Extracted from the BAAS 2016 Author's Biographical Profile.)

Fun Facts

What is history?

History is like fishing. The type of fish that is caught depends partly on chance and on the area where one goes to fish. The fisherman (and fisher-women) may release the fish until they find one to their liking. The fish is then cleaned, cooked, and served for consumption.

Remember too that “Fishaman neba seh ih fish stink” and “Wen fish kohn frahn riba-batam ahn tel u haligeta gah pain-a-bellyie, belieeve ahm”!

Reference:-

Carr, E. H. (1961). What is history? Houndmills: Palgrave

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Spoken Word

Spoken Word

A Nation Worth Saving

(Excerpt)

Spoken Word A Nation Worth Saving (Excerpt) I am Belize Balisi Nuguya Inen lah Belice La

I am Belize Balisi Nuguya Inen lah Belice La in ah Belis Yo soy Belice Me da Belize. A young and vibrant nation On the coast of the Caribbean In the heart of Central America The pulse between two worlds.

Oh how proud to know I am known the world over. Known for my wonders of land and sea. Known for my people's hospitality. Yes - I am proud that my ancestors Had the courage to struggle on And gave me life In spite of all adversities.

Now today you see me flourishing Amid the torn and tattered world flourishing in the splendor Of my people Who proudly boast the rich colors Colors to be proud of colors from Our magnificent dynasty Black like zericote Brown like mahogany Red like rosewood And white like cedar.

Yes MY people Those that have gone before me who fought to free me And gave me wings to spread, You of today Three hundred and fifty thousand strong And counting

. You who have the power in your hands

. .

To give me away To sell me To betray me To ravage me To destroy me You who have the power in your hands To mold my future To protect me, to save me

To save me with your love To save me with your dignity To save me with your honesty To save me with your patriotism By telling my story To your children And their children And their children Preserving me, BELIZE With all my rich diversities

For you And you Forever And ever And ever ...

By: Myrna A Manzanares

Selected poems from The Healing Circle, coming soon!

Belize Dah Fih We

Spoken Word A Nation Worth Saving (Excerpt) I am Belize Balisi Nuguya Inen lah Belice La

Down the street, I see a crowd Not too far, all singing loud. It is our September Celebrations A legacy in its name That must be given its due right fame.

In awe I watched as each and every race All hand in hand, scream and shout

"The fight has been won and Belize is now a free land!”

Being Belizeans proud and true They gallantly march in their red, white and blue. I smile as I hear them scream, "Belize dah fih we!" "Every inch of it!" “Every grain of sand!” "Every blade of grass!"

So together we stand, all united as one, Hand in hand, The Mestizos, Orientals, Creoles, and Garifunas too! Joined as many faces One dream One goal Ready to be pursued.

By: Azizi J. Hoy

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BHA IN ACTION
BHA IN ACTION
BHA IN ACTION BHA promotes authors Belmopan turnout BHA awards logo winners A close encounter... Learning

BHA promotes authors

BHA IN ACTION BHA promotes authors Belmopan turnout BHA awards logo winners A close encounter... Learning

Belmopan turnout

BHA IN ACTION BHA promotes authors Belmopan turnout BHA awards logo winners A close encounter... Learning

BHA awards logo winners

BHA IN ACTION BHA promotes authors Belmopan turnout BHA awards logo winners A close encounter... Learning

A close encounter...

BHA IN ACTION BHA promotes authors Belmopan turnout BHA awards logo winners A close encounter... Learning
BHA IN ACTION BHA promotes authors Belmopan turnout BHA awards logo winners A close encounter... Learning
Learning about our culture BHA Executive Meeting BHA Newsletter –10– Vol. 1 - No.1
Learning about our culture
BHA Executive Meeting
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MY HURRICANE EXPERIENCE

(cont’d from pg.7)

We were excited at the prospect of sheltering at

Maestre’s because once before when we had a storm

alert, we went there and it was like a family reunion.

Maestre’s Industries Ltd. was a cigarette factory where

an uncle was supervisor so the families of staff members

were allowed to shelter there. It was an adventure to be

together with fellow boy cousins of mine (there were

five of us) and their families once more. We explored

the whole building

and visited the com-

munity of fellow

“residents” at the

shelter. Everyone

was settled in

assigned spaces on

the floor of office

rooms and corridors.

There was wall-to-

wall bedding in

some places. It was

like outdoor camp-

ing except it was in-

doors.

After our

“ramping” (romp-

ing) we settled on a

ledge of the upstairs

Tractor used in clearing streets in aftermath of hurricane Courtesy: Belize Archives
Tractor used in clearing streets
in aftermath of hurricane
Courtesy: Belize Archives

floor and joined my dad and others to observe how

water on the bottom floor was slowly rising. At first it

was fun, but when it kept rising and began to cover my

dad’s car which was parked on the bottom floor along

with others, I got sad. Eventually the vehicles got com-

pletely covered.

  • I was concerned, yet impressed with the volume of

water that looked so clear and inviting inside a building.

It was the first time that I have ever seen such a sight.

Being boys, we tried to touch the rising waters with our

feet from the ledge where we were. I remember the time

was about ten at night and it was quiet except for the

sound of the radios coming from the floors. Most lights

were out so we all turned in to sleep on “field beds”.

Sometime later I was awaken by my mom and the

sound of whistling winds on the outside. She led me to a

window and shone the light from a flashlight into the

weather. Wind and elements were whizzing by but still

grouchy from sleep, I returned to my comforts on the

floor.

tigers. Suddenly the glass windows on the north side of

the building exploded like the barrage from canons. The

wooden planks on barricaded windows were overcome.

Breaking glass fragments shot through the air and

crashed about. There was a rush as people sheltering on

that side of the building, including my family, were

moved to an opposite wing. We settled down among

bails of tobacco. I remember seeing men fighting with

the storm, now indoors, to close the broken windows.

The building shook and shuddered as huffs and

puffs kept coming, seemingly forever. I tried to sleep.

The angry storm kept up its onslaught right into the

early light of day. Gradually the weather diminished

into a rainy, whistling and chilly morn.

About six in the morning one of my cousins, all

excited, shook me awake. He led me up some stairs to

the attic of the building. My other cousins were already

there along with a man, Mr. Pepitune, who was taking

movie pictures through an opening in the roof where

some roofing had blown away. I stood at the opening

and looked out.

The image that I saw from that roof would forever

stay recorded in the seat of my mental faculties. We all

got suddenly speechless as we observed a scenario of

total devastation. It was mental shock.

Courtesy: Belize Archives Canal-side streets covered in ruins
Courtesy: Belize Archives
Canal-side streets covered in ruins

To

me

it

looked like

Belize City had

sunk into the sea.

The sight of the

boats and barges

floating around

on top of build-

ings and waves

striking against

structures

seemed unreal.

Large wooden vats were being carried about. The

waters were covered in a sea of debris. It was total

chaos. Surviving dogs and even mice were floating

around on planks and pieces of wood.

We stayed in the shelter for a couple more days with

enough food. The meat and water from gathered coco-

nuts from the flood waters was welcomed sustenance.

Being the eldest of five siblings, it fell on me to

accompany my dad through the ruins to find food. Our

Handyside street house was fine except for a missing

back door and some roofing. The rest of our relatives

weren’t so lucky, so they took up residence at our house.

My mother, fellow siblings and myself were spared I don’t recall exactly the time but it
My mother, fellow siblings and myself were spared
I don’t recall exactly the time but it must have been
further experience of the aftermath when a couple of my
about one in the early morning when I was “rudely”
uncles from Puerto Cortes, Honduras came to our res-
awakened by loud howling and crashing sounds. The
cue and took us away. Only my dad stayed behind.
wind outside sounded like the clash of a thousand wild
BHA Newsletter
–11–
Vol. 1 -
No.1
1798 BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military confrontation
1798
BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE
The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military
confrontation between the Spaniards and the
Settlers of what is known today as Belize. The
battle lasted from 3 September to 10 September
1798. It resulted in the Spaniards’ defeat.
1981
INDEPENDENCE DAY
On 21 September, 1981 Belize became a
sovereign nation after being a British Crown
Colony since 1862. Independence Day marks
the crowning achievement of the collective
efforts of a national movement.
1821 FIRST SEAL OF BELIZE SETTLEMENT
“The Arms of the Settlement” was resolved on
and prayed for by the Public at their meeting, the
2 November, 1819. The first seal of the
settlement was received on 5 March, 1821.
1990
BUST OF THOMAS VINCENT RAMOS
UNVEILED IN DANGRIGA
To honor the Garifuna legend, T.V. Ramos, a
bust was erected on 3 November, 1990, at the
apex of Front and Commerce Street in
beautiful Dangriga.

Belize History Association

NEWSLETTER

Produced by the Newsletter Commission Members:

Dr. Abigail McKay

Fred Hunter

Ivory Kelly

Carlos Clarke

Jose Perera

John Dunn

Myrna Manzanres

John Mena

1798 BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military confrontation
1798 BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military confrontation

Events of Interest

November 2016

The Belize City House of Culture and Down- town Rejuvenation Project hosted a Social Studies and History Competition in November 2016 for standard five primary school students of Belize City. 1st, 2nd & 3rd places were won respectively by Hazey Perez from St. Mary’s Anglican, Jayden August from Holy Redeemer, and Keylen Moralez from Unity Presbyterian. (See pic left to rt.) BHA members Mariela Coc and Cesar Ross supported this event.

1798 BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military confrontation
1798 BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military confrontation
1798 BATTLE OF ST. GEORGE’S CAYE The Battle of St. George’s Caye, was a military confrontation

December 2016 The Belize Creole Brokdong Project is training

Belizean youth to play, dance and sing brok- dong music the way Mr. Peters did. Their first public performances were held on 15 and 16 December at Battle Field Park in Belize City.

January 2017

Join the Belize History Association for their up- coming General Meeting on Saturday January 21, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. at the Museum Building on Mountain View Blvd. Belmopan. There will be a special presentation by Ambassadors Stuart Leslie and James Murphy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

February 2017

The Street Art Festival is an annual event held on the last Saturday of February. It will be held on 25 January 2017 on Albert Street in down- town Belize City. There will be a variety of cultural food, paintings, sculptures, fashion, drama, and live entertainment. BHA members will join you at this event.

From us at the Belize History Association
From us at the
Belize History Association
BHA Newsletter –12– Vol. 1 - No.1
BHA Newsletter
–12–
Vol. 1 -
No.1