By Angel Nuñez
The Right Honorable George Price visited San Pedro since the 1950’s and became very much acquainted and loved by all of San Pedro not only as a leader of the PUP but as a Statesman. For those of us who did not get to meet him personally, and those of us who do not know enough about him, except that he is the Father of Independence, here’s a small tribute to George Price by Twenty Five Years Ago.
George Price was loved as a humble man. He travelled to the ends of the country on horseback, a puffing land rover, or on foot across rivers. To San Pedro he came by boat and though he arrived wet in his khaki pants and cloth hat, do you think he went to change before going to the park to address the citizens of San Pedro? No, he went as he was.
George Price was always welcome by the entire village at the foot of the main pier, met with the village leaders and shook hands with everyone on his way and surprised a lot of people by calling them by their first names. Do you think that the village council made special arrangements for a special dinner for the Premier? No, because he chose to visit a humble Sanpedrano, don Chicho Valdez and his family and sat there at his kitchen with a dirt floor and ate fried fish with tortillas like the humble people used to eat in San Pedro.
George Price led by example, like a good teacher. On one of his visits to San Pedro, right after we had cleaned up the village streets, he told the village chairman, Mr. Gustavo Arceo, that the village did not look clean enough. And he entered a dirty bush lot in front of Central Park and picked up some rubbish and asked the village council and children following him to help clean up San Pedro. He always insisted that something was good, but not good enough and that more could be done. His popular words were, “It is not enough for the people of Belize.” Even the national radio of the 1960’s adopted his slogan of “WAKE UP AND WORK”.
Honorable George Price was a man of vision. George Price was in San Pedro for the major events that helped shape our bright future. He was here for the inauguration of Caribeña Fishing Cooperative in 1963 to render support for an industry that brought tremendous growth to this community.
George Price was here in 1965 for the inauguration of the first hotel in San Pedro, The Holiday Hotel, another industry that he supported because it would help shape a bright future for San Pedro. Mr. George Price was influential in providing 24-hour electricity to San Pedro. He was responsible for bringing telecommunication to our Island and later for the provision of the first water system that would replace our shallow wells. He gave San Pedro land and full support to build San Pedro High School because he knew that education would bring wealth and development to the Island.
And when San Pedro was ready to become a town, it was George Price again to convince his Cabinet that the only way forward for San Pedro was through township, a declaration which he supported and was signed on November 27, 1984. After the town boundaries were rolled back to a very tiny town in 1985 for poor political moves, George Price promised Sanpedranos that he would roll it up again to its original boundary as soon possible and indeed in 1989, after returning into government, he personally came to San Pedro to sign back our original boundaries. Those boundaries are the same to this date.
Such was the love of Rt. Hon. George Price for the people of Belize and San Pedro was no exception. Indeed, Twenty Five Years Ago does not pray for Hon. George Price because he is at peace in Eternal Rest. I pray for God to give us another leader like George Price. Long Live the Memory of George Price.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Chico’s Meat Shop -Pampered Paws -Ambergris Jade -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarious Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush -Richies Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery
Contact the Author at: [email protected]