International — 21 June 2013 — by Miriam Longsworth
Three Belizean artists make the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013

Frank Lizama, Colville Young, Jr. and Norman Hamilton appointed to the Order of the British Empire

The Queen’s birthday honours list 2013 has been released and three well-known Belizean figures have been included. Frank Lizama and Colville Young, Jr., have been appointed Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and Norman “Sam” Hamilton has been appointed as Member of the British Empire (MBE).

Norman Samuel Elburt Hamilton will receive his MBE for his contribution to music. Hamilton told us this is the third award he has received for his musical endeavours. He was presented with awards in the past by KREM Radio and musical icon Lord Rhaburn. Hamilton was in Lord Rhaburn’s band for 20 years before he became a solo music artist.

“It’s not my first award but I feel honored to be receiving it for my work in music,” he said. “I’m very excited about this one because it’s like real higher heights.”

Currently Hamilton has his own group called Foreign Exchange Band. He performs at private parties and has been performing frequently at the Tourist Village in Belize City for the past 12 years.

Hamilton said he has been a musician for almost 40 years and will keep on going.

Colville Ludwig Young, Jr., told us that he has been involved in music since age seven. He is to receive an OBE for his contribution to education and music in Belize. Young told us that it’s “nice” for a person to be recognized for the work he does and he sees himself as a representative of all hardworking Belizeans.

“I do see myself as representative of many others within a society who works hard, including teachers, nurses, everybody,” he said. “It’s nice to be recognized for the efforts you do make. Many of these efforts go outside the body of work, outside your normal pay. But I must say I’m not the only one, and so I guess I’m one of the representatives of that group of people and it’s nice to know.”

Young, Jr., is the music director at the National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) in Belize City. His current task is forming the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. The orchestra will be used as a tool for social change as the focus will be not only to help young Belizeans to develop musical skills, but to instill in them life resources that will enable them to contribute to their societies.

Young said he has never been confined to one genre of music. As a teenager he was involved in the steel band and took piano and violin lessons. Later on he became a member of the pop band The Messengers and also got involved in the classical music program at Pallotti High School.

Frank Alexander Lizama is a former mayor and famed wood carver of Belize City. He is to receive an OBE for his contribution to art, education, and politics.

Lizama got his first carving experience while he was a member of the Holy Redeemer Scouts. He has been carving since his teenage years. His work can be found all over the country. In Belize City, his biggest carving is the door at the Central Bank of Belize. Many of his works can be seen inside St. Martin de Porres Church.

Lizama still finds time for his passion and has most recently worked on a carving piece with a colleague from England.

Unfortunately, we were unable to get a one-on-one with Lizama, as he is out of the country receiving treatment for cancer. We were told that he said he feels honored to be recognized and given the award, but he wishes it was done earlier in his life.

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