Letters — 25 February 2014 — by Compton Fairweather

February 20th., 2014

Dear Evan,

In “From The Publisher” of February 19, 2014, you mentioned that the Chamber Reporter was the first to introduce the offset printing technology in Belize in 1967. While it is true that the Reporter was the first newspaper to adopt this offset printing technology in Belize, I believe the technology was introduced by the Government Printers, which was on Church Street in Belize City where a BTL office is now situated, about 1963. This was followed by my brother, the late Elwood Fairweather, who had his print shop on Albert Street (Craig’s Waterside) in the lower flat of the residence of attorney and poet, Raymond H. Barrow. Elwood later helped the Chamber to set up their equipment. The Chamber Reporter was previously printed in Miami, Florida.

Since you also touched on the issue of the Thirteen/Seventeen Proposals and the Hon. Philip S. W. Goldson’s involvement, in the interest of history please allow me to add a few little known facts of what occurred. Of the several meetings held between April of 1962 and June of 1966 involving officials of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Relations Office and officials of the United States’ Department of State, the most crucial was the one held at Whitehall London on Thursday, June 2nd 1966, because at that meeting the draft of Bethuel Webster’s secret proposals was presented to be read with the proviso that no notes could be taken, and nothing removed from the conference room.

The contents of these proposals alarmed Philip Goldson so much that he took the drastic step of making trips to the men’s rest room, where he wrote down what he had read. That weekend Goldson called us in New York City asking us to organize an emergency meeting of Belizeans in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) for the following Sunday, June 12th. The task of organizing the meeting went to the oldest Belizean organization in the U.S. – the Belize Honduran Association, whose members have all now passed on. This meeting was chaired by Samuel A. Haynes and held at the Association’s headquarters at 123rd Street in Harlem, New York City. Haynes suggested that a British Honduras Freedom Committee be formed. The rest is history.

(Signed) Compton Fairweather

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