By the time this letter reaches readers, the day and the time for the September Celebrations would have been set by the September Celebrations Commission (when did this become a Commission?) and taken to St. George’s Caye. (First Capital?)
It was the late Philip Goldson, one of our National Heroes, who said, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, “September should be Celebrations Month, because we commemorate two historic events and should be done in grand style.” 1994 was the year and Derek Aikman, as City Manager, was the Chairman of the September Celebrations Committee and it was he who initiated the first grand entertainment. I recall how about 100 schoolchildren, all dressed in white, moved up and down while singing, “I believe I can fly,” in the presence of the Queen of the Bay, and hundreds of spectators in front of the Supreme Court. The grand finale came when the Guest Speaker declared the opening, with the release of pigeons, balloons and confetti.
Three years after the disastrous ’98 Bi-Centennial came a new group called the St. George’s Caye Society, and so began the September openings which grew in splendor from year to year, with Patriotic Songs by the Methodist Praise Singers, performances by all our ethnic groups – the Creoles, the Garifuna, the Mayas, the Mestizos, the East Indians, and always ending with the Chinese “Lion Dance,” all in the presence of the Queen of the Bay and concluding with a Guest Speaker declaring the Celebrations open amid balloons and confetti. Hundreds of Belizeans and foreign visitors witnessed all this as well.
When the present Celebrations Committee/NICH took over, it cancelled the grand opening and so the people of the city have been denied the enjoyment of a grand Patriotic evening, and to add insult to injury, the Committee took the opening to St. George’s Caye, where not even the Queen of the Bay attends.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”