I have reasons to believe that Mrs. Kathleen Levy Esquivel dislikes me. All the evidence indicates, nevertheless, that she was and is a very good wife to the two-term former UDP Prime Minister, now Sir Manuel Esquivel.
I also have reasons to believe that Mrs. Joan Musa dislikes me. All the evidence also indicates, nevertheless, that she was and is a very good wife to the two-term former PUP Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa.
Where Mrs. Hadie Jones Goldson is concerned, she was not a good wife to the late Hon. Philip Goldson. Mrs. Goldson was, however, a great mother to the couple’s six children. With age, I have come to understand that women will, on most occasions, give priority to their maternal responsibilities over their wifely duties. This is how the human race has survived and grown. When men go off on their frolics, as the British say, the women are the ones who always, always find ways to feed, clothe, house and educate the children.
We recognize the Hon. Philip Goldson as a national hero of Belize, and we salute the role Ms. Emma Boiton played in Mr. Goldson’s life for many years.
Hadie Jones Goldson was married in April of 1954 to Mr. Goldson. The first major trauma in their marriage must have been Mr. Goldson’s ouster from the leadership ranks of the People’s United Party (PUP) around August of 1956. Mr. Goldson and his cousin, Leigh Richardson, who was the actual PUP Leader, were ousted at the same time. A couple of violent episodes are reported to have occurred with respect to Mr. Richardson, who was a much more physical man than Mr. Philip. These episodes would have taken place when PUP groups attacked Mr. Richardson or tried to intimidate him. In contrast, no such reports have accompanied Mr. Goldson’s ouster, but it must have been a frightening time for his young wife.
Mr. Goldson and Mr. Richardson then formed the Honduran Independence Party (HIP), but by late 1957/early 1958, the previously bold Mr. Richardson decided to go into exile in Trinidad. Alone, Mr. Goldson chose to stay the Belizean course. The years from then until his retirement would prove that, while he appeared delicate and shy, Mr. Goldson was tough as steel.
Mr. Goldson had ended up with The Belize Billboard, the original newspaper organ of the PUP, which he made into the most popular newspaper in British Honduras. It was a daily newspaper, and it provided for him and his young family. In 1958, Mr. Goldson’s HIP entered a coalition with Herbert Fuller’s National Party (NP) to form the National Independence Party (NIP).
But the fact of the matter was that in those days the PUP soldiers were absolute masters of the streets of the capital city, then known as Belize. Goldson was fighting a national cause. But he was going against the grain. He was a real underdog.
The old timers of Belize will tell you that Hadie Jones Goldson was a very good looking woman. She also was an intelligent, and educated woman, so much that Mr. Goldson made the extraordinary, prescient, gambling decision to have her go to London to study law in 1961. Hadie Goldson traveled to the British capital just a couple months before Hurricane Hattie, if my stats are right. I do know for sure that she returned to British Honduras as a qualified lawyer in 1965.
Those days were not like now. Correspondence between the couple would have been limited to letters, which would take upwards of a week to reach. I have no idea if Mrs. Goldson would return home during the yearly summer breaks. I have no idea who took care of the children. But I have no doubt that her four-year sojourn in London would have created stress on their marriage.
Mr. Goldson’s gamble failed, because Hadie Goldson never became a prominent and wealthy attorney. During the seven years she practiced in Belize until she migrated to New York City in 1972, Mrs. Goldson was a marginal legal personality here. Remember, she was the first lady lawyer in Belize, remember that she had several children to care, and remember that the politics of Belize was becoming even more violent during this period.
In 1966 and 1968 there were major uprisings in the city in protest against Bethuel Webster’s Proposals (first Thirteen, then Seventeen), and then in August of 1969 The Billboard Press burned down. The Goldson family lived either upstairs of the press or next door, so that they feared for their lives during this episode. Earlier that year, Dean Lindo had attempted to remove Mr. Goldson from NIP leadership.
When it was that Mrs. Goldson began to believe that the welfare of herself and her children required for separation from Mr. Goldson, only she can say. In early 1972, Mr. Goldson went to London to study law, and Mrs. Goldson took their children to New York City. When Mr. Goldson returned to Belize in the summer of 1974, Mrs. Goldson and their children remained in New York.
This is how that the blessed Miss Emma entered Mr. Philip’s life. Mr. Philip and Miss Emma had a daughter. I believe that Mrs. Hadie Goldson and Mr. Philip resumed a life together in Belmopan some years before he died. But, whereas, Miss Emma was a complete “political wife” to Mr. Goldson, on her return to Belize Hadie Goldson went into absolute seclusion, and that is where she ended up taking Philip himself.
Earlier in this essay, I said that Mrs. Goldson was not a good wife to Mr. Goldson. I say that because she, in effect, abandoned him. One must also say, however, that Mr. Goldson may not have been a good husband to Mrs. Goldson. There are two sides to all marriage stories, and I am no judge.
I have written this specific column not to pry, but because I believe that Mrs. Hadie Goldson should resume participation in the life of Belize. Miss Emma is our darling, but Mrs. Hadie was there in her young years with Mr. Philip when times were rough and dangerous. I repeat, Mrs. Goldson did a great job as a mother, and for that I give her my respect and my admiration.