Letters — 14 February 2014

Dear Editor:

With all the recent chatter of alleged unethical behavior of our politicians, I am reminded of the description my neighbor once gave me regarding one of her relatives, who held public office in Belize City during the 70s.

Lloyd Coffin was from the Mesopotamia area. He was the great-grandson of William Hugh Coffin, the first Speaker of House (circa 1853), and Mayor of Belize City in 1971. He was a tailor by trade and during his era City Council workers only received a stipend, so Mr. Coffin continued to work as a tailor, at times even sewing the PUP party flag at his home on a Singer Treadle Sewing Machine. He would sit at that machine with his foot on the treadle and that machine created stitches as if though it was powered by electricity.

My neighbor said that Mr. Coffin was an honest politician and that neither friend, family, nor foe benefited from his holding public office. He did not enrich himself. He never acquired acres of land, never drove a fancy car, never lived in a McMansion, nor did he have a large bank account. His family members never received any preferential treatment or government scholarships; well, one did, but as soon as it was discovered the person’s family was not PUP, the scholarship was rescinded.

Mr. Coffin had a vehicle and a driver assigned to him, but he never abused that privilege. He was the only one from his household who rode in the Land Rover. Although he had school age children at that time, he did not allow the children to use the vehicle for transportation to and from school.

My neighbor said that Mr. Coffin avoided all appearances of unethical behavior. He never brought home so much as a pen, a pencil, a piece of paper or anything that was the property of the City Council to his home.

Others may have a different recollection of Lloyd Coffin, PUP member from the Mesopotamia area, but my neighbor always speaks of Mr. Coffin when making any references to what an honest politician looks like.

(Signed) Neighbor’s Friend
S. Street

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