Headline — 09 January 2016 — by Rowland A. Parks

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 7, 2016–The well-loved Belizean personality, Rita Maehetibel Flowers, died on Tuesday, January 5, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, four days after she celebrated her 75th birthday. Flowers had been ailing for some time, a family member told Amandala tonight.

In life, Miss Rita, as she was affectionately known, wore many hats and she will be remembered for her dedication, charisma, vigor and virtuosity as the mistress of the Minorettes Marching Band.

In the mid-1970s, Flowers was an active member of the Square Peg Players, but her love for music and the arts did not stop there. She was also involved in choreographing square dance and she was also involved with the D-Revelation Gospel Band.

Her working career began in 1963 when she was first hired at the National Library Service, and for many years, as a library assistant, she was the face of the Children’s Library on North Front Street in Belize City, where she presided over all children who frequented the library, instituting her own brand of discipline in her silent zone.

Her love and aptitude for working with children earned her a promotion in 1989 to the position of children’s librarian, during which time she also became involved with services to the home-bound and outreach programs to primary schools.

Her overseas training in library science contributed immensely to her wide knowledge of the needs of the Belizean society. This allowed her work with children to expand rapidly, resulting in her coordinating story-reading competitions and annual summer programs.

After her retirement in 1996, Rita Flowers still continued her activities and involvement in the community.

She was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1997, and continued to be a mentor and counselor to Belizeans of all ages.

Since 1990, her spirituality had directed her to be the church coordinator and youth leader for the Word of Life Ministries. She became an ordained minister, serving at Emmanuel Ministry in Belize City.

In the last years of her life, just as in her early years, Miss Rita could be seen riding her bicycle on the streets of Belize City—a humble woman on a great mission for the artistic and musical excellence of her beloved Belize.

(Photo: Melony Flowers Belgrave)

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