BELIZE CITY–The official ceremony to mark the opening of the 2014 September Celebrations was held today at the House of Culture in Belize City amidst a gathering of diplomats, public officials, government representatives and patriotic citizens.
In addressing the audience, Co- Chair of the National Celebrations Committee, Diane Haylock, declared, “For this year’s festivities, the National Celebrations Commission has put together what we consider a remarkable series of activities over the ensuing weeks. This calendar of activities will not only excite your imagination, but will also inspire a spirit of togetherness and renewed appreciation of our jewel Belize.”
September is known to be the most event-filled month on the Belizean calendar, and following the ceremony, Haylock told Amandala about the significance of the month-long festivities, as well as this year’s theme.
She said, “The [September Celebrations] calendar has activities for all over the country, and I think it is important for people to try to come out and take advantage of the activities that will be taking place because, in my opinion, these days gave birth to us as a people and a nation, and I just want to encourage Belizeans to reinforce the theme of this year’s celebration: ‘Industrious hands, Intelligent minds, together for Belize.’ I really believe that this is a significant theme, and I would like for us as Belizeans to internalize it more and work together for the good of the country, and beyond that, celebrate and enjoy in peace and harmony.”
This year’s captivating theme was written by Denise Bowman, who told us how she managed to formulate the winning theme after being formally awarded for her contribution during today’s ceremony.
“When I sat down to write the theme, my thought was, how can we as a people demonstrate our love for Belize, and I figured out that we’re given different talents by which we choose our own professions. Industrious is to be hardworking, putting our hands together every day for our development. Intelligent speaks to the manner in which we carry out our professions, including our thought process, our public relations, our skills and knowledge, our reasoning and decision-making, etc. It encompasses our entire being — physical, mental and spiritual, which when put together, produces industrious hands, intelligent minds, together for Belize. In essence, it is a formula for our development and growth as a country”, she explained.
One of the most prominent activities, and one which has been one of the longest running, is the Queen of the Bay Pageant, which was held yesterday, August 30, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City.
Miss Belize City, Monisha Stuart, emerged as the winner of that competition, and she told us what she did to gain the edge against her opponents.
She said, “When I went up for my introduction, I was very confident, and after I gave my speech and heard the response of the crowd, I got more confidence. I believe I had it from I did my talent because I did something different from everyone else. From there, I went for my curtsy, and perhaps mine was the slowest and most graceful.”
It was a rough week of rehearsals, but I did my best and it is a great feeling to be the new Queen of the Bay”, she added.
Stuart, who is pursuing an Associate Degree in Business Science at Wesley Junior College, thanked her family and her trainer, past Queen of the Bay, Shadine Ottley, for their support and encouragement.
This year marks the 216th anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye and the 33rd anniversary of Belize’s Independence.
The official September Celebrations opening ceremony today was scheduled to take place on historic St. George’s Caye; however, inclement weather conditions forced the change in venue.
The official ceremonies for St. George’s Caye Day are on Wednesday, September 10 in Belize City, and for Independence Day, on September 21, in the nation’s capital, Belmopan.