BELIZE CITY, Mon., Sept. 13, 2015–The 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye was celebrated throughout Belize under the theme “Belize Renewed: Confident, Competitive, Committed” on Thursday, September 10. In Belize City, a ceremony to commemorate the occasion and officially launch the day’s activities was held at the Memorial Park, and in attendance were the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley; Chairman of the National Celebrations Committee, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr.; the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca; the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega; the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin; the Governor General, Sir Colville Young; and other distinguished guests and citizens of Belize.
In his welcome address, Mayor Bradley said, “Today, we gather as a nation in this place, as we have gathered each and every year before this, in solemn form, to honor the men and women who fought in the Battle of St. George’s Caye.”
Bradley noted that on that occasion, it was fitting that we recommit ourselves, as the Baymen did, to the service of our country. He pointed out that an anniversary is marked by a “renewing of vows.” The Mayor went on to say, “Today, in true remembrance, we should, as a nation, be strong and free, united at home and abroad, and renew our vows to this, our beloved Belize.”
He added, “We should not allow ourselves to be divided by our politics, but we should, (as the Baymen) stand, united by our desire to see our nation endure, so that those who lived and struggled before us should not have struggled in vain, and that we, who now live, should be resolved to honour their legacy by living lives worthy of their great sacrifice.”
Following Mayor Bradley’s welcome remarks, the Chairman of the National Celebrations Committee, Hon. Heredia, Jr., said, “We should not lose sight of the unsung heroes of that time… We should never forget those lessons of 1798…and we must pledge to repay it and resolve to always act in the best interest of Belize and all Belizeans.”
After the formal speeches, the crowning of the new Queen of the Bay took place. The crown was passed from last year’s Queen of the Bay, Monisha Stuart, to the, 2015-2016 winner, Falon Tiana Cain, who became the 70th Queen of the Bay.
Cain, a resident of the Stann Creek District, became the 8th person to be crowned Queen of the Bay from that district.
A cultural presentation ended the ceremony; this was followed by the citizens’ parade through the streets of the city, which ended at the Yarborough field, where more festivities took place.