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“A Nation Proud and Free: Belize @ 43”

Headline“A Nation Proud and Free: Belize @ 43”

Photo: David Watson

Musician David Watson of San Pedro Village, Corozal District, submitted this year’s September Celebrations theme.

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 5, 2024

Out of an estimated 600 submissions which were reviewed by the National Celebrations Commission during a theme competition that was held to select the theme of this year’s September Celebrations, a submission from musician David Watson of San Pedro Village, Corozal District, was chosen. The winning theme is, “A Nation Proud and Free: Belize @43.”

“Di day I see ih pop up pahn Facebook dat dey accepting submissions, so I jus seh let me give it a try, and I came out di winna,” Watson told Amandala. “Dis da mi wahn first take. ih just come to mi mind wen I staat fu tink bout our country, and da di fus ting weh come to my mind, and da weh I submit,” Watson added.

This year’s theme was unveiled on Wednesday, June 5, at the House of Culture in Belize City by Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, and Rigo Vellos, Mayor of Corozal Town.

“This year’s theme encapsulates the essence of what it means to be Belizean in 2024. It speaks of our pride in our heritage, in our unwavering spirit of freedom; a collective commitment to the values that define us as a nation. Our theme this year will be a powerful reminder of the strength we derive from the diversity and richness of our culture’s enduring spirit of independence that binds us together as a nation,” said Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City, in his remarks.

“You can’t go wrong with ‘A Nation Proud and Free, Belize @ 43’. So, you know, very often people say every year the theme songs are similar, their variations; and that might be true. But I think the theme resonated with the National Celebrations Commission. They wanted to highlight that we are 43, still a young nation, but we are a proud people. We are a free country, a democratic country. So, I think that inspired the selection of this year’s theme,” said Minister Fonseca.

To be exact, there were 615 theme submissions, which is a record for the National Celebrations Commission. The youngest to submit was 11 years old, with the oldest being 78 years old; and there were submissions from 155 students from schools across the country.

Watson received a $1,000 BZE prize for his winning submission.

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