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Ex-Services League hosts 100th birthday celebration for World War II veteran, Rudolph Astar Middleton

HighlightsEx-Services League hosts 100th birthday celebration for World War II veteran, Rudolph Astar Middleton

by Ya Ya Marin Coleman

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 29, 2024

Afrikan racialized as Black, Belizean World War II veteran Breddah Rudolph Astar Middleton’s 100th birthday celebration was hosted by the Belize Ex-Services League on Wednesday morning, February 28, 2024 at the Ex-Services building on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. The usual public actors, veterans, family, and friends mek sure dehn tell Breddah Rudy how much his life mattered, and recounted their connections with him. Breddah Rudolph was given a certificate of appreciation by the Belize Ex-Services League.

Breddah Rudolph was the youngest of his parents’, Jane and Percy Middleton, 3 children. He was born in the Cayo District, and moved to Belize City when he was 2 years old with his parents. Wanting very much to please their parents, the 3 children went from home to school, and school to home. No wandering about like some other children did.

Back then, girls and women wore dresses to their knees with a skirt under their dress; they got more respect, and parents talked with them. The boys wore short pants until after they finished school; then they wore long pants. Many tailors were in Belize City at that time. Back then, things were cheap, parents bought cloth and clothes were sewn. It was common for boys to learn a trade. 

Fu mek wahn lang story short, Breddah Rudy joined the British Honduras Battalion of over 1,000 men when he was 18 years old in 1942. World War II was from September 1, 1939 to September 2, 1945.  He said “the training was rough, but I stood up to it all.” From the time Breddah Rudolph Astar Middleton Reg. #17182 enlisted until the war was over, he had gone to Cayo and Stann Creek for training, travelled to Jamaica, West Virginia/USA, Iran, Italy, and Egypt.

Breddah Rudolph was “blade up” fu i 100th Birthday. He walks slower now, flashed his beautiful smile, did several interviews, laughed a lot, engaged people in conversations, took pictures, cud give some good good stories ‘bout his life; and yes, his knees ache sometimes.

Breddah Rudolph believes that one of the reasons he lived so long is because of the way his mother raised them. One of his 100th birthday wishes is to have the plot of land that was given to war veterans located by the Coastal Road to be cleared. 

(Note: I accessed * The Veterans Magazine Vol. 1 No. 1, November 2000, A Journal of the Belize Ex-Services League, pages 17 & 29, as an additional source of information about Breddah Rudolph Middleton.)

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