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Sista Hadie Goldson memories

FeaturesSista Hadie Goldson memories

by YaYa Marin Coleman

BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 15, 2024

Aaah! Ah feel like sohnbadi punch mi eenah mi belly when I got a text early Thursday morning, May 9, from our Breddah Nuri Akbar of Belizean Rural Economic Development of Agriculture Through Alliance (B.R.E.D.A.A.), a Belizean Diaspora organization based in Los Angeles, California, about Sista Hadie Goldson’s transition to the spirit realm.

I think it was sometime last year that I called the Octavia Waight Home in San Ignacio Town to ask about Sista Hadie receiving visitors. The day on which I wanted to visit with her would have been her Earth-day, so I decided to reschedule the visit. Sis Hadie’s family was scheduled to visit with her on her Earth-day.

Den life happens … I did not follow up and visit with Sista Hadie.

In November 2007, when I was travelling to Jamaica for the first time for a University of the West Indies (UWI) graduation, I took a bus to Chetumal, then to Cancun, then flew from Cancun to Havana, then on to Kingston. As a deportee, I choose not to travel on US territory.

Anyways, at the ADO bus terminal in Chetumal, I looked around as I went to purchase my ticket, and saw an elder Black woman sitting down. I enjoy people-watching and making up stories about people. Soe, looking at how the Black woman was dressed, and her posture, my mekup story was that she was an Afrikan-American, middle-class, and confident.

We sat across the aisle from each other on the bus. Turned out she was a Belizean, and had a lot of knowledge about life in Belize. As she told me countless stories that I cannot recall, I kept thinking, “Who is this woman?” Talking with strangers when I travel is a norm for me, and we don’t usually exchange our names. I cannot recall when I found out that Sista Hadie Goldson was my travelling companion.

Lang stori shaat, we both intended to spend the night at a hotel in Cancun and fly from Cancun Airport to wherever we were going. I do recall her saying that she was travelling on a buddy pass, and that she would not do it again. Sista Hadie was very comfortable with me, and talked as if we knew each other. She already had her hotel room booked. Me, wit mi lee bag ah money, had to look fu wahn cheap hotel. Sista Hadie agreed to travel around with me at night in a taxi looking for a cheap hotel. After about 3 hotel stops in areas that looked shady, she offered for me to stay in her hotel room with her.

Well, I mi feel like I mi deh dah summah camp dah Kings College (if yo know, yo know). We stayed up most of the night chatting, and laughing away on our beds across from each other. We kept saying wi have to goh sleep, and kept on talking. The next morning, we said our goodbyes at the airport. I asked her if we could take a picture together, and she said no. Sis Hadie’s vibes at the airport were different from the vibes we had shared before. Now that we were in the public, she seemed very reserved. I remember that she liked to play Scrabble, that at that time she lived in Belmopan, and that she chose not to listen to the news. She was familiar with my name and the work I did.

Usually, I am good with following up; this time I did not. I feel bad, bad, bad … As an Afrikan/Black woman in Belize, Sista Hadie Goldson definitely has not been recognized for the woman she became, the sacrifices she made being the wife of Ancestor Philip Goldson, and the hardships she endured with their children.

One laas ting, mi adah Sista Musulai (Cynthia Pitts) told me a story about some Belizeans from the National Independence Party (NIP) going to the old airport in 1965 in Bedford trucks to greet Sista Hadie Goldson when she returned to Belize as the first woman attorney. Breddah Philip Goldson was the then leader of NIP. Musulai was 16 years old at the time and remembers Mrs. Goldson being well dressed, that she was treated like a celebrity, and some Belizeans had a big picture of her in their homes.

Mrs. Hadie Goldson was the first Black Belizean woman attorney in 1965. Lois Young was the second Black Belizean woman attorney in 1975, and Musuali/Cynthia Pitts the third Black Belizean woman attorney in 1976. Three Afrikan/Black women attorneys in the former colonized British Honduras and Belize!

Big, big respect to our Afrikan Ancestress, Sista Hadie Goldson!

Rest in Power, Sista Hadie Goldson! You will be remembered!

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