Happy Independence Day! ‘A nation alive, a people with pride. Belize at 25.'

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English-speaking Belize dances to its own rhythms

By CYNTHIA CAMPBELL
Travel editor
Published: Sep 3, 2006




Snuggled between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize celebrates the 25th anniversary of its independence throughout September with parades, pageants, music and food.

English-speaking Belize gained its independence from Great Britain on Sept. 21, 1982. Since then, the country had developed into a place where multi-ethnic groups, including Creole, Maya, Mestizo and Garifuna (African-Carib Indian) create a culturally dynamic nation.

Traditionally, celebration activities center in and around Belize City, the country’s social and financial hub. But smaller events are held throughout the country. Visitors are invited to join the fun at karaoke competitions, fishing tournaments, fireworks displays, arts and crafts exhibitions, basketball tournaments and cultural dance performances.

Special events include Carnival in Belize City on Sept. 9, featuring a massive street parade with participants in elaborate costumes. Independence Day, Sept. 21, brings the biggest bash of all with another colorful parade. Live music concerts add the rhythms of Punta, reggae and soca music. Festivities also feature Belizean cuisine, motorcades and block parties.

Up-to-date schedules are available on a special Web site: http://www.septembercelebrations.com. The country is a two-hour plane ride from the continental United States. To find more information and make travel plans, contact http://www.travelbelize.org or call (800) 624-0686.
 

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Ch 7:

Zenaida Wants Students to March on Tenth Day

And while City Hall is hammering things out with sanitation contractors and the BTB, it had no such luck with the Ministry of Education. On August 28, Moya wrote Chief Education Officer Maud Hyde asking her to order primary school children from standards four to six to march on the Tenth Parade.

Yesterday, one week later, Hyde wrote back, telling Mayor Moya, that, "due to the rigors associated with parading, traditionally only high schools participate." Hyde goes on to explain that because school management and parents would have to be consulted, there just wasn't enough time to, "raise the discussion."

Well City Hall was none too pleased with that reaction and issued a release yesterday saying that it is disappointed at the ministry taking a decision that it feels, undermined the spirit of the celebrations.
 

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Ch 7:

Let The Celebrating Begin...


On Friday night, the September celebrations officially opened with a ceremony at the bliss parking lot on Regent Street. It was a mixture of official-dom and cultural gala. Watch the cultural elements, that started the celebration season off on a definite theme of diversity

Watch the video on demand!
 

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Ch 7:

The Deer Dance Comes to Town




As part of the opening ceremonies to the Jades of Belize Exhibit a dance group from Otosha Village was invited to take part. They depicted a centuries old performance of the deer dance. Outside of the Toledo District it's almost as if this dance had never existed but now thanks to funding from the CARD Project, BTB and NICH what had once been reserved for very few eyes made its way into Belize City. It's a significant move for the Maya culture and Greg Choc says it's one they intend to build on.

Greg Choc,
"We have always been practicing this and one of the challenges we have had is, we don't have any costumes here. We have to rent them in Guatemala. It is costly and the village of Otaxha has always performed it and that initiative led to they approaching CARD. CARD is a project of the government of Belize to fund the procurement of the costumes.

I felt that it wasn't only about procuring a costume. I wanted it to be the revitalization of a culture. We need to begin to think innovatively, how can we continue to practice our culture, our dances without commercializing it, without undervaluing it sacredness to us.

What we are trying to do is come up with a plan where we can practice and try to build a sustainability within the practice of the culture where we can procure and pay expenses that we will incur in terms of traveling, food, and transportation for performers."

The costumes for the deer dance were secured through funding from CARD and the BTB. Choc says there are at least 6 dances for which similar costumes are required and for which there is works underway to get.
 

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Ch 5:

Creole festival highlights preservation of culture

The Garinagu have November nineteenth, Mestizos October twelfth and--without an official designation--September tenth has been the traditional time for the Creole to shine. Today, the National Kriol Council rallied its people around a proud culture.

These boys and girls may have gotten a bit confused trying to recreate a tradition of their grandparents ... but eventually the maypole was properly plaited.

The game is just one of the fun activities held to promote the Creole Culture at the festival hosted on the grounds of the House of Culture. National Kriol Council president Myrna Manzanares says that at this time as we reflect on just how far Belize has come as an independent nation we should not forget to focus on the ethnic groups that helped make us who we are today ... that’s why the National Kriol Council is also advocating to the observance of a day in their honour.

Myrna Manzanares, President, National Kriol Council
“Belizeans have to know that and have to understand that every culture has there input but we have been the significant and a large part of the development. So we have to got a Creole Day. The Garinagu’s came after, they have the nineteenth and the people pushed for it, and we are not taking anything away from them. Consequently the Belize Creole who have been here for so long it is important they have their own day. We have the foods. A lot of different types of food. The rice and beans, the Belizean dish not only the Creole dish. It has come to be the Belizean dish. We have crab soup, we have fudge, tablata, cotobrut and different things like that.”

Much activity has taken place to promote the Creole Culture but it has been an ongoing struggle to achieve.

Myrna Manzanares
“It has been a very big struggle. The reason why we have the outcome of people out here today and the last two years was because of the support of NICH, who assisted with having the infrastructure.”
 

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Ch 5:

Southside revellers countdown to road march

The competition is definitely on ... following our broadcast of carnival bands from the north side of Belize City preparing for the road march on Saturday, last night south side camps were determined to try and steal the show.

Ava Lovell, Reporting
“You were missing from the carnival last year Nadia, why was that?”

Nadia Avila, Band Leader, Mahogany Masqueraders
“Well what happen, due to financial constraint the band wasn’t able to come out, and I had my daughter going into fourth form, so I decided to take a break. But this year the kids—it’s a demand for the kids in the Lake Independence area, so I had to accommodate them with this year.”

“We are coming out with something very symbolic for this year. This is twenty-five years of independence and I am trying to go with the theme for this year. We are depicting symbols, symbols of Belize. Belize at twenty-five strong and alive in a beautiful array of colours for carnival.”

“We are coming out in full force; we are coming out there to have fun, that’s our main objective to have fun. Whatever comes out at the end of the day, we’ll be happy.”

Ava Lovell
“Miss Marina, this year makes how many years for Jump Street Posse?”

Marina Welcome, Band Leader, Jump Street Posse
“Twenty-four years.”

Ava Lovell
“Twenty-four years, wow. I know people keep complaining about sponsorship. Why do you keep coming back every year even though I know it’s difficult to get sponsorship, why do you keep coming back?”

Marina Welcome
“For the sake of the kids, so that they don’t stay out there and be on drugs, being molested by adults, it’s just for the kids’ sake.”

“This year I think I went a little bit extravagant. Even though no money noh deh I went a little bit extravagant and what we are doing is just fantasize with the wildlife. You have bambino the two-headed dragon and that will be represented by the national flag of Belize, patriotism to our prime minister and behind that we have some warriors protecting the jungle. Then you go a little deeper into the jungle and you come about with Raven the butterfly and with Raven you meet some birds and butterflies and a lot of things flapping around in the wilderness and when you go a little bit deeper you will come to Rose Marie, the bird of paradise. If you catch that bird it will give you a wish.”

Ava Lovell
“We have been hearing a lot about the Yabra Hawaiians. We know this is a new group and what can we expect from this group?”

Lisa, Band Leader, Yabra Hawaiians
“Well you can expect some fun because everything people were talking about the Yabra area is just the crime, so we try and do something good about Yabra. So they could expect some fun, enjoyment for the September celebrations.”

Ava Lovell
“So how long have you guys been preparing?”

Lisa
“Ooh short, we never had enough time, but we did it, we did it anyway. We have about two months, two and a half months we do, but a lot of hard work. With five ladies we get it done.”

Keisha Alvarez, Co-Band Leader, Fantezhia Mass Band
“I start about a month now.”

Ava Lovell
“Just one month?”

Keisha Alvarez
“Just a month now because we got finance late from sponsorship and everything. Mass improvement this year. Lot of hard work, as you can see we’re finishing up last touches and everything, but expect a lot from us this year. Our independence is coming up, so we have to make our country proud and show them that we love our country, so we are dealing with the independence for this year.”

Ava Lovell
“How many members are in the group?”

Keisha Alvarez
“I’m catering for sixty this year.”

Ava Lovell
“And the age range?”

Keisha Alvarez
“From sixteen up, so you could come dance too. Everybody should come out and watch the bands, the different bands and don’t let anything stop them because it’s a family event. It’s a lot of colours, a lot of hard work we put into it, so we really appreciate if people come out and just support. Come and enjoy themselves also because they can jump in dance.”
 

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Love FM:

BELIZE PREPARES FOR VISIT OF HONORABLE P.J.PATTERSON
September 09, 2006

The Belize Chamber of Commerce is making preparations for the visit of former Jamaican Prime Minister, P J Patterson. Patterson will be in Belize as part of the celebration of Belize’s 25 anniversary of Independence. We spoke to Dionne Miranda about this.



DIONNE MIRANDA, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted us and asked if the Private Sector would like to host a luncheon with them so that they could get a chance to meet with him. And of course we agreed based on the fact that he has been very instrumental in Belize’s past even helping to write our constitution as well as being an advocate for CSME which is the direction that all of us as Caribbean countries must join together and work in terms of trade and other initiatives so that we may be as strong as the rest of the world while it is globalizing so we’re honored that Honorable PJ Patterson will be joining us and the Belizean private sector for lunch next week Thursday, but we’re also appealing to the business sector for them to come out and be a part of this event. It’s going to be very important, he is going to talk to us more about the CSME and the movement and what we need to do to mobilize ourselves but at the same time, it is historic that we will actually have him within our presence. HE was one of the leaders for Jamaica, he won three consecutive elections and that is a record for Jamaica, he’s a man of the people and he is somebody that is very important and very instrumental to the future of the Caribbean.”


The luncheon will be held at the Old Belize Conference Facility. A contribution of 75 dollars is being asked to offset the cost of the expenses. Proceeds will be donated to Youth Business Trust Belize. People who are interested in being a part of the event are asked to confirm their attendance by calling the Chamber at 2-2-7-3-1-4-8 no later than September 12. Seating is limited to 150 people.
 

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Ch 7:

Pomp and Circumstance of Tenth Day

And while the carnival had all the sex, flash and splash of the holiday weekend, the history and ceremony was reserved for the Tenth - which, this year, was celebrated on Monday the eleventh. Our news team was all over the ceremony and the festivities, and we begin with the ceremony.

Jules Vasquez Reporting,
The morning started with the Governor General as Head of State inspecting a BDF guard of honor as the army band played a song that would echo many, many times throughout the morning. After the soldiers marched off, the ceremony commenced with Mayor Zenaida Moya. She discussed the ongoing battle over the Tenth

Zenaida Moya, Mayor of Belize City
"More than one hundred years after the first commemoration of the centenary, we are faced with yet another battle against those who seek to undermine the significance of this momentous occasion. It is heartwarming to note however that just as our forefathers who occupied this land in 1798 made the decision to fight rather than flee the settlement, so are Belizeans, demonstrating by the thousands around this country today the determination to defend and preserve against all odds, the memory of the Battle of St. George's Caye. To this I say Hip Hip Hooray!"

By the end of the day, her words would prove prophetic, but before that the Chairman of the September Celebrations Committee, Tourism Minister Godfrey Smith spoke about the mixed feelings over the Tenth.

Hon. Godfrey Smith, September Celebrations Chairman
"The Battle of St. George's Caye evokes mixed feelings in Belize, primarily because of the twin factors of colonialism and slavery existing at that time. But clearly the slaves could have deserted to the Spanish, if they so wished, or they could have mounted a revolt once they had been armed by the British Baymen. Instead, history records that they fought alongside the Baymen.

The slaves had clearly determined that not withstanding their condition of slavery, they preferred to fight off the Spanish to maintain the life they and thief families had come to know in what was now their new homeland Belize. Viewed from such a historical perspective, we might therefore be obliged to recognize them as Belize's first patriots. Their decision to stay and defend the settlement has helped to give us the Belize we know today."

After that the Queen of the Bay was installed, with the installation declaration read by Vernon Cuthkelvin in full Tenth regalia.

Vernon Cuthkelvin,
[Reading] "Hear ye, hear ye citizens of this jewel, Belizeans all, whereas the reigning Queen of the Bay, Carrie Emerald Wong K, the charming, having decided to relinquish her throne and lay down the crown and scepter of the bay."

Carrie Crowing Shanine Ottley

Of course, that wasn't the end of the day - after that, the citizens parade was held with the participation of the PUP in an official capacity, the first time that has happened in many years. Due to time constraints we'll have that for you in tomorrow night's news when we'll also show you the phenomenal resurgence of the Tenth jump up.
 

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Ch 7:

Resurgence of the Tenth

Last night we showed you the official ceremonies from the Tenth of September official ceremony, which this year was held on Monday the eleventh. Well after that, it was unto the streets for the citizens parade but not before the UDP and the PUP could jostle a little over who would march first. As the party in government, the PUP leadership wanted to be first, but the UDP, as the party with the spiritual lineage to the loyal and patriotic order of the Baymen, insisted that it had digs on the first spot. The UDP eventually moved into that position and took the lead. We pick it up after that.

Jules Vasquez Reporting,
From there it was on to the streets where after some jostling with the PUP, the UDP took the lead in the parade and made a spirited showing when we caught them at the bridge foot, where municipal and national leaders were flanked shoulder to shoulder.

And while the UDP was waving flags and singing, the PUP leadership - marching in the Tenth parade for the first time, possibly in 20 years - seemed somber and joyless, certainly uncomfortable on this unfamiliar ground, even though they did bring support and snappy-looking shirts.

We next caught up with the parade at Albert Street where Barrow's UDP was still in confident stride. But on the PUP leadership side, the numbers had waned, and the only ones left were south side Ministers Cordel Hyde and Mark Espat

And putting their imprint al over this one, UDP political figures also entered floats in the parade,

And while religious leaders, scouts, drumming troupes, beauty queens, young and old, musclemen, and some notable patriots with their flags, joined a few scattered well-meaning but low intensity jump-up crews...and we thought that was the end of it, a respectable parade, by no means spectacular, and a far ways off from the heyday of the Tenth.

But creeping up; 10 minutes behind, was the proof that the Tenth is alive, its spirit animated by Kenny Gladden with New Creation Band. And it was with that, rags and flags and rolling sea of Belizeans of different colors, ages, and backgrounds massed together, one and a half solid city blocks strong under one flag and with one spirit, jumping and waving in jubilation and abandon, a scene that the Albert's had not witnessed in over two decades, one city under a Tenth of September groove.

The September celebrations continue tonight with the Tribute to Belizean Patriots at the Bliss Center. 25 outstanding Belizeans will be honored while Assad Shoman and Meg Craig will be conferred with the Order of Belize.
 

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BELIZE ARCHIVES DEPARTMENT MOUNTS EXHIBITION DEPICTING BELIZE'S INDEPENDENCE
September 13, 2006

The Belize Archives Department will be mounting an exhibition at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. Love news spoke with Acting Assistant Chief Archivist Kevin Montero.

Kevin Montero: Acting Assistant Chief Archivist

“Basically what the exhibition is about it is broken down into three phases, the first part in basically highlights leading up to the twenty first September 1981 then the second will be on the actual day of Independence on the twenty first 1981. And then from that the major part of the exhibition will be twenty five years of Independence from 1981 to present., it’s basically a pictorial exhibition highlighting the different developments that have occurred in Belize during that time. There is no cost to view the exhibition and this is going to be displayed at the George Price Center, we are working along with the George Price Center and they are also sending out letters and invitations to schools in the surrounding villages and in Belmopan inviting them to view the exhibition and also it is open to the public so if any body is interested in viewing the exhibition they are welcome to visit it at the George Price Center starting tomorrow.”

Kevin Montero, Acting Assistant Chief Archivist. The exhibition begins tomorrow and runs up until September 29.
 

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Pres. Bush congratulate Belize

Messages of Congratulations to Belize on its 25th Independence Anniversary

Belmopan - 15 September, 2006
As Belize’s 25th Independence Anniversary approaches, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa has been receiving a stream of letters from Heads of Government or State congratulating Belize on its twenty-five years of Independence.

In a letter dated 11 September 2006 and addressed to Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Said Musa, President George W. Bush of the United States of America congratulated Belize on its Independence Day.

President Bush remarked that both countries have been cooperating in order to ensure a more secure, democratic and prosperous hemisphere.

Vice-President of Cuba, His Excellency, Raul Castro, in a correspondence dated 12 September 2006, wrote to Prime Minister Said Musa expressing his warmest congratulations to the people of Belize. Vice President Castro spoke of the hope to continue strengthening the relations between the Republic of Cuba and Belize.

Finally, the President of the Republic of France, H.E. Jacques Chirac, in a letter also dated 12 September 2006, and addressed to Prime Minister Musa, conveyed his heartfelt congratulations to the people of Belize on their 25th Anniversary. President Chirac described the relations between France and Belize as ‘trustful and friendly’ and spoke of his wish that the relations only grow stronger.

Messages have also been received from Guatemala as well as from CARICOM countries.
 

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Ch 5:

Independence Day ceremonies move back to Bz. City

This year the official Independence Day ceremonies return to the Memorial Park in Belize City. According to Celebrations Committee public relations officer Daedra Haylock, the occasion marking Belize's twenty-fifth birthday will see the People's United Party and United Democratic Party displaying a spirit of unity.

Daedra Haylock, Public Relations Officer, September Celebrations Committee
“We are happy that both the government and the United Democratic Party will be participating in the parade this year. We saw that for the tenth, and I think that it was a welcomed addition and a welcomed change and putting it back to what people expect it to be. So we want people to come out and attend the official ceremonies, participate in the official parade.”

“After that we are making another return to what was tradition and putting the bram back on Albert and Regent Streets. Our security forces have joined support with us and are providing the necessary security for downtown, so that everybody can have a safe festivity.”

“Also we want the people to know that we will be having two fireworks this year. We had international private sector donation and local donations and we will be having a firework at nine o’ clock and that’s primarily for those who do not want their children to be out too late at night to have the benefit of the children seeing the fireworks, and that is the highlight for children. We are also having the midnight fireworks, which is tradition for Belize and to bring in our twenty-first celebrations and our twenty-fifth anniversary this year.”

The official ceremony for on the twenty-first day gets underway at nine in the morning at the Memorial Park. A number of visiting dignitaries will be attending the event that will include addresses from both Prime Minister Said Musa and Leader of the Opposition Dean Barrow.
 

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Ch 5:

Traffic control will be tight on 20th, 21st

If you have plans to go to the Memorial Park to attend the September twenty-first official ceremony or watch the fireworks display, please be advised that security and traffic control will be very tight. Today the Police Department informed News Five that there will be only one main entry and exit into the area but there will be at least sixty officers on duty to direct motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to their designated locations. According to Traffic Department head, A.S.P. Aaron Guzman, the operation takes effect from five thirty on the evening of September twentieth.

A.S.P. Aaron Guzman, O.C. Traffic Department
“Vehicles won’t be allowed to park on South Park Street that is the street between the Memorial Park and Chateau Caribbean. No parking will be allowed from the corner of Cork Street, which is in front of the Radisson and the sea to North Park Street, and that is the street you use to go to the Mexican Embassy. That will be left for V.I.P.’s parking and people who want to see the fireworks will be allowed to stay in front of Chateau Caribbean Hotel all the way down to Baron Bliss lighthouse. They will be a break from the Chateau Caribbean to the North Park Street and the sea for the V.I.P. area, and from that area going north towards the princess or Central Bank Area people can stay and park out there and watch the fireworks.”

“For the morning of the twenty-first, starting at five a.m. we will control traffic from a further point, which is the corner of Queen and North Front Street. You will not be allowed a regular trip to go in that area there. If you live in the area, if you have a business in the area, if you are an important or invited guest you will be allowed to go in the area. If you are a guest of the Radisson or the Chateau Caribbean Hotel you will be allowed to go in there. But traffic will be controlled because we have the presidential visit.”

The best thing you can do is exercise some patience and simply follow police instructions to avoid any problems. According to the authorities, they will also be keeping an eye on parked vehicles so families can enjoy the activities without fear of theft.
 

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Ch 7:

Princes of Dancehall Arrive for Independence Eve Concert

At midnight tomorrow Belize turns 25. Most will watch the fireworks and leave the celebrating for Thursday. But we hazard a guess that several thousand Belizeans will spend the early hours of their Independence Day at the City Center for the what promoters are calling the sequel to February's Reggae Fest. Keith Swift was at the airport to find out what big name artists will be spending Independence Day with us.

Keith Swift Reporting,
This morning the reggae quartet "TOK" along with their band "303" arrived in Belize via this American Airlines flight from Miami. One half of the collective, Flex and Craig T were the first off the plane and they were met by concert promoter Edith Tesecum. But this year there would be no VIP Room. Flex and Craig T along with Alex and Ray C had to, like any other passenger, take the long walk to immigration and customs.

Half hour later they emerged. It wasn't a VIP welcome but it was official as Her Worship the Mayors of Belize City Zenaida Moya was on hand and she did the official welcome in the airport parking lot.

Zenaida Moya, Mayor of Belize City
"I would just like to welcome all of you guys to Belize City. I hope you have a very pleasant stay. Belizeans are very hospitable and definitely we will ensure that you are well taken care of and we are looking forward to hearing all of you at the concert and I know Belizeans will be there."

And to make sure Mayor Moya shows up, she was given a private preview.

This is TOK's second trip to Belize. The first was a couple years ago. The group says they are happy to be back.

Keith Swift,
How does it feel to be back in Belize?

Craig T, Member of TOK
"Good. We love Belize, we love the ladies in Belize."

It is obvious the energy and enthusiasm of the foursome hasn't changed but Flex says some things have changed. One is that the group has gone from singing about "burning down chi chi man" to more socially conscious tunes.

Keith Swift,
How has the group changed since the last time you were here?

Flex, Member of TOK
"Well some of us hair got longer and some of us just have none…[laughs.] But at the same time we have just basically grown as song writers and as artists and you will see it at the performance."

Keith Swift,
But the last time you guys were singing about Chi Chi Man. What has changed?

Flex,
"We don't sing about 'chi chi man.' We did a song and that was that. It is not like we made our career off of that thing. But if you notice, we are doing a lot of one drop and a lot of songs with messages these days because at the same time, eventhough you come to enjoy yourself, we have to still leave a message for the people them to work with."

TOK will share the stage tomorrow night with Tony Matterhorn. He needs no introduction. You can simply call him "Mr. Fully Loaded." This is Tony Matterhorn's second trip to Belize. You wouldn't know it by looking at him casually sitting down and having a smoke but Tony is currently riding the wave of an international dance phenomenon he created with his 'Dutty Wine.' We actually met him at the airport waiting on TOK since he arrived on an earlier flight through Central America.

Tony Matterhorn, Reggae DJ
"What can I say? Dutty Wine has the ladies around the world just dancing and the ladies need to get back involved with the dancehall so we just took our liberties and did the song and everybody just got back involved."

Keith Swift,
So what to expect tomorrow night?

Tony Matterhorn,
"Well as I said, it is festival time, carnival time, bacchanal, anniversary, and independence in one so you just come out to party. The family can come out, the can bring his wife, and just come out and enjoy themselves and this is what we call a long weekend. So Belize this is your official long weekend. We are going to start the party from tonight, then tomorrow night, and the next night straight into independence and the day after independence."

Keith Swift,
Well that is when we have to go back to work.

Tony Matterhorn,
"Yeah we have to go back to work Friday so some of the people who have a hang over and won't go to work, call in sick." [Laughs]

Reggae crooner Anthony B and female DJ Macka Bee are also scheduled to perform. They arrive tomorrow. If you are wondering, the VIP Room was unavailable for TOK because it was already booked out to dignitaries arriving for Independence Day activities.
 

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Ch 5:

New stamps issued for 25th anniversary

The Belize Post Office has released a set of stamps to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Belize's independence. Making history as the first living Belizean to be featured on the country's postage is Father of the Nation George Price, whose image appears on a twenty-five cent stamp. The five-piece set also includes a thirty cent stamp depicting the four national symbols of Belize; a sixty cent stamp with the map of Belize; a one dollar stamp portraying Belize's 1981 independence logo; and a five dollar stamp displaying the original constitution of Belize. All the stamps and first day covers are available for sale to collectors and consumers at post offices countrywide.

 
N

Nikki

Guest

who the rass you think you are? So what if she is living and helping the American army? She is getting a scholarship for the participation.
 

belizean

Admin
Staff member
Listening to the fireworks broadcast on Krem live right now! Happy Independence Day Belizeans!!!! :beerchug :drunk :drunk
 
N

Nikki

Guest
Yes, that's why me vex.. I mean if she is going to benefit from it, I think it's ok... But don't make it seem like because she is with the army it's something wrong with that.
 
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