Today is the 95th birthday anniversary of the Father of the nation, George Cadle Price and to commemorate the occasion, the People’s United Party is keeping his legacy alive with the launching of its Social Justice Agenda. This new revolution of vision and work are grounded in the principles of social justice and the first step was taken today in achieving Mr. Price’s vision. Our news team was in Belize City today to capture the occasion and filed the following report.
Maria Novelo – Reporting
On January 15th, 1919 In Belize City, a baby boy was born to William and Irene Née Escalante Price who was named George Cadle Price. He received his early schooling at Holy Redeemer and completed his education at St. John's College High School. While there, he was exposed to the teachings of Catholic Social Justice.
Upon graduating, young Price felt the call for priesthood and he went to study abroad, first attending the Saint Augustine's Minor Seminary in Mississippi, USA and later the Mayor Seminario Conciliar in Guatemala City. The raging war in Europe prevented him from completing his studies in Rome and instead, George Price returned to Belize. He was hired by local businessman Robert Sidney Turton as his private secretary. He also rallied a few SJC graduates, some of them later members of the PUP, to contest elections in 1944 and 1947 for the local Town Board, being successful in 1947. Price also contributed to the Belize Billboard, headed then by the late Phillip Goldson.
In 1950, upon forming the People's Committee, Price was named the Assistant Secretary, and in a famous speech later that year claimed that "National Unity" propelled the PC's actions. With the formation of the PUP, Price's stature rose and he ascended through the party ranks until he became Party Leader following a leadership dispute in 1956. Elected to the colony's Legislative Council in 1954, he also served as mayor of Belize City from 1956 to 1962.
In 1956, Price became also Party Leader of the PUP. As First Minister, a post he held since 1961, he led the team which began negotiations over independence with Great Britain. He maintained that post as Premier in 1964. In 1981 Belize gained its Independence, and Price served as the country’s first Prime Minister and Foreign Minister until 1984. In October 1996 he announced his resignation as party leader, and on November 10, 1996 was formally succeeded by Said Musa.
In September 2000, Price became the first person to receive Belize's highest honor, the Order of National Hero, for the prominent role he played in leading his country to Independence. He has received similar honors in other Caribbean and Central American countries. In 1982, he was made a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.
Eleven years after receiving the highest honor in Belize as the National Hero, and with just two days before celebrating the countries 30th anniversary, on September 19th 2011, the entire country mourned the death of the National Hero Rt. Hon. Gorge Cadle Price. On September 26th, 2011, a State Funeral was held and George Price was laid to rest at the Lord's Ridge Cemetery in Belize City at the age of 92.
Today, January 15th, 2014 the entire country once again remembers the late Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price on his 95th birthday.
The ten points of social justice principles and objectives include: the eradication of poverty, universal access to free quality education, quality health care, growing economy with new jobs, new industries, new investments and new opportunities for the entire nation, among others.
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