Screen_Shot_2016-09-12_at_7.58.00_PMOn Saturday Belizeans across the country celebrated the 218th Battle of Saint George’s Caye Day. While some stayed home and made much of the holiday others decided to take part in the celebration by viewing the parade or taking part in the ceremonies.

Here in Orange Walk the festivities for the Battle of Saint Georges Caye kicked off with a block party on the 9th followed by a special ceremony on the 10th organized by the Orange walk Town Council to mark the historic Battle of St. George's Caye. We must note that since they took office back in 2012 the town council, under the stewardship of Mayor Kevin Bernard, has honored the patriotic day deemed as a UDP festivity by many. But for Mayor Bernard the day has nothing to do with it being a PUP or UDP holiday, it is about honoring what our four-fathers fought for.

The ceremony held at the Central Park commenced with the inspection of the guard carried out by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Elodio Aragon Junior. Immediately after, Mayor Kevin Bernard delivered his speech in the presence of the Ambassador from the Republic of China in Taiwan, H.E Benjamin Ho, members of the Orange Walk Town Council and other invited guests.

During his speech, the Mayor called on all Belizeans to set all differences aside and unite as they celebrate another year of Independence.

kevin-bernardKevin Bernard – Mayor, Orange Walk Town

“September is for all of us, as Belize is for all of us, it is not solely for the government or for the opposition or for politicians or for the rich or for the church going or anybody for a particular station, believe or affiliation.  At this specific time in our history the Jewel faces great challenges, we hear it on the news daily see it on the social media and more than that we live it and feel it every single day. There are matters such as the now infamous Section 53 ruling, matter of governance, poverty and politics; we are of people divided along these various lines ironically the only way in which we can ever realistically address these challenges and maybe fix them is if we unite.  We must unite my people, I wish we could learn the lesson of the men who stood shoulder to shoulder so long ago station and believe completely set aside in a battle for our very land. As we celebrate the glory of being Belizean and as we prepare to celebrate our Independence in pride in being a sovereign nation, let us commit to doing much more than drinking and making merry and waving flags and wearing shirts to claiming how united we are, let us celebrate Belize by putting our differences aside and by standing together and strong against tissues that affect every single one of us in one way or the other, let us stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand against matters which divide us as a people, let us be proud Belizeans not in words but in deeds.  I welcome you all my friends and let us do our part to ensure that as Belizeans we will remain sovereign and strong and commit to stand together as one.”

Minister Aragon also took the podium underlining the importance of living in harmony.

Elodio Aragon Jr. – Minister of Agriculture, Youth and Sports

“Our forefathers who have come and gone before us have done their share it is up to us to do our part, we as a people, as a group as an individual, must instill in our minds and our hearts the burning desire to do our part in the construction of a great Belize, a Belize that abides by democracy, upholds freedoms, engenders respect for one another and keeps faith in one God , let us understand and accept that as a people we will have differences in opinions, judgements and choices but let us not forgo that there are a lot of common causes for which we need to unite so that together we can achieve great things for our country of Belize.  Like the Bay men who set out to meet the Spaniards to battle with them to safe Belize, we too must unite when common causes urge us to unite for a better Belize.  To you who are here with us, I say we have come a long way in building the nation of Belize but we have a much longer way to go, let us never forget that we are one people, one nation under one almighty God.”

The ceremony concluded shortly after 4:00 in the evening leaving Orange Walkenos to enjoy live music and entertainment by the Gilharry 7 Band.

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