Eulogy for Lewin Moguel - Missa Mogs (1939 -2018) Print E-mail
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Thursday, 18 January 2018 00:00

July 1st, 1939 was a momentous day in the life of Lewin and Juanita Moguel. This couple gave birth to a wonderful baby boy named Lewin Brandford Moguel, who would later leave a distinctive impression on the minds and lives of many Belizeans.

Lewin Brandford Moguel, better known to all of us here today as Lewin or Missa Mogs, paved the way for many young Belizeans; as I am sure all in attendance here today can attest to. Each of us have a momento to carry in our heart about Mr. Moguel, or Missa Mogs as he was affectionately known.

Let’s take a brief trip down memory lane in the life of a man who took on the roles of son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great grand-father, godfather, mentor, teacher, friend, administrator, political activist, community advocate, justice of the peace, and so much more.

1953 was the coming of age for Lewin because at that time he completed his primary school education at Saint Mary’s Primary School and transitioned to Technical High School.  He was among the second set of students competitively selected from across the country to attend the then “Technical High School”, located on Freetown Road in Belize City. “Technical”, as it was affectionately known, was the first and only high school in Belize managed by the Government of Belize.

Technical opened its doors for the first time on January 4, 1952. At that time, its first intake of students included Dr. Khenric Leslie (Director of the Caricom Community Climate Change Center (5 C’s) located in Belmopan.

Technical, in reality, was a window into the future for Belize. Technical was specially equipped with science laboratories in Physics, Chemistry and Biology; and the embryonic stages for technical and engineering workshops in electrical and mechanical engineering. Provision was also made for the Arts, History and literature.

Missa Mogs class of 1953 consisted of twenty-eight boys. Lewin was, therefore, one of those fortunate primary school students to be accepted into Technical High School from which he later graduated in 1956. He was also a member of the football team, and played alongside Dr. Kenric Leslie and the late Victor Lewis who was the team’s full back.

At that time, “Technical” football team was one of the most admired high school football teams in Belize City.

1957 saw the beginning of Lewin’s (Missa Mogs) professional career when he was selected by the Public Works Department in a three-year apprenticeship program.  He was assigned to the mechanical section of the department where he remained for the duration of the training period. After that, he was promoted to Journeyman Mechanic, which qualified him to diagnose and repair the department’s machines and equipment all by himself.

Although they were all friends from Technical, during that apprenticeship period, a life-long bond of friendship developed between himself and two more of his fellow apprentices, Harold Williams, known as Willey and Gilbert Paul, known as Gilly P. That friendship has endured for the last sixty years. Whenever you saw one of them, the other two were never far away. So much so, that they were sometimes referred to as “The Three Musketeers”. Lewin’s early years and the enduring friendships contributed in a significant way in molding him into becoming the “Mr. Mogs whom all of us came to know and loved.

In the early 50’s, Lewin was one of the Scout Leaders at Saint Mary’s School, who contributed in molding the lives of many primary school age boys, including myself. I can recall scouting outdoor activities including campfires, marching drills, and learning to tie various knots. As a senior Scout Leader, Lewin volunteered in the clean-up and rehabilitation campaign in Corozal following the devastation of the 1955 Hurricane Janet.

From Technical High school, which became the Belize Technical College, Lewin was awarded a scholarship to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was there in Calgary while I was attending the University of Calgary that our friendship continued to blossom subsequent to the scouting experiences at Saint Mary’s School. Our friendship has been so close that to their six-siblings I am Uncle Henry.

After successfully completing the Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, Lewin returned to Belize to teach at his Alma Mater for some 12 years. He briefly worked at the Water and Sewerage Authority, but returned to “Technical” (Belize Technical College). Lewin (Missa Mogs) became the Head of the Engineering Department, until his retirement from the Public Service.

His passion for teaching was evident in how he was viewed by his students. They said of him, that as a teacher, he was firm but fair and humane. He displayed patience, tolerance, understanding, and genuinely wanted to help his students. He was involved in all aspects of the college life, mentoring, teaching, actively promoting sports or other social events. He was an integral part of the heart and soul of the Belize Technical College.

Lewin Moguel was a Political Activist with a social conscience. He contributed positively in Electoral Politics, serving as the chairman of the Caribbean Shores UDP Committee for the Area Rep and Prime Minister Dr. Manuel Esquivel for more than ten years. He was also Chairman of the Division under Area Representative Hon. Santiago Castillo Junior.

He subsequently returned to his original home base in Pickstock electoral division.

Along with Vernon Card, a graduate from St. Michaels College who became an integral part of “Technical” they worked tirelessly in that electoral division for the now Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Wilfred Sedi Elrington.

Lewin, who was made a Justice of the Peace, was renowned for being a peacemaker.

Lewin was a devout Anglican, serving as an altar boy at Saint Mary’s Church when he was young, then as a sextant, leader of the youth group at All Saints; and later as a member of the Church board.

Much more can be said of Lewin Brandford Moguel – Missa Mugs.

Above all, Lewin lived a good and full life, for himself, his immediate family and extended blood family; and for others.

Lewin - You will be Missed and Remembered.

We give God Thanks for the memories.

Rest in Peace Lewin Brandford Moguel - Missa Mogs .