Last Respects to George Price Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 September 2011 00:00

Rt. Hon. George Price was laid to rest at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery.Officially it was declared a period of mourning; however, a legacy such as that of the Father of the Nation, George Cadle Price, allowed for more celebrating than weeping to take place in Belize from the announcement of his death to the date of his burial.

On Saturday, September 24th, the Rt. Hon. George Price’s body was transported from the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in an open hearse procession led by the Belize Defence Force. The procession went from the Morgue into St. Thomas Street, left into Freetown Road, right into Mapp Street, left into North Front Street, right over Swing Bridge, into Albert Street, left into Treasury Lane and into the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Residents lined the sides of the streets to witness the procession and soon a huge crowd joined in and followed the once in a lifetime leader. 

An even greater number of Belizeans made their way to the Bliss for a chance to pray for and pay their respect to the National Hero. Current and former government officials, members of the diplomatic community, members of the clergy, parents, children of all ages lined up to enter the Bliss for a final and personal farewell. Thousands had made their way into the Bliss before the flag-draped casket which boasts Mr. Price’s body was removed and transported to the Holy Redeemer Cathedral for a private memorial. 

After the memorial service, the body was transported through the streets of Belize City (Queen Street, New Road, Hydes Lane, North Front Street, over the Swing Bridge, Albert Street, Orange Street, Cemetery Road, Central American Blvd Roundabout and unto the Western Highway) enroute to the George Price Center for Peace and Development in the City of Belmopan. Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 25th, more than six thousands individuals visited the center to pay their respect to Mr. Price.

A State Funeral was held on Independence Hill on Monday, September 26th, to celebrate the life of the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. Addresses were given by the Prime Minister of Belize, Leader of the Opposition and relatives of Mr. Price. In his honour, September 26th was declared a public and bank holiday. Nonetheless, students came out in great numbers to witness the ceremony. After the ceremony, the body was transported to Belize City. The Western Highway was closed and Belizeans waited on the side of the road to see the hearse carrying the body of Mr. Price pass by. Many held Belizean flags up as the hearse passed. Students wore their uniform on the holiday to pay tribute to Mr. Price. At the Faber’s Road Junction with the Western Highway, the body was transferred from a closed hearse to an open hearse. A massive crowd awaited the arrival of the body at the Lord Ridge Cemetery. Some waited more than five hours in the unforgiving sun just to catch a minute’s glimpse of the procession.

At the cemetery, Bishop Wright presided over the burial. The Governor General presented the Belizean flag to Mr. Price’s sisters. He then lay a wreath next to the tomb as did the Prime Minister and Honours Committee. The service concluded with a 21 gun salute by the Belize Defence Force.

Rt. Hon. George Price was laid to rest at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery.