Peaceful Tenth of September in Belize City Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

10th ParadeOn Tuesday residents of Belize City enjoyed the most peaceful Tenth of September celebrations in years. There has not been a greater sense of security in Belize City since the 90’s and in such an environment there is no better place for a celebration.

The Battle of St. George’s Caye took place 215 years ago in 1798. More than two centuries have passed but the spirit that dwelled in those brave individuals that fought to protect the settlement still lives on today. Today we are an independent and free nation. Though we are small, like our ancestors we will stand up against any tyrants. Large countries will not dictate our policies; billionaires will not control our economy. In the words of our Prime Minister, “We are masters of our own destiny.” It is that unique pride in our homeland that motivated the Flowers Bank 14 to paddled dories for miles to cast votes to fight. It is that same pride in our homeland that assures Belizeans at home and abroad that our best days as a nation are still ahead us. And it is that same pride that is the Belize in you and Belize in me. This is the land of the free and no event provides such an opportunity to express that freedom like the Tenth of September parade.

Not a single individual is mandated to march in the Tenth parade. Everyone does so at their own free will and pleasure. Before the parade takes place, there is a brief ceremony to crown the Queen of the Bay. That ceremony was attended by the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, members of the diplomatic corp., members of the clergy and Belizeans from home and abroad. Addresses were delivered by Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Chairman of the September Celebrations Commission, and Acting Mayor of Belize City, Bernard Pitts. After the speeches, Her Graciousness Yadira Argueta relinquished the throne of Queen of the Bay and proceeded to crown Jahrine Avila as the new symbol of love and freedom. After the ceremony, the dignitaries departed from the Memorial Park and others lined up to parade.

Belizeans marched proudly throughout the streets of Belize City. There was a change in the route this year because of the ongoing street infrastructure project. After marching from the Memorial Park up North Front Street there was a right turn into Queen Street then left unto Daly Street and Craig Street. From Craig Street the parade went unto Barrack Road and then down Victoria Street before getting back on North Front Street. It was a longer route than normal but the motivated marchers were not fazed by the distance. The parade continued to grow as it went along and by the time it reached Bel-China Bridge there were two marching and three jump up sections. From Youth for the Future Drive the parade continued unto Vernon Street, Magazine Road, Cemetery Road, Orange Street and Albert Street before ending in the Yarborough area where the Carnival Road March will begin. There were not a lot of floats in the parade this year and it moved swiftly through the streets. However, there were an even greater number of people in the parade than in recent years. Once again, Kenny Gladden proved that he is the reigning king of the tenth jump up. Belizeans of all professions, informal professions and no profession danced together, hug it out and jumped as they sang “all ah wi da bombally and we noh fraid fi anybody”. When Kenny G asked, “how far are we going?” the crowd responded, “all the way”. The Southside Youth Success Program must be commended for their presence in the parade. Many youths danced behind their float.
(See photo spread on Insert 3)