September Celebrations Officially Started Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00

We are proud Belizeans today because 216 years ago a group of Baymen, African slaves and free blacks decided to defend the settlement against an intimidating foe. The facts of the 1798 Battle of St. George’s Caye continue to be the subject of much debate. How huge was the Spanish fleet? Did their vessels experience difficulties? What weapons were used? How long did the battle last? Was it really a war or just a standoff? Different historians hold on to different versions but what they all agree on is that the road to nationhood began with a decision to permanently settle St. George’s Caye (whether it be facing an intimidating foe or frightening uncertainty). It is because of that decision that we are able to celebrate our 33rd Anniversary of Independence this year and it is for that decision that we will march with our heads held high on September 10 as we remember our forefathers who decided that holding on to this blessed piece of earth is worth every once of blood, sweat and tears they can muster.       

In 2009 Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr, Minister of Tourism and Culture, declared that the September Celebrations should be launched at St. George’s Caye. He says, “We must always remember that the road to nationhood started at St. George’s Caye.” The island had already been prepped for the launch of this year’s September Celebrations on Sunday, August 31, when a tropical wave threatened the country. The Celebrations Committee was forced to move the festivities to the mainland at the House of Culture in Belize City.

Dianne Haylock, Co-Chair of the September Celebrations Commission, says this will be one of the most memorable September Celebrations. “For this year’s festivities, the national celebrations commission has put together what we consider a remarkable series of activities over the ensuing weeks. This calendar of activities will not only excite your imagination, but will also inspire a spirit of togetherness and renewed appreciation of our jewel Belize,” says Haylock. The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Industrious Hands, Intelligent Minds, Together for Belize.” It was drafted by Denise Bowman.         
The September Celebrations are now open.