Tribute to National Heroes and Patriots Print E-mail
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Thursday, 20 September 2018 00:00

A total of 18 Belizeans were recognized for their service and contributions to Belize at the annual Tribute to Belizean Patriots Award Ceremony held at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, September 13, 2018. Mrs. Clare Moody and Mr. Francis “Cisco” Woods received the highest honor of the night, The Order of Distinction, while the other honorees were bestowed the Meritorious Service Award.

In 1963, Moody and her family moved to South Stann Creek near a banana farm, where she became a pupil teacher at the first Anglican school in that community. There, she taught to a large migrant population of children of the workers on the farm. In 1986, her family moved to a banana farm in Trio Village, Toledo District, where she continued teaching until she accepted the job as an assistant manager of a banana shed and grocery store in Cow Pen. Clare opened the first daycare center in that community in 1996, fulfilling a need of the working mothers in the banana industry.

She has a deep sense of patriotism and nationalism as for 15 years, she chaired the September celebrations in Cow Pen, organized Queen of the Bay pageants, and taught Belize’s history to the migrant workers in that community. She would encourage the community residents to participate in all the activities on the celebrations calendar, which she organized each year.

Her dedicated service to her community led her to be honored with the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1989. She made history in 1993 when she won handsomely in the village council elections and became the first woman Alcalde in Cow Pen and in the history of the Maya Alcalde Association in Belize.

She loves softball and has been coaching and managing teams from 1974. Clare has been the coach of the Capital City Emeralds of Belmopan since 2004. She has served her country well, mentoring youth and women for decades, and serving as a spiritual leader in the Anglican Church. Clare currently serves as the Belmopan District Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization.

The second person to be awarded with the Order of Distinction is Francis Woods, affectionately known as “Cisco”.  He is the Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Construction Company and founder of Old Belize.

Under his leadership, Cisco Construction has evolved into a responsible corporate citizen, offering humanitarian social services to and within communities where the company has worked. At the locations where its projects are based, the company provides employment for Belizean residents and also provides valuable assistance to nearby villages.

As an active member of the St. Martin’s de Porres Parish in Belize City, through Cisco Construction, Woods has assisted with the expansion of the parish, school, the Parish Hall, the Church, and feeding programs, and continues to assist in any other areas.

He also sits on the Board of Directors for the Kolbe Foundation, which seeks to successfully rehabilitate and integrate individuals, who have come in conflict with the law, back into society. Through his company, Woods and Kolbe established a program which offers employment to rehabilitated persons as an opportunity to transform their lives and become productive citizens.

Together with fellow Rotarians, as an active member of the Rotary Club of Belize, he has provided numerous humanitarian services to the community. Their most well-known service is the Gift of Life Program, which seeks medical attention abroad for children suffering from congenital illnesses. He is also an organizer of the National Crime Stoppers Programme and an avid supporter of the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT).

The other honorees who received the Meritorious Service Awards are Penelope K. Casasola, Lydia Esther Vellos, Shalini Zabaneh-Troyer, Marie Louise Aleman, Lydia Villanueva, J.P., Nelita Sambula-Doherty, Alma Carballo,Carmelo Juarez, David Cruz, Sr., Lionel “Pops” Hamilton, Edward “Billy” Musa, Sr., MBE, David B. Dyck, Daniel Bennett, Emilio “Bas” Zabaneh, J.P. (S), Delvin “Pen” Cayetano, OBE, and Evan Dakers.

These were offered in the areas of education, sports, tourism, music, art, government, communities, entrepreneurship, and service to Belize.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2018 11:47

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