This inquiry honours the memory of George Cadle Price, a man who routinely walked through the streets of his country picking up litter.

George Price deserves to be known globally as the longest-serving, democratically-elected leader of a colony/nation in human history. He was the top politician in both British Honduras and Belize for 39 years.

Instead, the beautiful country he founded without bloodshed, and for which he even wrote a (clunky) national anthem, has yet to preserve his home on Pickstock Street where he resided from birth to death.

In his bathroom there was only a plastic cup, a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush. He did not use power to line his pockets. He trusted in providence and he was curious about the family heritage of every Belizean he met.

For many years, once ever week, he made himself available to hear the troubles of any Belizean who wanted to talk to him.

George Price won his second election attempt in 1947—and he continued winning through six decades. Following his entry into civic politics in the 1940s at the behest of his employer at the time, he became mayor of Belize City in the 1950s, then First Minister of Belize in 1961. He became Premier of Belize when internal self-government was gained in 1964. He became the first Belizean Prime Minister when full independence was achieved under his direction on September 21, 1981. He remained undefeated until 1984. After a stint in Opposition, he was re-elected as Prime Minister in 1989, serving until 1993. At age 84, into his seventh decade as a Belizean politician, he served as Minister of Defence and Senior Minister.

George Price would be appalled by the degree to which corruption has become endemic in Belize.

– G.W.

 

George Price

George Cadle Price (January 15 1919 – September 19, 2011). As shown in 2007, he was a leader who knew how to listen.

Crawd at George Cadle Price's Grave

A crowd lingered at George Cadle Price’s grave, covered in wreaths, having watched the casket being lowered in the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City and viewing the forty-minute process as workers fashioned a tomb of cement in the stifling heat on Monday, September 26, 2011. He died at age 92.

No corruption. George Price’s bathroom.

George Price in his backyard, 2007.

George Price looks at the flag of Belize and surveys the future of his country that is fraught with corruption and criminality.