Governor General Sir Colville Young, Belize’s head of state, was on hand at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City on September 15, 2016, to award 21 outstanding individuals for their contribution to Belize’s national development.
Every year, the Tribute to Belizean Patriots conveys honors to individuals in Belize, both past and present, as part of the run-up to Independence Day on September 21. Sir Colville Young was joined on stage by Diana Locke, the Director of Immigration, the Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez, and several members of the Belize Defence Force.
Daniel “Danny” Conorquie, who was killed in the line of duty in 2014, was awarded along with 18 other individuals with Belize’s Meritorious Service Award. Conorquie, who served as a special police constable, was murdered on September 25, 2014, at the police post at the Caracol Archeological Reserve in Belize’s western Cayo District. Conorquie was honored for giving his life to defend the lives of tourists who were at the popular site.
At the Tribute to Belizean Patriots ceremony, two individuals were awarded the Order of Distinction. Benjamin Ho, the Taiwanese ambassador to Belize, and Dr. Jane Usher, matriarch of the Holy Redeemer Credit Union were awarded this prestigious honor for their long service to the country. Ambassador Ho began his career in Belize in 1994 when he served as the Senior First Secretary for the Republic of China and was later promoted to Ambassador.
Dr. Jane Usher, born in 1917, was on hand at the ceremony to accept her award for serving two consecutive terms as a local politician, a cabinet minister, and President of the Senate. Dr. Usher holds the unique distinction of being the individual who embroidered the first flag of Belize. Dr. Usher may be best known for her work in championing women’s rights, serving as the President of the National Women’s Commission. Dr. Usher founded the Holy Redeemer Credit Union in 1944 to offer affordable and accessible financing opportunities for Belizeans.
The staff and management of Chabil Mar extend their warmest congratulations to all of the Belize Patriots, and wish a wonderful and happy Independence Day to all Belizeans at home or abroad on September 21, 2016.
After several centuries of British colonial rule, Belize finally achieved full independence on September 21, 1981. Independent Belize is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a parliamentary democracy with a proud record of high voter participation and free and fair elections.