George Cadle Price

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This article is about the Belizean Prime Minister. For other uses, see George Price (disambiguation).
The Right Honourable
George Cadle Price
George C. Price Cropped.jpg
Price in 1976
Prime Minister of Belize
In office
7 September 1989 – 3 July 1993
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Elmira Minita Gordon
Deputy Florencio Marin, Sr.
Preceded by Manuel Esquivel
Succeeded by Manuel Esquivel
In office
21 September 1981 – 17 December 1984
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Elmira Minita Gordon
Deputy Florencio Marin, Sr.
Preceded by himself (as Premier)
Succeeded by Manuel Esquivel
Premier of Belize
In office
1 June 1973 – 12 September 1981
Preceded by himself (as Premier of British Honduras)
Succeeded by himself (as Prime Minister)
Premier of British Honduras
In office
1 January 1964 – 1 June 1973
Preceded by himself (as First Minister)
Succeeded by himself (as Premier of Belize)
First Minister of British Honduras
In office
7 April 1961 – 1 January 1964
Preceded by office created
Succeeded by himself (as Premier)
Leader of the Opposition
In office
3 July 1993 – 10 November 1996
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Elmira Minita Gordon
Colville Young
Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel
Preceded by Manuel Esquivel
Succeeded by Said Musa
Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Pickstock
In office
4 September 1989 – 5 March 2003
Preceded by Jane Usher
Succeeded by Godfrey Smith
Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Freetown[1]
In office
26 March 1961 – 14 December 1984
Preceded by (constituency created)
Succeeded by Derek Aikman
Member of the British Honduras Legislative Assembly for Belize North
In office
28 April 1954 – 26 March 1961
Preceded by (constituency created)
Succeeded by (constituency abolished)
Personal details
Born (1919-01-15)15 January 1919
Belize City, British Honduras
Died 19 September 2011(2011-09-19) (aged 92)
Belize City, Belize
Nationality Belizean
Political party People's United Party
Religion Roman Catholic

The Right Honourable George Cadle Price, P.C. (15 January 1919 – 19 September 2011), was a Belizean statesman who served twice as the head of government of Belize from 1961–84 and 1989–93. He served as First Minister and Premier under British rule until independence in 1981 and was the nation's first prime minister after independence that year. He is considered to have been one of the principal architects of Belizean independence. Today he is referred to by many as the "Father of the Nation." Price effectively dominated Belizean politics from the early 1960s until his 1996 retirement from party leadership, serving as the nation's head of government under various titles for most of that period.

Born in Belize City in what was then British Honduras, to William and Irene (née Escalante) Price, he entered politics in 1947 with his election to the Belize City Council. In 1949, with the devaluation of the British Honduran dollar he, together with a group of citizens formed the People's Committee. It was the start of the "peaceful, constructive Belizean revolution". On 29 September 1950, he co-founded the People's United Party, which he led for four decades and which was devoted to the political and economic independence of the British colony, then known as British Honduras.[2]

Education and early political activities[edit]

George Price completed his education at St. John's College High School (SJC). While there he was exposed to the teachings of Catholic social justice, in particular the encyclical Rerum Novarum. Upon graduation, young George felt the call for priesthood and he went to study abroad, first attending the Saint Augustine's Minor Seminary in Mississippi, USA, and later the Mayor Seminario Conciliar in Guatemala City. Throughout his life Price remained a devout Roman Catholic and attended Mass on a daily basis.[3]

The war in Europe prevented him from completing his studies in Rome and, instead, George Price returned to Belize. He was hired by local businessman Robert Sidney Turton as his private secretary. He also rallied a few SJC graduates, some of them later members of the PUP, to contest elections in 1944 and 1947 for the local Town Board, being successful in 1947. Price also contributed to the Belize Billboard, then run by Philip Goldson.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Main article: People's United Party

Price, upon the formation of the People's Committee (PC) in 1950, was named its Assistant Secretary, and in a famous speech later that year claimed that "National Unity" propelled the PC's actions. With the formation of the PUP, Price's stature rose and he ascended through the party ranks until he became Party Leader following a leadership dispute in 1956.[citation needed]

Elected to the colony's newly-created Legislative Assembly in 1954,[4] he also served as mayor of Belize City from 1956 to 1962. In 1956, Price became party leader of the PUP. As First Minister, a post he held since 1961, he led the team which began negotiations over independence with Great Britain. He maintained that post as Premier in 1964.

In 1981 Belize gained its independence, and Price served as the country's first prime minister and foreign minister until 1984. The PUP was defeated in the elections by the United Democratic Party under Manuel Esquivel, with Price unexpectedly losing his own House of Representatives seat to a political newcomer.[5] Price continued to lead the PUP from outside the National Assembly while Florencio Marin became Leader of the Opposition.[6] Price resumed the post of prime minister after successfully returning to the House in the 1989 election, serving until 1993, when he was again succeeded by Esquivel.[citation needed]. In October 1996 he announced his resignation as party leader, and on 10 November 1996 was formally succeeded by Said Musa. Price remained a member of the Belize House until the 2003 election.

Honours[edit]

Price and a Peace Corps volunteer, 1976

In September 2000, Price became the first person to receive Belize's highest honour, the Order of National Hero, for the prominent role he played in leading his country to independence. He has received similar honours in other Caribbean and Central American countries. In 1982, he was made a member of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.[2]

Death[edit]

Price died on 19 September 2011, at the age of 92. Almost 30 years earlier he united the people of Belize in the struggle for independence. Now, for one last time Price united all people of Belize, this time in mourning the death of their "Father of the Nation". On 26 September 2011, a state funeral was held. Price was laid to rest at the Lord's Ridge Cemetery in Belize City.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ British Honduras Legislative Assembly before 1973
  2. ^ a b "Belizean Biographies". website. The Belize National Library Service and Information System. Retrieved 2010-12-28. [dead link]
  3. ^ Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price – a legend, Krem Radio, September 24, 2011. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  4. ^ General Elections 1954, Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 19 November 2014)
  5. ^ General Election 1984, Belize Elections and Boundaries Commission. (accessed 9 October 2014)
  6. ^ The Right Honourable George Cadle Price, AmbergrisCaye.com. (accessed 9 October 2014)
Political offices
Preceded by
office created
Prime Minister of Belize
1981–1984
Succeeded by
Manuel Esquivel
Preceded by
Manuel Esquivel
Prime Minister of Belize
1989–1993
Succeeded by
Manuel Esquivel
Preceded by
Leigh Richardson (acting)
Party Leader, People's United Party
1956–1996
Succeeded by
Said Musa