Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price (1919- 2011)
The following is a biographical profile of the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price (1919- 2011), National Hero of Belize:
- George Cadle Price was born on January 15th, 1919 in Belize City, the third of eleven children.
- Early schooling included Holy Redeemer and St. John’s College in Belize City with more studies at St. Augustine Minor Seminary in Mississippi, USA.
- During the 1931 hurricane, at the age of 12 years old, Price narrowly escaped death when a building at Loyola Park collapsed.
- By age 16, Mr. Price felt a calling to the priesthood. He had hoped to study theology at the University of Rome, but with the outbreak of World War II, he transferred to El Mayor Seminario Conciliar in Guatemala City.
- Within nine months, though, Mr. Price was back in Belize to support his family and dying father. Unable to continue with his spiritual studies, he began working for Mr. Robert Sydney Turton, a wealthy merchant and a mahogany exporter.
- It was with Mr. Turton that Price received his introduction to politics, drafting speeches for his boss and becoming aware of British colonial injustices in the colony.
- By 1944, Price entered municipal politics having entered within three days of voting day. He lost that first election.
- By 1947 he had won his first election. From 1958 to 1962 he was Mayor of Belize City.
- On December 31st, 1949 the Governor devalued the Belize dollar by using his reserve powers. He did so despite objections from the Legislative Council.
- A meeting was held at Price’s home at #3 Pickstock Street to plan strategies to protest the devaluation. The result was the formation of the People’s Committee, comprised of: John Smith, Leigh Richardson, George Price, and Phillip Goldson.
- By September 29th, 1950 the People’s Committee became the People’s United Party.
- From 1954 The PUP advocated and gained Full Adult Suffrage. By 1956, Mr. Price was leader of the PUP and remained as leader up until 1996.
- The British authorities attempted to derail Mr. Price’s popularity with the masses by charges of sedition. He emerged triumphant and even more popular than before.
- In the early 1960s, after witnessing the devastation of Hurricane Hattie George Price clamoured for moving the capital of Belize to Belmopan.
- In 1964, Belize gained its Self-Government and Mr. Price became its first Premier and was elected a member of the House of Representatives in consecutive elections from 1965 to 1984 and again in 1989 to 2003.
- Always hovering over the entire career of Mr. Price was the Guatemalan claim to Belize. It would be the same Guatemala issue that would play a pivotal role in uniting and consolidating the Belizean populace on the road to Independence.
- Mr. Price and his team led a campaign to secure international support for Belize’s Independence and managed to secure for Belize, a few months before Independence some military presence from the British for ”an appropriate period of time…” to guarantee its defence.
- On September 21st, 1981 we went into Independence and gained membership into the United Nations and Mr. Price was the country’s first Prime Minister.
- Today Mr. Price is considered: The Father of the Nation.
Information & Photos Courtesy: Belize Archives Records and Services, and ISCR/NICH
How to cite:
ISCR/NICH. “Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price (1919- 2011).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: https://www.belizehistoryassociation.org/course/george-cadle-price/
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