By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Villages in Flowers Bank paid homage this week to 14 Belizeans who contributed to the existence of Belize today.
The Flowers Bank Kriol Festival is held annually to pay hommage to the Flowers Bank 14, men from the original settlement who voted to stay and fight against Spanish invaders.
Chairman of the Flowers Bank Village Council, Kenton Rhaburn, said that in the 218th celebration of the event, many Belizeans either do not know or do not fully appreciate the value of their contribution to Belize.
“The initial vote at the public meeting was 51-51, and these men paddled their canoes to come and vote to stand and fight,” Rhaburn said. “If they didn’t vote that way we would not have had Belize today.”
Myrna Manzarnares, cultural representative for the Kriol Council, said that the council was there to teach the village children about their Kriol heritage through playing the traditional games that were played in colonial and post-colonial Belize.
“We went to teach about lime and spoon, sack race, three legged race, “jankunu” stick and man of the other games that many of the children today do not know about,” Manzanares said.
She emphasized that the council’s presence was important because the festival is a cultural festival of a Kriol village; however many of the children are out of touch with their ancestry.
The event was also supported by the National Institute for Culture and History (NICH).
The names of the Flowers Bank 14 are listed on a memorial in the village. They were: William Crofts, Caesar Flowers, William Pindar, David Dawson, William Flowers, William Scott, George Raybon, John Dawson, George Grant, Joseph Smith, Thomas Robertson, Adam Flowers, James Hercules, and Joseph Tone.