Price died in Belize on September 19, 2011

The University of the West Indies, in acknowledging the passing of the Right Honourable George C. Price, first Prime Minister and National Hero of Belize, takes the opportunity to hail the life and work of this Caribbean patriot who, like a few others of his generation, was in the vanguard of the struggle for independence.

George Price lived a long life of service, beginning in 1947 – a time of growing nationalist sentiment and labour unrest – when he won a seat on the Belize City Council. He was a founding member and later the leader of the Peoples United Party and Vice President of the allied General Workers’ Union.

He continued to agitate for independence which came later than the other former English colonies in the West Indies, due to the ongoing territorial claim against the integrity of what was then known as British Honduras by its neighbour, Guatemala. He became Premier under the system of internal self governance and headed the team that negotiated full independence from Britain, becoming the first Prime Minister of independent Belize in September 1981.

George Price remained throughout his life free from bombast and managed to evade the isolating trappings of public office that so often ensnare politicians. He was always approachable and lived a simple life.  When the leadership of the party was passed to Said Musa in 1996, Price continued to serve as a Minister in the cabinet of Musa’s newly elected government. Not many Prime Ministers have been able to make that transition. The name George Price is inextricably bound to the history and political evolution of Belize. He has truly earned his nation’s highest honour with the conferral, in 2000, of the Order of National Hero.

The University of the West Indies conveys its condolences to the people of Belize as well as to the family of the Right Honourable George C. Price and shares their sorrow at the loss of such an outstanding leader.