Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Official funeral service held for San Pedro’s first Mayor Gilberto ‘Chico’ Gomez

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Under the rain, San Pedro Town bid farewell to its first Mayor Gilberto ‘Chico’ Gomez with an official funeral service organized by the San Pedro Town Council on Tuesday, September 29th. Family members, friends, local leaders, and the island’s police formation paid their respects and tribute to San Pedro’s father of township.

The service started shortly after 8AM outside of the SPTC’s building on Barrier Reef Drive. After the singing of the National Anthem and invocation by Pastor Clive Welsh, Mayor Daniel Guerrero delivered his remarks. He offered his condolences to the Gomez family acknowledging the life of an exemplary Belizean and San Pedrano. “Don Chico, as he was affectionately known, made history as the last Village Chairman and the first Mayor of San Pedro Town. We consider him one of the architects of our town,” Guerrero said. “His contribution to the development of San Pedro are vast, but key amongst them was fighting for Township. He was a pioneer in the tourism industry, after being one of the founding members of the Coral Beach Hotel and an active member of this community.” Guerrero said that Township Days celebrated every 27th of November, will never be the same without the yearly visits to Don Chico. “It was always a great time when visiting Don Chico,” said Guerrero.

A slight rain began as the Standard Bearer of the People’s United Party for Belize Rural South, Andre Perez, shared some words. Perez narrated that Don Chico demonstrated time and again his commitment to achieving many goals for his beloved San Pedro. He commented that the San Pedro of today was already in his vision. Next was Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr. He expressed how painful Don Chico’s death is to the island. Heredia appraised his efforts in the transition to a town. “He always gave his all for the betterment of the island. He will never be forgotten, and we will always be proud of Don Chico,” Heredia said.

As the rain intensified, a special tribute was read by family member David Marin.

This tribute was written by Maestro Angel Nuñez, which highlighted Gomez’s life, his accomplishments, and devoted community service.
Afterward, the police handed over a Belizean flag covering the casket to Mayor Guerrero and presented it to Don Chico’s wife, Addy Gomez. Following the memorable presentation, Councillor Hector ‘Tito’ Alamilla shared the closing remarks of the program and thanked everyone for attending the funeral service.

Don Chico’s casket was then transported to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, where a mass took place at 10AM. After that, his body was taken to the San Pedro Cemetery near the beach and laid to rest.

Remembering Don Chico Gomez and his main accomplishments

In 1984, November 27th, San Pedro was declared a town after the efforts of Don Chico Gomez, who believed the fishing village needed an upgrade to develop. The declaration ceremony was attended by then-Governor General Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, Area Representative Honourable Louis Sylvestre, and most of the residents on the island.

Some remarkable achievements include the successful local fishing cooperative. Under Gomez’ guidance, the Caribeña Fishing Cooperative reached a level of great productivity, and different marine products (lobster and fish) began to be exported from the island. Gomez is also accredited for the introduction of tourism to San Pedro. He was also a founding member of the Coral Beach Hotels on the island.

Don Chico died at his home on Monday, September 28th, after being ill for some time. He will be remembered as a man who loved his town and its people, along with her traditions. The San Pedro Sun joins the island community in extending our sincerest condolences to the Gomez family and friends. All the best wishes to his wife, Addy Gomez, and their two children Sergio and Marlena Gomez. Bendiciones y descanse en Paz Don Chico!

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