An Evening with WLT: Retrospective & Prospective
6pm John Burton (WLT CEO) welcomes guests to the 20th Anniversary event and introduces (l-r) Edilberto Romero (Programme for Belize), Renton Righelato (previous Chairman of WLT), Jerry Bertrand (WLT Hon President) and Albertino Abela (new Chairman of WLT) and Lee Durrell (Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust), hidden from view.
6.05pm Dr Lee Durrell who, together with Gerald Durrell, officially launched the WLT on 8 May 1989 at Syon House Butterfly House. Lee spoke of her visits to Belize with Gerry Durrell and her love of the country. Her involvement in Belizean conservation issues continues.
6.15pm Dr Gerard (Jerry) Bertrand - Hon President of WLT and one of the founders of Programme for Belize then gave an overview on Programme for Belize: a new model for conservation, now 20 years old. He described how the concept was born and how the programme got off the ground to become the success that it is today.
6.25pm Edilberto Romero - Director of Programme for Belize , spoke on the Trust's first project which now has its HQ in Belize City and two field stations: at La Milpa and Hill Bank. PfB owns and protects 262,000 acres of tropical forest and other threatened habitats. Edilberto looked back over conservation achievements over last 2 decades in Belize and also at opportunities for the future.
Jerry Bertrand and John Burton: WLT - the Future. Jerry and John gave a short photographic presentation on current projects being supported by WLT and talked about priorities for the future.
Q&A; Several guests had questions, including supporter Chris Redston (below right). Jerry Bertrand and Lee Durrell (below left) also participated.
Thanks. John Burton paid tribute to the very many people who had been significant in the development of the Trust over the years and apologised for not being able to name everyone who had contributed so generously to its success. We were joined by just a few, including actor Frank Thornton, and his wife, Beryl, (above left) who have been supporters since the beginning of Programme for Belize. We were also delighted to welcome Her Excellency Camilla Palma (above right) from the Belizean High Commission in London, who have been very supportive of our work over the years. She is joined by Bruce Coleman, a founding trustee of the WLT, and Jane Krish, a former trustee who had retired at the AGM earlier in the day.
Left: WLT Chairman, Renton Righelato (left), retired at the AGM earlier in the day. Here he is chatting with incoming Chairman, Albertino Abela.
And a bar of chocolate for everyone to take home, courtesy of corporate supporters Brand Stand. Brand Stand are supporting WLT through their Organic Meltdown brand which is now available widely: One Bar Saves One Tree with WLT.
Thanks to photographer, Crispin Zeeman, for taking the photographs at the event, and for donating his time.