“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Punta Gorda, Toledo, Belize — Central America

Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon

Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, May 16, 2017
1. Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon Marker
Queen of Brokdong
Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon
Born on October 21, 1950
• Referred to as the ‘Queen of Brokdong’, Lila Genus Vernon was born in Punta Gorda Town to a family of proud African heritage.

• Her music and activism throughout her lifetime has focused on the promotion of the Belize Creole culture.

• Lila sings in the ‘Buru’ style Brokdong, a style which is believed to have originated in Creole communities of southern Belize.

• In 1987, she established the Ebolites Dance Group. This brought young people together to train and showcase their culture through music and dance.

• In 1994, Lila performed for Queen Elizabeth II upon her visit to Punta Gorda. She was later recognized as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

• Lila has performed internationally both as a solo artist and as a member of the Ebolites in places such as the Manhattan Center in New York and at the Afro-Caribbean Festival in Veracruz, Mexico.

• Lila and her daughter Juliette Vernon Austin, along with Mr. Percival Neal, joined forces to establish
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the first branch of the National Kriol Council in Punta Gorda, which was later expanded to a National Kriol Council in Belize City.

• Lila’s activism in the National Kriol Council led her to serve in various capacities including as President, Vice-President and Cultural Liason.

• Her most well-known song is, 'Ah Waahn Noa Hoo Seh Kriol Noh Ga No Kolcha!' which was released in 2001. This song has been adopted as the mantra for persons of Creole descent. Other popular Lila Vernon songs include 'Welcome to Belize’ and ‘Ding Ding Wala’.

• In 2004, she was recognized as the Brokdong Artist of the Year by the Institute of Creative Arts.

• In 2011, she was also recognized as a Woman of Culture by the National Institute of Culture and History.

• Lila continues to be a voice for the safeguarding and promotion of Creole culture in Belize.

Images courtesy the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH)
Erected by National Institute of Culture and History (NICH).
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music. A significant historical date for this entry is October 21, 1950.
Location. 16° 6.028′ N, 88° 48.205′ W. Marker is in Punta Gorda, Toledo. Marker is at the intersection of Main Middle Street and Queen Street, on the right
Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, May 16, 2017
2. Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon Marker
The marker is mounted to the exterior of this market building in Punta Gorda Town.
when traveling west on Main Middle Street. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 27 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Ball Court (approx. 26.2 kilometers away).
Regarding Lila ‘Leela' Genus Vernon. Lila "Leela" Vernon unfortunately died on February 19, 2017 in Belize City, Belize.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 5, 2024. It was originally submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 441 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 3, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

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Mar. 4, 2024