The story of More Tomorrow
Brother Ismael Omar Shabazz suggests that More Tomorrow might have derived its name from the many African tribes: “Moors” who lived and worked in the area during the 18th century. No one knows for sure, but most Belizeans naturally see the name More Tomorrow as a promise, a promise of a better tomorrow for the peaceful, hardworking families who live and work its deep, rich soils on the banks of the Belize River.
The old More Tomorrow, which appears in the records as far back as 1793, was a works, a mahogany camp. The community that settled there flourished during the time when the river was the main artery from the Western border to the east coast. When the new highway from Belize City to El Cayo bypassed it, More Tomorrow seemed destined to become a footnote alongside Pikayri Guts , Panama, John Crow Gulley, Castile, and other old works and camps nearby.
More Tomorrow’s place in the modern Belize was secured when a force named Charles X Eagan, aka Justice, the Minister of War in the first UBAD executive (1969), on a visit to the village in 1963 with his older brother, Herbert, met and fell in love with Miss Estella Neal, and decided to make that land his home. At the time of Justice’s arrival, it was just a small farming community. By May 1966 he had carved out a village, with himself as its first chairman.
Justice, who had introduced the Nation of Islam to Belize in 1962 and later became legally known as Ibrahim Abdullah, introduced his UBAD brothers to the village. Two in particular: Ismael Omar Shabazz and Rudolph Farakkhan, would settle and help the original families, the Andersons, the Baizars, and the Hydes, to build the new More Tomorrow.
Soon the village had its first school, the Sister Clara Muhammad Primary School. Working along with successive governments, a bridge, an important link, was built across a gorge (Tannis Creek) that divided the village. The government invested in a new primary school, the More Tomorrow Government School, and extended electricity and telephone services to the village. A new road, the Ibrahim Abdullah Drive, opened thousands of acres of new farmland to the villagers.
Harvesting lumber from the forest is still an important economic activity in More Tomorrow. But the villagers depend primarily on agriculture to sustain their population of 163. Fully mechanized farms produce tons of citrus, grains and pulses, mostly for export. There is a thriving livestock industry, and daily trade of ground food, plantains, coconuts, vegetables, fruits, milk, and cheese on the local market.
Once each year, in the month of May, More Tomorrow celebrates its survival, an occasion shared by many villagers in their surrounds, and folk from as far away as Belize City and San Ignacio. Though the mighty Ibrahim has gone on before, the future looks bright under the leadership of their present chairman, Mr. Michael Myvett, Ibrahim’s stepson; and their many hardworking citizens.
Story courtesy Colin Hyde