25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE BY ANGEL NUÑEZ
Reminiscing the British Soldiers
They were here to guarantee the safety and protection of Belize even before our independence and a few years later on. Though they were not stationed here in San Pedro, they did form an important part of our society.
British soldiers were called “limeys” and it is not clear whether they liked it or not, but that is another story. They used to come to San Pedro as tourists. Every so often they were given time off to blow off stress and San Pedro was their main vacation destination. They used the hotels and made a lot of noise, but they were good customers. They patronized the restaurants too. At the gift shops, they never asked two times for the price of an item. They were good tourists as far as spending goes.
The limeys mostly patronized the bars and since they were here to blow off their stress, they were allowed to do practically anything. They danced on tables, broke out in small fights and broke some furniture, and of course created a lot of noise. There were some bars that closed up before they arrived, but they were generally welcome as good patrons.
The British soldiers used to rent scooters on the island in the 80’s. I tell you, were they rough! They used to break them up faster then the mechanics could fix them up. When they started renting golf carts, eight of them would ride in one cart; two of them on top of the canopy. But they had their strong side too. When San Pedro High School’s new building was commenced, they came in groups of 25 and dug all the foundation for the building.
We have good memories of the British soldiers who made good fiancés and fine spouses to many of our island girls. At least a dozen of our local girls entered into matrimony with the soldiers, most of them leaving the island to live in England in their new wedded lives.
It was said that the British soldiers were kind and comprehensible, loyal and caring husbands - all that a native girl would desire. To tell the truth only a few of them separated after a few years, most of them still holding on firmly to their wives and families. Several of them have returned and have formed part of the island society as good husbands, good dads, and great friends and human beings.
Indeed, San Pedro not only remembers the British soldiers but has welcomed them as integral members of our island community. Two thumbs up to our Sanpedrano ex-British soldiers.