Amateur home movie of British Honduras after Hurricane of 1931
After effects of Hurricane. Damage after. British colonial car loaded onto ferry. Railway. Belize City devastated. Choppy waves at sea from boat. Wind bending palm trees. Empty small boat bobbing. Ships launch. Still pictures of devastation and panoramic sweeps. Ships on dry land. Many vultures in trees. Ruined church. Houses upside-down. Belize guard of honour. Flag. Manual workers pulling ferry across river on ropes with chauffeur. Pith helmets of British civil servants. Narrow gauge railway - open and passengers sit sideways on four seater motor driven car on tracks.. Bridge. Natives. Pig.

Getting a glimse of Belize City in the 1930's using the Huntley's Film Archives. At around 8:26 you will see the ferry that was used before the Haluover Bridge was built. The area and the bridge was called Haulover because that is where the logs were hauled over after floating down the river. Driving over the Haulover Bridge going North on the right hand side on the banks of the river, one will notice a slab of concrete. I always wondered what that was used for. According to the film ( at 8:26), that was where the ferry docked as it came across the river.

Other interesting shots in the film is the Government House with some of the other buildings that were on the property before the 1931 hurricane. Loyola Park before and after the same hurricane.

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Surface weather analysis of the hurricane on 10 September

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We may have heard many stories of how people survived the 1931 hurricane. Below is a short biography of how George Cadle Price survived that hurricane.

September Tenth, a SAD DAY

George Price at age 12 had been boarding at the St. John's College for about three months when...

“The hurricane struck on the afternoon of September 10. It blew from the northwest. The large wooden building of three stories rested on concrete posts that were not reinforced with steel rods. It leaned and collapsed with the terrifying noise of thunder.

Along with some boarders and their teachers, George Price ran out before the building crumbled. They took shelter behind calm and sunlight for some minutes.

During the lull, Karl Kittiel came from town on his bicycle. He took George on the bicycle and rode to the Kittiel home on Albert Street. On the way the second half of the hurricane struck blowing from the southeast and brought back the sea in a huge tidal wave 13 feet high.

The houses began to shake. The people got out and took refuge in a bakery that was next to the Wesley Church the upper part of the church fell on the bakery. George heard the sound of thunder and got out in time.

After two narrow escapes from falling buildings, his 12 year old mind thought of home on Pickstock Street as a safe place and there he would go. Albert Street was flooded by the tidal wave. He swam toward the swing bridge and took shelter in the lobby of the Palace Theatre.

Towards nightfall the hurricane passed. With the help of Mr. Ronald Young he reached his home to see the house on the ground blown down off its brick posts.” Meg and Musa, 2004, pp. 9-10.

P.S. This short excerpt is loaded with information about the 1931 hurricane. Before, we only had pictures and had to make quests about what occurred during that hurricane. This excerpt really cleared up a few things along with a timeline of how things happened. We have the before and after photos of the two buildings that Mr. Price spoke about during his ordeal. The first is Loyola Park where he was for the first half of the Hurricane. The second picture is that of the collapsed Loyola Park. It was always the belief that the tidal wave had washed away Loyola Park, but from the excerpt, it seemed that the building collapsed before the tidal wave came. It collapsed from the wind coming from the rear or Northwest. The strong Northeast wind blew the sea out away for the coast for the first half of the hurricane and after the eye passed, the wind came from the Southeast which brought back the sea in the form of a 13 foot tidal wave nd must have washed everything else that the wind did not blew down. Must have been a devastating sight to have seen. The third picture is that of Big Wesley which fell on the bakery that Mr. Price had taken refuge in after he abandoned the collapsed Loyola Park Building. The fourth picture is that of Big Wesley after the collapse. We now have a better idea of what transpired.

Credit: Rolando Cocom of the History Association

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