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             Friday, December 19, 2008 

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The Pickwick Club, Belize City, 1975 The Pickwick Club, Belize City, 1975 The Newtown Country Club, Belize City, 1975
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The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Central and South America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya site of Blue Creek in northwestern Belize. In the past several years we have added important new programs in Mexico and Peru. Our goal is, first and foremost, to conduct research that adds to the body of scholarly knowledge and helps us better understand the past of the complex ancient societies of the Americas.
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First and second pictures are The Pickwick Club, the third is the Newtown Country Club. Belize City, 1975. On Newtown Barracks....
Both clubs were well known in the mid-century Belize City days for entertainment for the more well off folks. A Golf Club and a Polo Club existed at the Newtown Barracks in the 1920s. The Pickwick Club was established in 1932. Lots of “properness” at Pickwick but all out jamming at Newtown! One for the well to do and the other for the not so well to do classes. When the Pickwick was on North Front St, if you didn't have status you'd better take the back entrance.

The Pickwick Club was was a big venue for weddings in the 1980's. Pickwick was initially on North Front Street but moved to the Barracks when it bought the Belize Club and became the Belize Pickwick Club. Pickwick was on the river side in front of the Eden Theater.

Let's talk about some history that some may feel uneasy to go into. PICKWICK CLUB, where only Privileged and once in a while one or two of us could become members. I got in without because I was a ball boy on the tennis court, and since my mom worked up stairs I also frequented different dining areas and ate the nicest ham and cheese sandwich ever. I recall Rabbi Ilsle, Billy & Said Musa, Lance Sabido, Roy Canton, Sonny Meign/Main and two other kriol guys that were good at tennis. I was just a kid so I really don't know the rules that existed to become members, but now whenever I bring up the club older folks than I always say those were class distinction days. Let's talk, and regardless of where you stood in those days, you can still fill in the younger generation without being mean spirited. Reggie Trapp

Me mi so po, I kudint set foot anyways close to Pickwick or Newtown Club. I was more of a Minga's and Riverside Hall type of fella. Also Scout Room, FYA, Independence Hall, Liberty Hall, many of which I use to sneak into because I didn't even have shilling fu go een.

Allan Vernon: Newtown was the only one fi we KERUBBEANS when i was a boy growing up in CITY.

Wellington Chee: I think our class of SJC 1970 had our Prom at the Pickwick Club. Those were the place to go after Midnight Mass - Christmas and New Year's, although not for me. The great places in those crime-free Belize to go and socialize and enjoy life.

Philip Balderamos: Pickwick Club was on North Front Street well into the mid '70s. David Hoy won his first national tennis championship vs Billy Musa there. Roy Canton was outside on North Front Street coaching and cheering David on.

The Pickwick Club, Belize City, 1975

The tennis court at Pickwick Club, besides Lindberg Landing at New Town Barracks. The elites use to play tennis on that court. Old Belize Club. There is someone on the court. Newtown Barracks where the original building was housed, 1975. Photo courtesy George Villanueva.


by Albert Paul Avila

Tennis in Belize has had a long and illustrious history over the decades. The Pickwick Club has always been the venue of some great matches. Below is an article about the 1950 championship match between Dora Riverol, our ladies' singles, mixed doubles, and doubles champion from 1947 to 1950, and Mrs. Pamela Chaytor, the Barbadian Champion, who was living in Burrell Boom at that time. As the last excerpt revealed, Dora departed Belize in 1951 to get medical treatment in the US. That treatment was for breast cancer, which she eventually overcame, and spent 67 yrs in the U.S. Below is a photo of Dora playing tennis at 92 in the US.

Dora was a public servant, she retired from the PWD after working there for 25 years straight out of St Catherine at age 17 in 1927. Having the choice of a one time gratuity payout of 3 times her BH$300.00 annual salary or a pension , she took the pension option which grew to U.S.$200.00 a month. At the time of her death, she was the longest recipient of a Belize Government pension at 67 yrs.

Article about the 1950 tennis championship match
Article about the 1950 championship match between Dora Riverol, our ladies' singles, mixed doubles, and doubles champion from 1947 to 1950, and Mrs. Pamela Chaytor, the Barbadian Champion.

Dora Riverol
Dora Riverol

Dora Riverol
Dora as a tennis champion.

Dora Riverol
Dora playing at 92.

Photograph by Infrogmation of New Orleans             
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