Southside view of Belize City, British Honduras, 1937
This old post card from Angelus Press shows a good view of Governor's House and St. John's Cathedral on Belize City's Southside. (I think this picture is from the late fifties as St. John's still has a fence)
Harold Usher: If you are familiar with this South end of Belize City, you may recognize some of the buildings - Government House, now House of Culture, St. John's cathedral, St. Hilda's College, The Water Reservoir (one of the few yallow water storage tanks), Fore Shore, regent Street, Albert Street, The Fort George, etc. And then there is the vehicle - Not many of them in those days. Also not many people walking the streets at this end.
What it was like in the neighborhood
by Eugene Trench
I grew up in Belize City on the Southside around Waterlane, Regent St West, Richard Street (older folks love to say Richard Sidewalk) Alexandria St(street born and grew up on) Bagdad, Mosul and Vernon St made up our neighborhood. Where neighbors were neighbors who lookout for each other, when your neighbor lash or spank you for getting into mischief you donít dare complain because itís another from your parents. We played in each other yard boys and girls together whether its basketball, football, cricket marbles, top, cowboy pictures, jacks and ball, Ludo and Snake and Ladder, hop scotch, hide and seek, play house mmmm Fill up large Milo and Klim pans with dirt which was our roller or make a cart out of a box with thread spool and bicycle tube as wheels, make boats out of sea-bread and sail them in the drains after a downpour.
Friday evenings if grades good a matinee to start the weekend and if you go to Church on Sundays another Sunday matinee treat. When you get a treat of 25 cents that could have buy a Valencia Ideal, a cheese or corn chips along with biscuits name polgoround or hard time. When seeing Chiki-Chick or National Velvet teasing them ďChiki Chick with the bamboo stick ď and run, or tease the local girls who love the British Soldiers ďkonkas eena milkĒ After matinee playing in Battlefield Park or Baron Bliss Park on the swings was fun, When mom away put condense milk with lime in a cup and eat it. Seasonal fruits you must have which was black berries, cashew, bukut, craboo, custard apple etc. When grocery shops use to give brata and didnít sell alcohol beverages only drunken men you see was out if bars not grocery shops. Was afraid to pass Lord Ridge Cemetery in the night especially after a ghost or Dracula movie.
When lunch was luncheon meat or potted meat sandwiche and Milo or Ovaltine in the morning or night only grown folks drank coffee. Kool Aid was the choice drink midday with dinner and softdrinks llke Coke Fanta 7-up . and Bradleyís Suncrest and Lemonade was for Sundays and special holidays. Policemen were look upon as heroes and was afraid if you get caught by them doing mischief. Anancy stories along with Bra Tiger and Tataduhende was always a treat. A good purge of Castor Oil or Sienna before School Open was mandatory. Tennis Shoe had to be scrub throughout the year and sometimes your school bag get transferred onto a Market or Grocery bag . When big people talking donít bother hang around for one second because when you get the eye you get the message.
Those were the days. I used to lived down the street. Remember your mom as teacher at St. Ignatius. And when I used to go buy bread n bun at Ms Marsden. Black recardo da Ms Cruz. Sunny n Tan was around the lane. I was infront Mr. Blades shop. Great days.
Maria Mally Gomez Perez:
To add to discipline when someone called at the gate only one person could go out to see who was calling. We couldn't all rush out to see who came. We grew up on Ferrel's Lane and at night the guys would come to serenade any one of my aunts. We would hear it from the open window but none of us could get up to see who they were.
Maria Real Rindock:
My friend Eugene, you might not remember me,but I was very good friends with your mom Helen. She was a God fearing person,and loved her family very much, A teacher at St, Ignatius. I remember I would go to her house every Sunday just two houses from where I lived, My poor mom God rest hurt soul would tell me that it was my day to cook the rice and beans, I would put it to cook and would to visit with your mom. I said to myself(someone would have to tend to it if they wanted to eat Sunday dinner. When I thought it was done, I would go back home.,and get a good tongue lashing.I enjoyed talking to your mom ever had a mean word to say about anyone. she left us too young. God needed a special angel by his side. I know all your siblings,and Iím very proud of you guys, especially my precious godaughter Carolyn. Hope to see you one day when I visit home.
I grew up on corner of Amara avenue and Cemetery rd. where Mr.Bradley had his book store. I know all those areas and did all those things. Swim at the Belize river mouth before Belcan bridge was ever taught about. I was on the Pontoon Bridge that fell and 7 people died. Moved to Pickstock st. and finish School at Holy Redeemer and SJC.
The Swimming Pool at Government House
Albert Paul Avila:
This photo shows the Governorís swimming pool. This pool was there up to the time Dame Minita Gordon was there. We lost it to a certain extent when the property was renovated in 1998. The good thing is that it is still there but under the current public restroom area.
I have always heard of a swimming pool at Government House. The first time I heard about it was from Mr. Pacheco who lived nearby on Cockburn Lane. He said when he was a boy he and some of the neighbourhood boys would sneak into the property and take a dip in the Governor's swimming pool. He said the Governor would come out and say: "what are you boys doing there". He even said it with an English accent and all. It was quite amusing when he said to me because I did not expect him to say it with an English accent. An image of a Governor flashed in my mind when he said it. Then I heard a story from a gentleman that use to be a security during Dame Minita Gordon's tenure and he said that they would peep on the Dame as she swam in the pool,. The Governor would get her revenge by stealing their hats when they fell asleep in the security booth. But where was this elusive swimming pool? See if you can locate it in the above photo.
It stands at the edge of the Southern Veranda. It was a small elevated pool. This I believe was the first swimming pool on the Southside of Belize City. The second pool was at the Bliss Hotel. It was not elevated and was at ground level.
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