Battlefield (Central) Park when it was bare ground, 1920's, also a few views from a bit more recently. The park is in front of the Supreme Court.
This was the old Military Parade grounds, ( known as The Battle Field ). The Building on the left is where Brodies now stand. On the right is the old Government Building used for many purposes. The building that follows is the Old Rita's Store ( then called Rita's Mart ) and the Old Abdo's Store, thereafter Romacs. and now Central Commercial Shopping Marl ). Also Krug and Harley Store.
Before it became a park it was simply known as "The Battlefield." This name dates back to 1915 and the arrival of the Salvation Army in Belize who held their early meetings there, singing "I'm on the battlefield for my Lord" a hymn written by the founder of the Salvation Army William Booth. The location's use as a public meeting place, however, dates back as far as 1638. This is where military parades were held in olden days.
This is where George Price gave that historical address on the 6th of January 1950. Here's an excerpt of that most powerful addtess by the Father of the Nation seventy years ago:
"The evidence tonight is solid and unbreakable. The people of Belize have awakened from the sleep of false hopes and empty promises, which have lulled them . - Devaluation of our dollar ( cost of living ) invades our beloved country.
Patriots we are. Loyal citizens of this country. - WE rise up to defend our God given rights, against economic slavery, human misery and bodily starvation.
We rise up in courageous and legitimate resistance against ECONOMIC TYRANNY and OPPRESSION."
To this day it hurts me when they destroyed the trees in Central Park/ Battlefield and changed the unique characters of Albert Street into a concrete jungle to resemble America. Our country is so beautiful unique and full of characters, we should stop trying to look like an American city. Just my thoughts. Now ever one is realizing how important trees are for our existance. Bernadette Burns
Those trees were started from seeds planted in tennis ball cans under my house. My Dad, Scotty Keating, cared for them tenderly until they were planted in the park. Penny Keating
Top photo, Brodies across from the white building. Looks like from the view of courthouse and the sea....no monuments built. Very early stage of Albert St.
2nd photo, the Jamaican regiments I believe. See Brodies on the left.
3rd photo: In 1863, the Legislative Council resolved to acquire and declare the area a "public" space. The name of the park was derived from the spiritual battles carried out by the Salvation Army's religious crusades. At the time the Salvation Army did not have their own building so they used the Battlefield for their gatherings. The design that was used at the time for the park when this photo was taken resembles the British Flag, the Union Jack, wouldn't you say? Check out the truck!
Photograph courtesy Noel Escalante
Battlefield Park, Belize Oral History
In this "2 Cents Cam", we interview residents of Belize City to document the heritage and history of Battlefield Park.
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