Using kerosene lights for street lights in Cayo, 1930's
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Tuesday April 3, 2018

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Hector Silva
I have served my country in all elected capacities. Mayor, Legislator, Minister of government and Senator. I was born a villager of Carmelita, todays Santa Familia. My hobby all my life has been to research and research in order to find the truth.
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Using kerosene lights for street lights in Cayo, 1930's

This photo must be in the 1930's - But the lanterns were still installed there, when I took over in 1958. I asked Mr Broaster to put them up.

In 1958, with the exception of Belize City, streets in District Towns were lighted with Kerosene lanterns. There was a person, who took care of attending to this Town service. ( In our case it was Mr Frederick Waight RIP ). These were lighted at 6.00 PM and extinguished by Day Light.

There were twelve only kerosene Lamps which lighted the Town of San Ignacio at night. Santa Elena had none. The process began, at 6.00 PM every evening, when Mr Frederick Waight (Mr Agustine Sabido Sr. before) picked up his ladder and gallon of kerosene. He began his daily job by lighting and servicing the Twelve Lanterns, which lighted the streets of San Ignacio. At 6.00 AM Mr Waight with his ladder climbed and extinguished the Lamps for the day.

(Note. - There was an old light plant bought from Barton Ramie, but it was defected and barely worked., The electric poles were Botan, which rotted.

SO IN 1962 we began to supply the Town from the Water supply generators until when we established the FULL TWENTY FOUR HOUR SERVICE in 1964.

In San Ignacio there were 12 lanterns.- - Burns Avenue 4 - West Street 4, - Front of Police Station 1 - -Boat wharf 1 - Hospital 1 - and by Catholic Church 1 - - Anglican Church was service by one from Burns Avenue. Here is that one by Daniel Habet Shop (Now Atlantic Bank corner on Burns Avenue). The street on the picture above is Burns Avenue when it was called Commerce Street and others called it Front Street.

With all the riches that the monster Mahogany and Chicle extraction brought to our towns, - The System did not see the need to give us electricity and water supply in our Towns.

When I became Mayor and Minister of Utilities I had to travel to L0NDON to negotiate a long term Loan to give all District Towns these service on a 24 hours basis. AND WE PAID THESE LOANS IN DUE TIME. ( no mal pago ).

Here is one of those lanterns facing the Police Station.- Mr Fred Waight had a short ladder to climb up to readh the street lamps - one gallon of kerosene to re-fill the lanterns - and tomorrow he would come and out it as day break. Don Sabido was a street lighter too. Frederick Waight took over when Don Agustin Sabido became the Market Keeper. He used to blow that Conck Shell, which we used to hear WAY da Carmelita when there was meat at the Market behind Miss Rossy Lewis. Don Sabido was a meat inspector too. When Mr Luna,the Health Inspector was absent, Don Sabido did the inspecting. He was well trained.

When we got 24 hours a day electricity, I ordered our good and faithful Foreman, Mr.Norman Broaster to take them down, clean them, to be used as exhibition at a later exhibit.

SOME ONE GOT STICKY HANDS, AND SOLD THEM - So we lost a part of our history.

Ernest Hambleton was the lightman in Orange Walk .He was also the sanitation/ garbageman, it was one mule named Carlota and a cart with iron wheels. Sanitation in San Ignacio was first done by Mr Norman Broaster and then Don Felipe Escalera, (called "Hay que Dale")

Photograph courtesy Hector Silva

I used to work at BEL from Jan 1988 to September 2001;14 years 8 months. First as a power plant operator then a maintenance technician. I worked in all the power stations countrywide . Do you know the last Dorman diesel first in use way back in the 1960's I was told generator in use was in Caye Corker that was in 1990. We had to spray gasoline down the air inlet filter before it started up as the engine was so old but it work reliably until it was phased out with bigger caterpillar diesel engines which is still in use... Colin Gillett

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