The Opening of Holiday Hotel, June 16, 1965
The Island of San Pedro did NOT have a formal Hotel, up to 1964. - There was only a Guest house owned by Mr Jim Blake, and visitors would stay at friends' homes.
BUT there arose, a brilliant young San Pedrana, by name Celi Nunez Grief, who decided to open a small Hotel and named it Holiday.
She invited Premier Price to inaugurate it. I was also invited to attend the ceremony.
In the discussions that ensued, the possibilty of providing electricity and a proper airstrip for San Pedro were presented and noted by Premier Price. San Pedro also needed a Town Pier to replace the one which Hurricane Hattie had destroyed. and a Ball Field.
In the picture from top to bottom were, from left to right.
Young Celi Nunez, Teacher Palacio and Minister Hector Silva. Bottom row: Premier George Price. - Vilage Chairman Fido Nunez - and a Councillor. )
Celi opened Holiday Hotel, a five room establishment, on June 16, 1965: With a sing-song voice that characteristically mixes purpose with humor, Celi described those early days: “We had nada-nothing! No electricity, no water, no phones, not even an airstrip. Guests arrived by sailboat and they were picked up in a Land Rover, the island’s only vehicle. We brought luggage to the hotel with a wheel barrow! ” Dive tourism began on Ambergris Caye when Celi brought in the island’s first compressor in 1970, a 4.5 cubic foot Mako transported in a trailer through Mexico.
Photograph courtesy Hector Silva
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