Holden Memorial Hospital, later known as the Chateau Caribbean, long ago
The Chateau Caribbean, a beautiful historic building suffered devastating loss November 27, 2016 as a fire engulfed the building. This beautiful building was built in the early 1900's. It was 100% built by Canadian Ceder. It was built and assembled in Canada, then dismantled, shipped to Belize, and reassembled in the spot where it was until yesterday. It was owned by the Biddle family and was the most expensive home built of its time. It survived the Hurricanes of 1931 and 1961. It later became known as the Holden Memorial Hospital under the care of Dr McCleary. This building was truly a magnificent home and a tremendous loss to our historical heritage. There are only a few historical homes left, the Belize Estate home is one of them. Those that remain need to be preserved for the generations to come.
This used to be the best place in Belize to get a t-bone steak meal back in the late 70's/early 80's. It was truly a historical landmark.
It was also the home of Fred & Minnie (nee Grant) Biddle. (Mr. Vidal who became Mr. Biddle.) He owned a popular store where the Belize City Post Office is now located. Capt John Biddle & Catherine (nee Lind) had three children: John, Adelia, and Fred. There is a back story about that structure. It was built in Canada, maybe Nova Scotia and then deconstructed and and shipped down in pieces to British Honduras. Biddle's store had the best toys. It had a beautiful staircase and floors.
There is another story that the Biddle House was designed by C. N. Fraser and built by Fred Biddle from Belize mahogany. It was fun to play in that attic.
Dr. McCleary developed and added the hospital wing, he was also the owner of the Mango Walk that was situated in the Independence Village which he sold after a while. David Bradley was the administrator at the hospital for many years and developed a great friendship with Dr. McCleary and Ms. Eunice Bayba. The ground floor was converted to a night club called Zorba the Greek back in the 1980s. In the 70's Dr Cabrera one of the physicians there.
In 1820 when the Old Public Hospital was built and you were considered a “Poor White Person”, one would have to apply for admission to the hospital from any Magistrate for approval.
Missing Chateau Caribbean’s Sea Food Combo,those Sizzling Steaks and most of all Vera Lowe’s warm, welcoming smile.
Had the pleasure to work there with Tracy Panton and other great friends.
For more information on the fire and building, click here.
Caribbean Chateau Hotel Drone
A drone video of the Belize Chateau Caribbean Hotel. March 2018, 500 days after the fire, with a little history of the building.
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