Peter and Peggy Hancock
Peter and Peggy Hancock, and their children Natalie and Michael, 1960's & 70's
Peter Hancock was an American engineer who had immigrated to Ambergris Caye in the 1950s and ran a coconut walk, Buena Vista Cocal, north of San Pedro. He was also a Master Sargent in the US 8th Army Air Corp.
Peggy, born British and Peter, an
American met during the war in England. They lived in New York
and New Jersey until 1959, when they moved to
San Pedro. Peter, who came from a well to do family, decided to move from the USA
because he wanted his children to appreciate people more than material
The Hancocks first read about San Pedro in a newspaper advertising
"land for sale in British Honduras." Peggy and Peter decided to visit the
country and fell in love with Ambergris Caye. Returning home, they made a
decision to relocate to the small island they had known as La Isla Bonita. Peter
prepared his family for the journey aboard their sailing boat by allowing each
member of the family only one piece of luggage, since he wanted them to live a
simple life in their new home. Natalie commented, "Dad was a genius. He was an
Executive Electronics Engineer in New York. He believed that making a lot of
money was not all important if one did not have time to enjoy life. That is why
he opted for the lifestyle we lived in San Pedro. Folks could take Peter their old vacuum tube radios to get fixed."
Peter also helped start the Caribeña Producers Cooperative Society Limited, a fishing cooperative registered in March of 1963 with a roll of 50 members. Among other activities, he drafted the cooperative’s by-laws and consulted with government officials, in part because the organizers were not comfortable with their English skills. Additional fishermen were attracted to the cooperative because of their respect for Hancock and the founders.
Here is the Hancock family in the early 1960's at home on the beach at Buena Vista, just south of where Grand Caribe is now.
Bottom left is Natalie, and her brother Mike in the white tshirt. Then Beto Gomez, and Peggy (Chi Chi Peg) and Peter. The dog was named Freddie! There is a little less than an acre left as Grand Caribe now stands on that land.
They had lovely easter egg hunts.
With them is a coconut farmer, Mr. Beto Gomez who also worked for them as like a groundskeeper. . Nurse Natalie was a teenage dream girl. (For more on Nurse Natalie Palen, click here and here.) Michael was the young white boy all the girls were crazy over. Mr. Pete was busy repairing radios, tracking hurricanes ( In the 1960's everyone listened to Cayman Radio Station and to Mr. Peter Hancock for weather predictions.) and assisting with the founding of the fishing cooperative. And Peggy, well, she was her usual charming and lovely self. Their home was one of royalty in the 1960's when everyone else was in thatch. Now they and their children and grandchildren (Mike and Kathy Hancock) and great grandchildren are 100% San Pedranos.
Remembrances from John William Boston: Oh Heavens above, at long last some memories of my late friends Peter and Peggy Hancock. Peter and Peggies home up on the 4”x 4” wooden ‘Stilts’ was just south of El Pescador (then owned by the Krueger’s). Peter was such a... Professor- so much Knowledge, myself, being a long range Signals operator (Heading North to Xcalac to recce Mexican Military buildup I would visit Peter and Peggy with my Army rations whilst traveling North to Xcalak to gather Military Intelligence during the ‘77 Guatemalan Insurgency crisis) I’d spend hours talking Science and Facts with Peter whilst dear Peggie would entertain us with her best English version of English Tea. Ma’am Peggy always made me a cup of Char (Army Tea) when I would carry Army ration Supplies on my visit to their ‘home on stilts...’
Many will remember (Thank you Marty ) that I have tried so hard to find such memories- it is well known I was San Pedro’s Resident Soldier at the ‘Army House’ (Coral Lodge).
It is known by some I was the Island Survival Instructor for British Troops operating in the Jungle on mainland Belize during the ‘Incursion’ period ‘77 and also the RAF Harrier Aircraft Pilots that pleased many - but I believe also overturned a few Fishermen in their boats!
Anyway, back to Peter and Peggy.. Whilst I was patrolling North to Xcalak, I would be sure to carry upon my back a good supply of my Survival rations- which like many a San Pedrano were in high demand.
Peggy would always welcome me with much English Tea while Peter and I would enjoy discussing technical matters.. usually relating to HF/VHF Antennae Communications of which we were both well qualified!
I remember once Peter was so cross with me regarding a difference of opinion regarding the correct installation of an HF Di-Pole, it was decided I’d continue North to Xcalak on my patrol, oop’s!
Naturally, all would be forgotten (we were each fond of the other) upon my return South.
I recall that Peter and Peggy were the most Northerly living members of the San Pedro Community.. certainly further North than the Kruegers (Cathi and Juergen of the El Pescador ?) and definitely North of the ‘Cooks’ whose name I dare not speak.
If my Memory is incorrect in their dwelling location please Beg my pardon. I’m not 19 now!
I have wall in my home office full of memories of my time spent on the Island.
so many years later, I Frequently think of Peter and Peggy.. they left a most positive mark in my heart.
Corporal (Rtd. John Boston- Queens Regiment, 1977)
Holly Hamman Creel:
Oh my gosh! Peter and Peggy Hancock are such a part of the San Pedro history I know and love. My mom and dad adored them! As did I. We would ride by their home on the way to Robles/Rocky Point. Thank you for this memory! San Pedro in the 50s and 60s were the years I knew and loved. Peter and Peggy. I always admired their family- they were smart, independent and very savvy. My mom and dad adored them both. I remember Billie and Spencer Robinson also They lived north of San Pedro as well. Memory Lane for me! In the 6Os.
I remember Miss Peggy coming to our bar - drank rum with no ice. Sweet lady! That would have been in 1998 when we owned the Palapa Bar.
I can still smell their lime koolaid, they will always be part of our San Pedro family,forever in our hearts, kind and loving.
Only Tea and biscuits? I always remember there being a picnic table full of yummy food!!
Omar Guerrero: I was pretty young but I know he was very instrumental in give weather reports, especially hurricane. He used to get latest updates of hurricanes from Swan Island, but what most beautiful, he used to walk into town to give his report. They were very nice people.
Photos of Paggy Hancock, and one photo of their home in the 90's (Next three photos by Tina Berntsen-Pesenti, the three pictures below that are from Sam Palen)
Peter and Peggy Hancock
by Angel Nunez
You do not have to be born in San Pedro to be a San Pedrano. Such is the case of Peter and Peggy Hancock, retired British citizens who retired and migrated to San Pedro in the 1960’s They anchored their roots in San Pedro and left many relafives and tons of friends who admired them and hold them dearly to their hearts.
When the Hancocks arrived to the Island ,they purchased some property about two or three miles north of San Pedro, a coconut plantation known as Tres Cocos. His grandchildren including Muchael Hamcock live there now. It was soon discovered that Peter waa an expert in repairing radios, record players, ampliiers, and he like. He was the one and only technician and of course, San Pedranos sought him with their large Stereo Record Players, etc. Peter was always so willing to be of service and what made him extra pecial was that he did not charge a penny. He would say in broken Spanish, “Solo traerme un paquete de cigarros.” Indeed he was a heavy smoker. Meanwhile Peggy took on the role of Island nurse. She visited homes to deal with all of the Islanders’ ills and pains, scrapes, cuts and wounds, nail punctures, fractures, even headaches and fevers. Sone people even referred to her as “nurse”. Talk about one intelligent man always willing to assist others and that was Peter. Talk about one sweet lady with a generous heart and that was Peggy. They were like twins sharing the same apprecization, love and caring passion for people.
A visit to Buena Vista, their home up north, as was always a pleasure. They would offer one cup of tea and biscuits which Peggy made herself. At the time of leaving they, especially Peggy, would stretch the conversation as if desirous of wanting you to stay longer. They lived secluded lives and a visit to their place was like Christmas. Around 1963 when San Pedranos were organizing their fishing co-operative, “Peter The Itellectual” was very instrumental, in communicating with Government Ministers, drafting letters, and even writing the constitution for the organization. He called meetings and even organized the annual general meetings. This gained added respect and appreciation for the Hancocks. Even their two children, Michael and Nathalie Hancock were treated with the same love and appreciation. Michael married a San Pedrana and left many other beloved Hancocks still living in this community. Including Michzel, Peter, Judy and Kathy. Incidentally, Nathalie became a certified nurse and gave of her unswearving service and love to our San Pedro community vor umpteen years. .
As you can appreciate, Peter and Peggy Hancock planted deep and strong roots in San Pedro and left many offsprings in San Pedro who can proudly look up to them and join the rest of us who can call them “ Un Orgullo San Pedrano” (A Pride of San Pedro.)
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