Presbyterian Church (Scots Kirk) in Belize City, long ago
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April 26, 2021

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The church on the central park, early 1960's. Notice no tall steeple in this photo, unlike the photo at the top of this page. The steeple may have lost after the 1931 Hurricane.

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It is saddening to reflect that no great ancient races inhabited these lovely Isles, that no great man ever lived, and laboured, and worked, and fought, and died, and left a name for posterity to honour and to cherish as a ‘household word’; that no time-honoured tower or world-famed temple, or pilgrim haunted shrine ever stood on yonder cape—in short, that the past is all a blank.
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Presbyterian Church (Scots Kirk) in Belize City, long ago

Three historic buildings. Starting from the left, Captain Richard Foote Warehouse, Dr. Cran House, the Presbyterian Church, and the Biddle's store/house which is across the river.

Dr. John Young, the 1st Belizean medical doctor, chaired the committee that recommended the site for this church. Next to the church, a doctors office then Lawyer Francis was there before it was the DFC building.

Just below is what the building next to Scot-Kirk looks like today in 2022. Photo by George Villanueva.




Great little photo from Back then, near the Court House and Battlefield Park, I remember them ol coke delivered trucks, and the old Presbyterian church. The old Scot Kirk. Photo courtesy George Villanueva.

Harold Usher: This is the Presbyterian Church, otherwise known as Scots Kirk Church, located beside the Court House (not shown) and in front of the old battlefield park (not shown). Traffic is heading toward the Old Belize Market (traffic travel in the opposite direction today) and the swing Bridge. I am very familiar with this area. During my youth in Belize, British Honduras, this was one of my main Stumping ground. Just to the right of that red Truck was one of the town's (city) fire bells and then the famous court house wharf, where all the sailing boats bringing in produce such as fruits and vegetables and coconuts and plantains and bananas and others, from other food producing communities, such as Sarteneja, Mullins River, Ambergris Caye, and others, would parked and unload their produces there at the wharf. During the 1940's and before, that is where the small time entrepreneurs (venders) had their stalls (huts) to purchase and then sell these products at retail price, after purchasing them at wholesale price from the boat owners. I used to park my push-cart out there and ran jobs for other community variety store owners who purchased from the boats owners larger quantity of their products also. I would carry their purchases in my Cart to their address in various parts of the town. Each trip was $0.15 cents in my pocket. In 1949 the Government moved the vendors and their stalls, mainly shacks from the Court House Wharf to North Front Street, along the river-side between, Pickstock Street and Victoria Street, in front of Paper (now Rhaburn) Alley. Apparently, that later became known as Lee Market. So, I turned the curve where the red truck is doing the same in this pictures many times, pushing my cart ahead of me, earning a living - Physically. Later on in 1956-7 I worked on the second Floor of Brodies and had the pleasure of sitting my its window and looking across and saw young boys doing exactly what I did a few years before, knowing that someday they will look back and appreciate that struggle.

Stephen Cain: If you look at the picture after the Presbyterian Church there is a sign Belize Dry Cleaners lower flat (same block where the DPP offices are now located) was Belize’s first ever dry cleaners back in the 70’s that was affected drastically by Hurricane Greta. There were far more bicycles being used than motor vehicles. DFC was in the upper floor of that wooden building once in the early 80's as I remember.

Nick Pollard: That red truck, do I see a white line in form of a wave? The truck resembles the flat beds that made up the Coca Cola sales fleet.

Michelle Rivana Buckley: Indian store next to market and upstairs was a motel in the building next to the church. My cousins were members of that church.

Penny Keating: Beyond the Scots Kirk was Dr. James Cran's home. Downstairs was his office. There was also a pharmacy on the lower level. The building beyond that was Capt. Foote's building then the market. Dr. James Cran left his home in Rhynie, Scotland to come to Belize. He married the daughter of Capt. John and Catherine Biddle. Dr. Cran is buried in Belize. The homes of Catherine Biddle and Dr. Cran are still standing in Belize City.

Dora Riverol: The brick Scotch Church survived the 1931 hurricane when others like the Wesleyan and St Mary's Churches did not and it would have survived Hattie had not a large barge possibly loaded with sugar been driven into it by the force of Hattie's wind and storm surge. Glad that the replacement is made partly of brick, the bricks currently on the Church structure are bricks salvaged from the old building ... a really nice compromise to save and cherish some of the old.

Top photograph courtesy Belize Abroad

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