Monday, 10 September 2012

The Tenth of September

The Tenth of September has so many meanings for me.  First it is my mother's birthday, she would have been 90 years young!  Happy Birthday mother.  I love you always and forever.  It is also Belize's St. Georges Caye Day when it was known as British Honduras, a colony of Great Britain.  It is a National Holiday in Belize!  Hip Hip Hurrah!  Very emotional for me as I remember my mother!

Belize You Born Deh - Lord Rhaburn Combo

Sept. 10 St. Georges Caye Day, National Day
A colourful parade throughout town with an all day fair at Central Park. Live local music on the beach. On September 10, 1798, at St. George's Caye Belize, the British buccaneers (Slaves, Baymen and British soldiers) fought with the Spaniards over the territory of Belize and won. This small caye, 9 miles North-East of Belize City, is steeped in history and was once the home of buccaneers and pirates. Between 1650 and 1784 it was the first capital of the British settlement. The island's greatest moment of glory came on 10th September 1798 at the Battle of St. George's Caye.

On this day the Baymen of Belize prepared to defend their tiny settlement against a Spanish invasion of 32 ships carrying 2,000 troops and 500 seamen. The Baymen's modest fleet consisted of one sloop - HMS Merlin - with approximately 117 sailors and troops on board, two sloops with 25 men each and seven gun flats with 16 men each. The decisive battle was going to take place in the waters around St. George's Caye.

At the sound of the first gunfire about 200 colonial troops and Baymen, who had been left to guard the mainland, could not be restrained from going to the aid of the Merlin. Fishing smacks, dories, pitpans and anything else that could float set off with whatever arms could be mustered.

Incredibly, on that memorable day - heavily outnumbered and against all the odds - the Baymen achieved a decisive victory. Black men and white men fought courageously side by side, miraculously without the loss of a single life! The Spanish were not quite so fortunate and many of the dead are buried on nearby Caye Chappel. This was the last attempt made by the Spanish to oust the British from Belize.

The tradition of celebrating this victory is still carried on today, and each year a week long calendars of events ranging from religious services to carnivals are held.

Around the country similar official ceremonies and parades take place. Carnivals, sporting activities, fire engine parade, and pop concerts held several days prior to this event.

The mood in the City and District Towns is upbeat as a throngs of Belizeans from home and abroad, as well as visitors flock the country to participate in the celebrations. On the morning of September 10th, Belizeans and friends of Belize parade through the streets and enjoy local dishes, spirits, and music. The upbeat feeling and festivities continue until September 21st, Independence Day in Belize.
Above article from Belize Public & Bank Holidays Web Site

The Tenth Day of September words and music by B. F. Abeling
It was the 10th day of September In ninety-eight Anno Domini
when our fore-fathers won the
glorious fight at Old St. George’s Caye
Then hail them – cheer them.
Let our grateful loyal hearts not fail them,
as we march and sing and shout in merry glee
The Battle of St. George’s Caye.
Hip! Hip! Hurrah. Hip! Hip! Hurrah.

Always and forever Happy Birthday Mother and Happy Tenth of September to Belize!

Hip Hip Hurrah!   Tenth Day Carnival in Belize.

Pictures and September Song courtesy of the San Pedro Sun! 

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