Every year on September 10th Belize celebrates St. Georges Caye Day, the day that a heroic crew of British settlers, buccaneers and slaves defeated the Spaniards from occupying the territory of Belize.
Many people in Belize and the world might not know or understand the significance of this day; thus, we decided to compile 10 important facts that you need to know of the Battle of St. George’s Caye.
1.) The Battle of St George’s Caye took place from September 3 - 10, 1798 off the coast of Belize between the Baymen and the Spaniards. However on September 10, 1798, the Baymen defeated the Spanish Navy and thus, September 10, 1798 marked the final attempt to take over Belize.
2.) Prior to 1798, the Spaniards had previously attempted to expel the Baymen from Belize in the years 1716, 1724, 1733, 1747, 1751 and 1779.
3.) After their defeat, the Spaniards never tried gaining control over the territory of Belize.
4.) Because of the Baymen’s victory, today Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America.
5.) On the 100th anniversary of the Battle of St George's Caye, the Government of Belize declared September 10th a national holiday.
6.) Today, over 200 years later, the 10th of September is celebrated as a Public and Bank Holiday in Belize.
7.) Every year on September 10, many activities are planned all over the country to commemorate this historical event.
8.) The Battle of St George’s Caye is a significant event to Belizean Historians because of the courage, persistence, and military tactics that were employed by the Baymen to win the fight.
9.) For Belizeans, the Battle of St George's Caye marks the moment when the people of the settlement, of all races and creeds, decided to defend something that even back then they recognized as worthy of fighting for.
10.)This year Belize will celebrate the 217th anniversary of the Battle of Saint George’s Caye Day.
The tenth day of September was written by B. F. Abeling. Lyrics of the song is below:
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.