The first meeting of the Government House in Belize was in 1815 when a public meeting on the site was held to decide if the colony should allocate funds to the building of a house for the Superintendent. A sum of 3,000 pounds sterling was set and the building commenced. The first Superintendent to live in the house was Colonel Arthurs who had chosen the site due to it’s downtown location and close proximity to St. John’s Cathedral.
Used as the head of government’s house for over 150 years many notable celebrations have been held at the Government House. In 1815, 1825 and 1845, kings from the Mosquito Coast were crowned at St. John’s Cathedral with celebrations at the Government House. In 1838 another celebration was held at the Government House when, what was then known as the British Honduras, emancipated all of it’s slaves and abolished slavery in the colony. Probably the most poignant of celebrations came on September 21st, 1981, when the Union Jack was lowered and the Belize flag was raised for the first time.
In it’s early days only Belize’s elite were allowed in to the house, but today the Government House is what they call a “House of Culture” and anyone with $5 USD can get in from 8AM-5PM. When we were there Denise and AJ went and looked at the displays available (a lot of local art) and some historical displays. I (John) decided to sit on the portico steps and I read the story about how the Baymen defeated the Spanish armada.