Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LIGHTHOUSE: Baron Bliss, Belize City

As a sailor I have an affinity for Lighthouses. They are structures whose comfort radiates outward to us sailors. So since I was staying at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City just a few minutes walk from Fort Point as the sailors call it. A visit to the Baron Bliss Lighthouse was in order.

The structure actually serves two purposes. It's a Lighthouse and a memorial to a fellow named Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss. You can see his tomb at the base of the light off to the right in the photo below:

Bliss was an engineer by trade who made a fortune in oil futures. But, in a karmic twist of fate he became paralyzed at the age of 42. But, that did not stop Bliss from enjoying life. He moved aboard a yacht for the rest of his life and went fishing. After fishing his way through the Bahamas and Mexico. He and his yacht eventually ended up off the coast of Belize. Though he never set foot on the Belize mainland but, was still touched by the generosity of the Belize people.
When his health took a turn for the worse at age 57 he decided to donate a large part of his fortune to the people of Belize.

Bliss died soon after aboard his yacht, on March 9, 1926. The country erected this lighthouse/memorial to him and celebrate Baron Bliss Day every year in March.

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