Today in Belize: Baron Bliss Day

Today in Belize: Baron Bliss Day

In Belize, March 9 is Baron Bliss Day, which celebrates a benefactor who left his substantial fortune to the country at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Baron Bliss (aka Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss) is a somewhat mysterious figure. He was a wealthy British engineer who loved travel, fishing, and sailing and continued these hobbies even after he was paralyzed at age 42.

He came to Belize (then called British Honduras) in search of big game fishing, and spent his days on the water, exploring the reefs and the cayes. When his health began to fail, Bliss consulted his lawyers and drew up a will. Upon his death in 1926, he left his estate to the country and people of Belize. He also stipulated that £100 be set aside each year for an annual regatta in his memory, a tradition that continues to this day.

The Baron Bliss fund has advanced a number of social and civic projects in Belize, including the Bliss School of Nursing, the Belize City Water Supply System, and the Intransit Lounge at Belize International Airport.