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 Henry Edward Ernest Victor “Baron Bliss” Bliss

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Henry Edward Ernest Victor “Baron Bliss” Bliss Famous memorial

Birth
Marlow, Wycombe District, Buckinghamshire, England
Death 9 Mar 1926 (aged 57)
Belize, Belize
Burial Fort George, Belize, Belize
Memorial ID 15969399 View Source

The national benefactor of Belize, formally known as British Honduras, known as Baron Bliss he never set foot in the country. Born Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss in Buckinghamshire with a family linaege that went back to Edward Bliss, an Englishman who gained the Portugese title Baron Barreto in the 1820's. The English Barons Barreto considered that, being Bliss's too, they could legitimately use the happy name Baron Bliss. Though paralyzed from the waist down from 1911, Baron Henry maintained his love of sailing and fishing, and left his wife and his native land for the Caribbean in 1920, spending the next six years living aboard his yacht Sea King II off the Bahamas and Trinidad. After a bad bout of food poisoning in Trinidad, the baron took up an invitation from Belize's Attorney General, Willoughby Bullock, and dropped anchor off Belize on January 14, 1926. After a few weeks, Baron Bliss' health took a turn for the worse, and doctors pronounced that the end was near. On February 17, 1926, the baron signed a will aboard the Sea King II, leaving most of his one million pound fortune to Belize. He had fallen in love with a country that he had never set foot in. The testament stated that a Baron Bliss Trust be set up to invest his bequest, and that all income from it be used for the permanent benefit of Belize and its citizens, while the capital sum remain intact. No churches, dance halls, or schools, except for agricultural or vocational schools, were to be built with the Bliss Trust money or could the money be used for repairs or maintenance to the Trust's own projects. Over the decades the Baron Bliss Trust has spent over one million US dollars on projects like the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts, the Fort George Lighthouse which is next to the barons final resting place, the Bliss School of Nursing and several health centers and libraries. An annual national holiday, Baron Bliss Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the baron's death.

Bio by: Helaine M. Larina

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