Meet Mr. Alan Forman
Meet Mr. Allan Forman. Mr. Allan Forman was born and raised in San Pedro. He married his wife Helen and had six children: Clive, Delsie, Norma Jean, Betty Anne, Drury and Helen Anne. Mr. Allan Forman's parents were also originally from San Pedro; his other was a Henkis and his father a Forman. His great grandfather was born Belgian and his grandmother was East Indian.
Mr. Forman was at one time a fisherman, like most men in San Pedro during that time, but he was also an ambitious business man. In 1969 he opened a two room hotel next to his family home on Pescador Drive and called it Coral Beach. Mr. Forman also constructed a small restaurant, and according to him, it was the first restaurant in San Pedro.
"The tourism industry was young those days," Mr. Forman recalled. The tourists that came to San Pedro ere a different type of tourist. They wanted a little piece of paradise. They wanted San Pedro all to themselves and they didn't want news about this paradise to spread."
A dive shop was constructed along with the hotel and restaurant and was managed by Mr. Forman himself He was an outstanding diver and fondly re- recalls what diving was like in the 60's. "We use to dive the same places people are diving now. There were very few dive shops then and so the business was good. There was about the same amount of divers diving now but we have so many dive shops that the number of customers per dive shop seems far less than it was in the early days."
In 1993 Mr. Forman was named a Platinum Pro 5000 diver by SCUBA School International. The prestigious award is presented annually to an outstanding diver who completes 5000 dives. According to Mr. Forman, there are only two other men in Belize who have been presented with the Platinum Pro award: Mr. Dave Benette and Mr. Ray Bowers.
In 1981, The Tackle Box Bar was opened by the Forman family. This San Pedro landmark was for years a monumental attraction. People Who visited San Pedro had to visit The Tackle Box. Why? Well, maybe it had to do with its location. The bar sat at the end of a pier facing the Belize Barrier Reef and the lustrous Caribbean Sea. Or, maybe it had to do with great service, delicious piña colada, and a fantastic atmosphere? Or perhaps, it had to do with their famous aquarium. Below the front porch of the bar was an enclosed aquarium where a dolphin, turtles, sharks, eels and a magnificent array of fish lived. As a matter of fact, many people visited The Tackle Box not to drink but to stare at the awesome creatures. One didn't have to travel to Hol Chan or get wet in order get a glimpse of some of Belize's impressive marine life. In 1993 the aquarium was destroyed and the fish found new homes. The Tackle Box was sold in early June, 1998, to Mr. Giovanni Marin - a local businessman and artist.
The Coral Beach Dive Shop is now a successlful 21 room establishment with a restaurant and the dive shop. Mr. Forman no longer dives, and is looking forward to retirement. He can be found most of the time in the lobby at the Coral Beach Hotel talking with friends or at the dive shop lounging on the pier.