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Mike Gvara, "Island Dog"
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Poster Marty Offline
Posted 06/16/11 05:01 AM
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Island Icon Mike Gvara AKA "Island Dog" Passes Away

The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that long time island resident and artist Mike Gvara, fondly known as "Island Dog" was found deceased in his San Pedro home this evening.

According to friends, Mr. Gvara has been suffering from ill health and was last seen Saturday afternoon letting his dogs in. No foul play is suspected at this time.

For years The San Pedro Sun printed his amusing cartoons depicting the island life he had grown to love. He will be terribly missed and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

Other articles about Island Dog can be read at:

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#409924 - 06/15/11 07:00 PM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
weile Offline
So sad... Mike was a very dear friend to us. I will cry and laugh at the same time when I am putting up my little collection of his original drawings in our new house in Europe in August.
I will always remember when he and I went out on Captain Ricks catamaran to spread our great friend and Mike's veteraran friend Bobby's ashes by the reef. It was one of the most honest and emotional moments I have ever experienced, and just thinking of it, sitting there with Mike, one of the kindest people I've ever met, puts tears in my eyes.
I trust and hope that someone will give my buddy Mike the same kind of farewell. Too bad that I'm thousands of miles away.
Love ya' Mike. Good luck, where ever you are...

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#409931 - 06/15/11 08:16 PM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
tacogirl Offline
My best memory of Mike was on our first trip here before we made it home. We were staying next door to him and saw him daily - he put the smallest hermit crab in my hand trying to startle me we both had a good laugh.
_________________________
tacogirl Facebook, Belize Life Linked In - Belize info & images https://www.facebook.com/tacogirl


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#409948 - 06/16/11 12:40 AM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
BZE Me Offline
We are arranging a memorial for Dog at Canucks on Tuesday.

Come by to say goodbye if you like. I really cannot tell you how much I will miss him.

I will let everyone know via the board what time.

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#409959 - 06/16/11 05:01 AM Mike Gvara, "Island Dog"
Marty Offline

Island Icon Mike Gvara AKA "Island Dog" Passes Away

The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that long time island resident and artist Mike Gvara, fondly known as "Island Dog" was found deceased in his San Pedro home this evening.

According to friends, Mr. Gvara has been suffering from ill health and was last seen Saturday afternoon letting his dogs in. No foul play is suspected at this time.

For years The San Pedro Sun printed his amusing cartoons depicting the island life he had grown to love. He will be terribly missed and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

Other articles about Island Dog can be read at:

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#409971 - 06/16/11 06:33 AM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
Cayemen Offline
We will miss Mike, he was a good friend and neighbor.
_________________________
Belize Real Estate Listings BREL

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#410061 - 06/17/11 07:43 PM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
BZE Me Offline
Memorial for Mike at Canuck's Tuesday at 5.

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#410067 - 06/17/11 09:31 PM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Here's an article on Mike from the San Pedro Sun, August 30, 2007

Ambergris Caye is quickly becoming a haven for many artists and those aspiring to be one. The picture-perfect sunrise and sunsets, a casual walk on the beach or the friendly face of a Mestizo laborer have been immortalized by artists in San Pedro and those visiting the island. The artists and their fascinating work contribute much to our growing community. Our Belize Community is happy to introduce to you a familiar face in San Pedro who has been inspired by the island charm - Mr. Mike Gvara.

Mike, like many others who have chosen Belize and San Pedro as their home, had no intention of making Belize his permanent residence. He is a father of two - a son John and a daughter Shannon of Austin, Texas, USA. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA and was raised in Windsor, Connecticut where he attended high school. At the age of 18, he entered into the US Army and served for six years. During this time he did one term in the infantry in Korea and one year as a helicopter door gunner in Vietnam. After serving in the army he did on-the-job training and developed an interest in the printing business. In 1974, he commenced work at Eastern Colored Graphics running newspaper presses until 1978. He then moved to Orange County in California, USA to start a new business. Mike hooked up with a partner in Westminster and started Royal Limousine Services. This promising business proved successful to Mike and his partner until 1991. With business doing well, Mike rewarded himself with a vacation. Friends had recommended a place in Central America known to them as Belize. He took the chance and set off to visit this new place. His first stop was at Caye Caulker Village where he was overwhelmed with the natural beauty and slow-paced life. What was to be a two week-long vacation turned out to be a month which then two and the rest is history. What possessed Mike to stay in this country is very simple; he had always had a keen interest to do art and Belize offered all the opportunities to make this a reality. Mike made a phone call to his partner in Westminster to sell his part of the business and the deal was done. Belize was his new home. With the sale of his business he invested in a bar at Caye Caulker. Along with his Belizean partner, Mike ran Mad Annie’s Bar for three and a half years. During this time he also completed three of his pen and ink drawings.

Mike then moved to the interior of Belize, near Dangriga, to house-sit for a friend. The way of life there was even slower than Caye Caulker Village and he found himself with a lot of free time. On the positive side, the surroundings were breathtaking. The scenic environment was exactly the needed inspiration to give birth to the artist inside Mike. He also started to experiment with coconut sculpturing. When his friend returned, Mike moved to Hopkins where he opened a restaurant. Mike had now lived in three different parts of the country - all of them wonderful in their own way, but he knew that to pursue his artistic desires, he would need to make one last move. While living in Caye Caulker, he frequently entertained himself with another of his great passions - sailing. His sailing trips usually took him to San Pedro. During his trips, he made many friends and saw the great potential for his drawings. He eventually moved to San Pedro and now devotes his work time entirely to his art. His drawings depict scenes from Caye Caulker, San Pedro and other places in Belize. One of his most sought after drawings is a self-portrait named “My Office” which shows “Island Dog,” Mike’s artistic name, under two coconut palm trees with his paintings. This drawing literally shows Mike’s office. He can be seen daily (weather permitting) under the coconut trees on the beach north of Ramon’s Village. Here he displays his various drawings, coconut carvings and now his new pumice stone carvings. He also makes personalized greeting cards and Christmas cards. His work has received so much recognition that he has been asked by many businesses to sketch their property. Some of these places include Ramon’s Village, Victoria House and Chan Chich Lodge. Island Dog’s humorous personality is very obvious in his original cartoons featured in The San Pedro Sun.

Island Dog told The San Pedro Sun, “I have found the satisfaction I was looking for here in San Pedro. I live a simple life with no telephone, no television, no pager and no problems.” He entertains himself with his paintings, carvings and acting as a free tourist information center from his “office.” His talent, giving nature and pleasant personality add more character to his island life images. To purchase a painting or to take a glance of his portraits and work, kindly visit http://www.islanddogbelize.com, or email him at islanddogbelize@yahoo.com. Mike is a star player on the team of talented and distinguished artists in “Our Belize Community.”

Other articles about Island Dog can be read at:
http://sanpedrosun.net/old/07-344.html
http://sanpedrosun.net/old/06-163.html
http://sanpedrosun.net/old/99-444.html


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#410097 - 06/18/11 02:36 PM Re: Mike Gvara, "Island Dog" [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Memorial for "Island Dog" Mike Gvara

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar
Memorial @ 5:30 pm

Potluck of tapas (appetizers) to follow
...Please participate in the potluck and Share your memories of
San Pedro's dear friend. He will be greatly missed

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#410104 - 06/18/11 04:35 PM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: weile]
Artistamy.com Offline
Mike we will miss you. His "Office" was in front of my studio/apartment for years. Many will remember 3:00 coffee on the beach at mikes office, usually a few other characters would join in. Always alot to watch and laugh about as the islands shoreline changed. Thanks for adding to all the great memories of my island life. Rest in Peace.
_________________________
Art inspiried by the beauty of Belize. People,places and adventures. www.artistamy.com

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#410270 - 06/21/11 12:16 PM Re: Mike Gvara passes away [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Here's a few pictures of Mike, to celebrate his life.

http://AmbergrisCaye.com/photogallery/110621.html

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