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Sir Barry Bowen
by Marty on 02/26/10 08:54 PM

We just heard the tragic news that an iconic figure in Belize, Barry Bowen has just died in a plane crash in the Island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Our Condolences and prayers go out to the Bowen Family for such a tragic loss as well as the family of those that died with him on that fateful flight.

Last edited by Marty; 02/25/11 12:08 PM.

#368953 - 02/27/10 09:37 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
from Jesse....

Today we learned that Sir Barry Bowen, Belizean billionaire, died in
plane crash in Belize. He's known for Belikin Beer, Coca-Cola, and the
community around Chan Chich Lodge and Gallon Jug Estate in Orange Walk
(which includes a school for local kids). And that's all the tip of the

The late Emory King sent me the following historical note a few years
ago... And I was fascinated by the story of Mary Hickey, apparently one
of Sir Barry's ancestors.

Once Upon a Time

by Emory King

The People of Belize 1798

If you drive from Georgeville up to the edge of the Mountain Pine Ridge one of the properties you will have passed through is 5,000 acres of land named Mary Hickey.

It was established for Mary Hickey in 1791 when she was still a minor by Edmond Meighan. (In those days you had to be 21 years old to be legally an adult.) It is possible Mary was pregnant for Meighan at that time.

She hardly needed the land then as she was the richest girl in the Settlement of Belize. Her father, Captain Francis Hickey had died in 1788 leaving her money and land and slaves and cattle. She had land on St. George's Caye and at Spanish Creek and houses in Belize Town.

Her father's will ordered the Executor to send Mary to Bermuda to be educated. She did not go and until her death in 1820 she could not read, write or sign her name.

Few women in the Belize Settlement could sign their names either. Educating women was not a popular idea at that time.

Apparently she did not get along with Edmond Meighan. There is no evidence they lived together, although she named the baby Francis Hickey Meighan.

In 1799 she had a baby by Duncan Grant, the Quartermaster of the 6th West India Regiment. Grant's wife had died the year before. They named the baby Elizabeth for her and Mary for her mother.

Supposedly when the 6th West Indian Regiment left Belize Duncan Grant left with it.

Mary carried on life in Belize alone until, in the early 1805, she met Dr. Manfield William Bowen who had lately come from England to attend to the affairs of his uncle Thomas Bowen.

Finally Mary had found the love of her life. She had six children for Dr. Bowen, the last in 1818. Mary was rich and powerful and with Dr. Bowen had made a significant mark in Belize.

On her tombstone Dr. Bowen wrote "in memory of his affectionate and beloved companion during a happy union of fifteen years".

The family name of Bowen has survived in Belize to this day.

#368955 - 02/27/10 09:40 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Sir Barry Bowen, well- known Belize business magnate died today in an airplane crash just short of the runway at San Pedro Ambergris Caye according to radio and T.V. news reports monitored here. It is reported that Sir Barry was piloting his Cessna 206 when the aircraft experienced difficulties on landing approach, clipped the roof of a building with its landing gear,and then crashed into a building at a boatyard adjacent to the San Pedro Town municipal airport.

Five other persons were in the aircraft including two children who also perished in the accident which happened at about 5:30 p.m. local time (Belize is minus -6 G.M.T). Sir Barry headed the Bowen group of companies that includes the Belize Coca Cola franchise, the Belikin Brewery (the only brewery in Belize) the Ford Automobile Distributorship, the Chan Chic Tourism Lodge and Belize Aquaculture Ltd. one of the largest shrimp farms in Belize. Sir Barry resided on San Pedro Ambergris Caye and commuted to work in Belize city on his private aircraft. This is a breaking story. The names of the passengers who are believed to be the managers of Chan Chich Lodge are being withheld pending notice to next of kin.
text in brown proved to be erroneous

The Belizean

Last edited by Marty; 02/27/10 03:10 PM. Reason: text in brown proved to be erroneous
#368966 - 02/27/10 10:04 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
trphoto Offline
trphoto  Offline
Any identification of he other people on the plane? So many stories, but no confirmation on who they were.

#368967 - 02/27/10 10:08 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: trphoto]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
It was the the couple that manages Chan Chich and their two kids. Surname Dodge.


Last edited by Marty; 02/27/10 02:34 PM. Reason: wrong information
#368970 - 02/27/10 10:22 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Peter Jones Offline
Peter Jones  Offline
Do we have a photo of them? Their role in this tragedy is every bit as grave as was that of the pilot. They should be remembered as well.

#368972 - 02/27/10 10:25 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
trphoto Offline
trphoto  Offline
Is that confirmed Marty? Ben and Amanda and their two children?

#368974 - 02/27/10 10:29 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: trphoto]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Ben and Amanda Dodge, with their two children, one 3 and one an infant just born last year. They were from Boston and had been teachers at the Gallon Jug school.


Last edited by Marty; 02/27/10 02:35 PM. Reason: erroneous information
#368981 - 02/27/10 11:36 AM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 6
trphoto Offline
trphoto  Offline
I am now hearing it was not Ben and Amanda, but Amanda's sister, who runs Gallon Jug school, and her family. Reports are that Ben and Amanda were not on the plane. One has to be very careful about reporting news of this sort unless they have confirm information.

#368988 - 02/27/10 12:09 PM Re: Barry Bowen [Re: trphoto]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,416
Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
Ben and Amanda were not on the plane, but was her sister, brother in law and their two kids. Belize is a cauldron of misinformation when events like this occur. Don't blame the messenger, Marty was just reporting what he heard in real time. Tragic none the less.

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