View out from the Baron Bliss Monument and Lighthouse, photo and drone footage
Sky and sea and lighthouse... no trawlers and no cruise ships.
The tomb of Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss J.P. of Marlow in the County of Buckingham, England. 4th Baron Bliss of the Former Kingdom of Portugal. A Generous Benefactor of This Colony. Fort George, Belize City. Clive Belizaire of St Lucia was the engineer that designed this tomb and lighthouse. He was working at the time for the Crown in Belize. It has a focal plane of 16 m (52 ft).
Some of the various projects funded by the Bliss Trust were libraries, markets in districts, The Bliss Institute, Boom Road and the purchase price for Belmopan. Baron Bliss is a benefactor, Belize's greatest.
Click here for more on Baron Bliss and the projects that were complted due to his generosity.
Baron Bliss was Belize’s wealthy benefactor who never actually set foot on Belizean soil. Here is where the lighthouse comes in. Days before his death on 9th March 1926, Baron Bliss requested the presence of the English governor on his yacht to help him prepare his will. In it he bequeathed most of his wealth to Belize with very specific instructions about how it should be used and how it should not be used. He requested to be buried near the sea and a lighthouse be next to his grave. Among the notable structures that were built from his donation are the Bliss Institute and the Bliss Lighthouse. I don't know if there was a prior lighthouse at the location, but the present lighthouse was built around 1951 with funds from the Baron Bliss Trust. The lighthouse was built by the Colonial Development Corporation (CDC) under the auspices of the British Government. The CDC first built the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Desmond Frederick Parks was a local Belizean foreman working for the CDC when they built the hotel. The CDC then put Desmond Parks in charge of building the lighthouse. (After the lighthouse was built, Desmond Parks went on to work on the construction of Barclays Bank and then the Bliss Institute.) As a boy, and Desmond's son, I was at the site from inception until final construction. So, I know exactly how it was built. Much to the envy of my many friends, my father allowed me to climb the scaffolds to the very top during construction. I distinctly remember him telling me while we were at the top that the focal plane of the light was about 52 ft above sea level at high tide.
This is not the original fixture. The current lighthouse was built prior to that. It was built by C.N. Fraser, an engineer from Glasgow, Scotland who came to the then crown colony in 1911 to be the "Bush Manager" for the Belize Estate & Produce Company's mahogany logging operations based at Hill Bank. He also worked for the Public Works Department, and built other structures in Belize including the suspension bridge in San Ignacio.
Top photograph by Charlie Trew
Click here to comment on this picture.