, 1950 to Marjorie
and Len Wallace. The youngest child in a family of four boys and one
girl, Dale grew up singing and listening to music with his father, a
renowned musician in Canada.
At the age of two, Dale's father passed away, and his
family traveled back and forth from Flin Flon to Vancouver, where his
grandparents had retired.
Dale attended both elementary and high school in
Vancouver, British Colombia. When he was 14, his older brother gave him
his first guitar as a birthday present and taught him how to play. While
attending Lord Byng High School, he was a member of several neighborhood
bands. After classes, they would rehearse in a friend's basement, and on
weekends they took advantage of every opportunity to play for school
Graduating in 1968, Dale was first
employed as a carpenter's helper. Over the years, Dale worked on oil
rigs, in warehouses, and at any other "odds and ends" (jobs) that he was
offered. He would work for at least six months in order to save enough
money to travel, on his own, to other parts of the world. On one of his
many trips to Mexico, he traveled down to Belize where some friends in
Belize City told him about San Pedro.
In 1974, Dale paid his first visit to Ambergris Caye,
and instantly fell in love with the laid back island lifestyle. At that
time, there were no televisions or radios on the island, and he enjoyed
walking around town in his bare feet. "There were only two vehicles and
no bicycles on the island then. The freedom and worry-free life San Pedro
offered were very attractive!" he exclaimed.
While taking a stroll down the beach one day, Dale
heard the sound of a guitar playing at Fido's Resort and Bar owned, at
the time, by the Nuñez family. He went in, sat down, ordered a rum and
coke, and listened to Wilfredo Nuñez Jr. play calypso, Caribbean, and
Latin beats for the rest of the afternoon. After Wil's performance, Dale
quickly went to his hotel, picked up his guitar and brought it back to
Fido's, where Wil taught him to play the rhythms he had heard.
Dale returned to Vancouver, and worked for a few
months at a time so he could afford to make several trips back to "La
Isla Bonita." In mid-1977, Dale accepted a job performing at Barrier Reef
Hotel (where the Alliance Bank of Belize is now), and later began working
for the Nuñez family, tending the bar and helping around the
That year, Dale met and fell in love with Virginia
Alamilla. On Christmas Eve, December
24th, 1978, the couple
exchanged vows of Holy Matrimony. Today, they are the parents of: Dale
(23), Beverly (21), Michael (15), and Gina (14).
Shortly after Dale and Virginia were married, the
couple moved back to Vancouver. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when the
couple lost their first child, one-year-old Delia. After nine years of
living in Canada, Dale realized he no longer felt at home there and made
the decision to move his family back to Ambergris Caye. "San Pedro was my
home from the day I stepped foot on it, and like they say, ‘there is no
place like home'," he said.
Back on the island, Dale was first employed by
Paradise Resort Hotel as an inventory manager, responsible for keeping
the hotel well supplied with all the tools and materials needed to keep
it running smoothly. In his free time, he would meet with Wil, and other
local men (Oscar Aguilar, Chico Flores, and Emilio Rivero) to engage in
their favorite hobby – playing music.
In 1992, the group released
their first cassette, Wil and
Friends. A mixture of ballads with well-known songs such
as "Beautiful San Pedro," the cassette increased the band's popularity.
Soon, Wil and Dale began receiving offers to play "everywhere," from the
beach barbeque at the Holiday Hotel to weddings and various other social
functions. Eventually "our hobby got out of hand," Dale commented. The
team released their second cassette, Wil and the
Outlaws and not long after, recorded their first compact
disc, in January of 2002. Souvenir, as
it was aptly named, was aimed at tourists wanting to take home a taste of
the Caribbean. Their next collection of Spanish rhythms,
Tequila Trio, recorded with Oscar
Aguilar, was compiled "by popular demand," specifically for San Pedro
On the side, Dale began repairing guitars from home,
and eventually made up his mind to create his own guitar. Surprising many
skeptics, Dale read several books in order to build his first guitar, and
today he has made a business out of it. In the near future, Dale plans to
have his own guitar shop where he will build guitars, and repair them, as
well as any other stringed instrument. He is proud to say that each
guitar he creates is a handmade original, from start to finish, made with
the best woods available in Belize, such as zericote, mahogany, pine and
Soon, Dale and Wil plan to release a
San Pedro Souvenir II compact disc with
other popular calypso and Latin songs. A country western compact disc is
also in the making, with songs made popular by artists such as Hank
Williams, Elvis Presley and the Merry Men from Barbados.
In his free time, Dale enjoys spending time with his
grandchildren, John Elijah (3) and Ryan Michael (10 months). "I love
taking them for walks and swimming in the beautiful Caribbean Sea," he
said. "I do not regret making the choice to live in Paradise, especially
now that I am able to work at what I love best," he said.
Dale is satisfied with his life in Ambergris Caye and
considers it home. He is certainly a role model to anyone who wishes to
pursue a career in music. "Success in music takes time. Do not get
frustrated, just keep moving forward," he ended. Always entertaining and
willing to help anyone interested in pursuing a musical career, Dale
Wallace is a big part of the "harmony" in "Our Community."