Sports — 09 March 2012
We haven’t been hearing much from the Harbor Regatta Committee, but the last word was that there will be the traditional Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta on Sunday, March 12, in the waters adjacent to the BTL Park at Newtown Barracks. There should be sailing boat races in various classes, with many young sailors showing their skills in the little Optimist.
Traditionally, Baron Bliss Day used to be celebrated on March 9, the day of the Baron’s passing, wherever that day fell on the yearly calendar. For convenience and practicality sake, in the modern era the holidays are placed on the weekend, and preferably on a Monday, to facilitate a long holiday weekend, since many folks work on Saturday.
This year’s Baron Bliss Day falls on a Friday, so the holiday will be given on Monday, March 12.
The La Ruta Maya River Challenge, which has become the biggest river event in the land, is a four-day affair, and would normally begin mid-week, to climax on the last holiday of the weekend, which is usually a Sunday. But since the Baron Bliss holiday, or Benefactors Day as some now prefer to call it, is on Monday, it means the Ruta Maya paddlers will hit the water tomorrow, Friday, March 9, Baron Bliss Day.
In fact, March 9 commemorates the passing of the good Baron aboard his yacht the Sea King back in 1926, less than a month after he had signed his will on February 17, in which he bequeathed his sizable fortune to the people of the then colony of British Honduras. Of course, Her Majesty’s courts found a way to snare a significant portion of the Bliss legacy; but Belize nevertheless benefited immensely from the greatest gift that any “Englishman” dead or living has given to the Belizean people. In gratitude, Belizeans have not grudged the baron his last wish, and his story adds to the romantic touristic appeal of this little jewel in the Caribbean basin that is like none other.
Not that we should respect any of our patriots or benefactors any less. But, from what we have seen some present day “lovers and friends of Belize” from foreign lands do in sucking the blood of the innocent Belizean people, there is ample reason to remember the baron, and to make sure our children remember and recognize the goodness of heart and spirit of this man, so they can better discern the treacherous ways of those who come to take away ten thousand times what they pretend to give.
They say one should “put your money where your mouth is.” For that reason, let us big up Sir Isaiah Emmanuel Morter; and big up Baron Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss.
We hope for a fresh east south-easterly wind for the weekend, that boats may sail in the Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta on Sunday, and the kites may fly at the parks and playgrounds throughout the weekend, and Belizeans may enjoy the outdoors on the riverside and the Belcan Bridge on Monday as they await the arrival of the paddlers in the Ruta Maya.