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Young sailors stand on the shoulder of a Master and Commander: Charles Bartlett Hyde

HighlightsYoung sailors stand on the shoulder of a Master and Commander: Charles Bartlett Hyde

Photo: (right) Charles Bartlett Hyde

Contributed: Harbour Regatta Committee

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Apr. 3, 2024

Today we bid farewell to a man who gave so much to the sport of sailing in Belize with his time and talents. The members of the Belize Habour Regatta Committee were able to enlist the assistance of Charles Bartlett Hyde, and the Belize Sailing Association was established in 2010 with C.B. Hyde at the helm as the first chair of the association. Retired General Allan Usher served as Secretary under CB Hyde. Hyde would have been around 85 years of age at the time, but his knowledge, skills and reputation were invaluable elements needed to launch a national sports organization in Belize.

Right Honourable Dean O. Barrow recounted that he spent many days visiting with CB, as he was affectionately known, and he considered those chats a master class showing the wealth of knowledge Hyde possessed. Rt. Hon. Barrow recalled that “CB served as the Post Master General for Belize, and he made a reputation for himself for being INCORRUPTIBLE!” Barrow opined that CB’s fervent honesty was beyond his upbringing and schooling, but suggested it was likely a part of his DNA.

Another key element was CB Hyde’s ability to reach out to both sides of the political divide. Cabinet Secretary, Stuart Leslie pointed out, “CB Hyde was the Speaker of the House at a time when Belize was moving into Independence, and the PUP party had a strong presence in parliament and popular support outside. CB Hyde did his best to be impartial, and he was held in high regard by both sides of the House.”

The flagship program CB helped to start was the Optimist sailing program. Commodore Alvin Cabral of the Placencia Sailing Club shared that, “the Optimist sailing helped to jumpstart the Placencia Sailing Club.” The Placencia Sailing Club remains the most active and competitive club in Belize. It is common knowledge within the sailing community that CB Hyde made important calls at critical times to secure financial support needed and waivers due to non-profit sport organizations.

CB was pulled out of retirement to lend his efforts to sailing although maybe with some trepidation on the part of his family. Maybe, it was his love of the sea linked to family jaunts to Spanish Caye or the love of the sport of sailing. Whatever his motivation, the Harbour Regatta Committee is grateful for his service and pleased that Charlie Hyde, Mose Hyde and Kremandala have continued to be supportive in covering sailing news in Belize.

“We were fortunate and honoured to have had the opportunity to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to CB Hyde,” said Collet “Bunas” Maheia, who presented the award at the 95th Baron Bliss Harbour Regatta. The award was accepted by Nelson Hyde, son of CB Hyde. Maheia continues to promote sailing and Belizean coastal culture through the Harbour Regatta and by supporting sailing clubs across Belize. In collaboration with the Belize Sea Scouts, Maheia continues to culture a big-tent approach to the sailing community, where all are welcomed, and through the sport of sailing, promotes the values that have become synonymous with the name Charles Bartlett Hyde—sportsmanship. This entails honesty, integrity beyond reproach, respect for oneself and your competitors, and fair play.

We bid Fairwinds and Following Seas to our venerable Captain!

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