National Heroes and Benefactors Day in Belize Date in the current year: March 9, 2016

National Heroes and Benefactors Day in Belize On March 9, Belize celebrates National Heroes and Benefactors Day, also known as Baron Bliss Day. This public holiday is dedicated to Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss who willed a large some of money to Belize (then British Honduras).

Bliss was born in 1869 in England. At the age of 42, he became paralyzed from the waist down, but continued to live an active live. By the end of the First World War, he was wealthy enough to retire (it is unclear who exactly he obtained his fortune).

He had spent several years in the Bahamas, Trinidad, and Jamaica before settling down in British Honduras where he spent the rest of his life. He arrived in the Belize city harbor in January 1926.

Baron Bliss died on March 9, 1926 and was buried in Belize City. According to his will, most of his fortune was placed in a trust fund for the benefit of the citizens of British Honduras. He left specific instructions on how to spend the money.

Soon after that, his death anniversary was declared a national public holiday. It was originally named Baron Bliss Day, but in 2008 the name was changed to National Heroes and Benefactors Day. The celebration includes a wreath laying ceremony at Baron Bliss' grave in Bliss Park and a regatta.

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