The Bliss Institute was named after Baron Bliss (1869-1926), an eccentric British traveller and member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, who had been paralysed from the waist down since 1911, but sailed around the Caribbean in his yacht, Sea King. His family lived at Brandon Park, Suffolk (the family being recorded in Burke’s Landed Gentry of 1863), but the title was a Portuguese barony in the name of Baron de Alreyo. He arrived at Belize harbour on 9 January 1926 and died without ever coming ashore on 9 March. In that short time, he changed his Will, leaving a large fortune in trust to British Honduras under very specific terms. The Institute is named after him and consists of a theatre, a museum, and the National Arts Council. It was finally built between 1953 and 1954 in a modernist international style. The auditorium holds 600 people, the country’s national art collection is housed there, and the cultural centre hosts exhibitions.
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