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Oct 19, 2017

Sir Barry Bowen Memorialized at Municipal Airstrip

The Barry Bowen statute was unveiled today at the municipal airstrip in Belize City which also carries his name.  Among the invitees were his wife Dixie and family, ministers of government as well as friends and employees of the businessman that was killed in February 2010. Bowen would use that airstrip to fly his plane to San Pedro and back to the City almost on a daily basis which was why today’s ceremony brought nostalgia. His businesses in Belize extended to many sectors and he touched the lives of many which was why he was knighted. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

A statue of the late Sir Barry Bowen walking down steps was unveiled today in honor of well-known businessman. It was erected here at the site of the recently completed first class municipal airstrip in Belize City, renamed the Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airstrip back in November. Before family and friends as well as government ministers a ceremony was held in his honor.


John Greif III

John Greif III, President, Tropic Air Airlines

“This airport that we are sitting next to exists for two reasons and two reasons only. The Barry Bowen part of it goes way back from twenty-twenty-five years Barry would bring plans. Every time something would change, Barry would change the plan; John we’ve got to get this done. I gave up on it a decade after Barry started working on it. But Junior did not and because of Barry and because of Junior—if there were another statue up and maybe when you die in forty to fifty years, we will have Junior’s statue up here. And I would like to recognize him publicly for his contribution to this airport. (Clapping)”


Also present at today’s event was Lady Dixie Bowen, who spoke of sculptor from Cuba who was sanctioned to take on the task of creating a life-size bronze replica of Sir Barry.


Dixie Bowen

Lady Dixie Bowen, Widow

“In June 2016, my friends and I traveled to Havana and we set out the next morning to visit the various artists. Upon arriving at our first stop the gentleman had just left for lunch so we missed him. We stopped for a bite to eat and then began asking questions about a man we couldn’t locate. Out of the clear blue sky came a comment that several blocks away, there was a large stone of some sort in front of a home where possibly an artist live. And our taxi driver Chino began knocking on the door, but to no avail. Just as we were about to go back, a lovely man came to the door.  Graciously, he showed us to his studio and stepped out for a moment and returned with a catalog of his work. Hilly, totally God smacked, was almost speechless; that’s kind of unusual. This was the very person he was looking for and immediately we all knew that this was the correct sculptor for the job; Jose Ramon Villa Sorero.”


It is no secret that Sir Barry Bowen has done a lot for the country, including the aviation industry. Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Manuel Heredia Junior says that the multimillion-dollar renovation of the municipal airstrip was envisioned by the late Sir Bowen.


Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Aviation

“Sir Barry was one of those that came up with the idea of doing a wonderful and first calls airstrip over here. And you know that Barry, whatever he did he wanted that to be perfect and as best as possible. And hence the reason for naming it in his honor and today the unveiling of that statue which will remain over there for generations to come, hopefully.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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