Sad MR....so sad. News Reports are saying that it was Sir Barry Bowen, his Business Manager's wife, a 2 year old and a new born baby. So sad! May he
rest in Peace!
Barry Bowen's plane crashed with him, a couple and their two children.
Love is a many splendid thing and food run a close second.
Sad MR....so sad. News Reports are saying that it was Sir Barry Bowen, his Business Manager's wife, a 2 year old and a new born baby. So sad! May he
rest in Peace!
The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not PROTECT you...
thanks Rosy yanno that was my brother inlaw
sad news fu reel. n di man giwe di rake. 64 plaay friday nite eena boledo, di man age.
Sad indeed. Just read that he was piloting the aircraft when it crashed into a building that was under construction. Too bad.
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Bottling Magnate Barry Bowne Killed in Plane Crash
We begin this evening’s newscast with truly stunning news: bottling magnate Barry Bowen is dead. He was the pilot on his private plane that crashed on San Pedro around 5:30 this evening. Reports are that the 64 year old Bowen was flying to his home in San Pedro as he does every evening. He was along with at least three passengers – who perished. One of them was reportedly an employee at his Gallon Jug tourism enterprise.
The plane crashed within range of the San Pedro Municipal Airport in a marshy area a fair distance south of the airstrip. Some reports say that Bowen missed the airstrip on his approach. At this point, no one knows what caused the crash. The plane at this time is flipped over on its back. Kainie Manuel from the San Pedro Sun was one of the first one the scene and just a few minutes ago she told us what she saw.
Kainie Manuel Reporting from San Pedro,
“The latest efforts are trying to remove what has confirmed to be five bodies from Barry Bowen’s private plane. From what we have gathered, from people close to family members, it has been said that Barry Bowen was piloting the airplane to the island. On board with him were the manager of Gallon Jug, one of his other business enterprises, the manager’s wife along with their two children, a three year old and a newborn. From what we have gathered, all five of them have perished in the plane crash that took place today, claiming the life of Sir Barry Bowen.”
“Can you describe the scene to us?”
Kainie Manuel Reporting from San Pedro,
“Well right now the rescue efforts are trying to take as much equipment and material they can from the crash site. Like I said it is nowhere near the residential area. It is behind what is the new building of Castillo Hardware, near to the lagoon in a marshy area.
The plane is on its back and rescue efforts are trying to flip the plane over and remove the bodies from inside. But from what we see, the police and fire and traffic departments are all trying to control the scene. It is full of people, so many people that knew Barry Bowen running to the scene, be it co-workers, people that worked with him people, teachers at the Island Academy.”
The scale of the story is almost inestimable. Sir Barry’s importance and prominence as a businessman, developer, bottling magnate and Belizean cannot be overstated. He was one of Belize’s wealthiest men – second only to billionaire Michael Ashcroft. His company Bowen and Bowen Bottling Works owns Belikin Beer, Guinness Stout and Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Crystal Water bottling operations. Simply put, if you are a Belizean, or if you have visited Belize, you consumed his products. He also diversified into shrimp production, tourism and electricity generation.
Barry Bowen was 64 years old. He is the father of five children; four sons and one daughter. Bowen and Bowen company was started by his father in the 1930s. Barry Bowen bought the company from his father in 1978. He has been flying for 40 years. The plane was a Cessna 272 with a turbine engine. Similar to the ones used by the small airlines.
Sad news. May they all RIP.
Success is Journey... not a Destination
Belizeans Line the Streets for Sir Barry Bowen
Four days after he and a young family of four were killed in a plane crash in San Pedro – Belize said goodbye to Sir Barry Bowen today. The interment was at the cemetery in San Ignacio this afternoon but the official ceremony for the bottling magnate, former Senator, and Honorary Consul was held in Belize at St. John’s Cathedral. We’ll take you inside the Cathedral shortly but we begin first with his funeral procession. We were along the entire route. Keith Swift reports.
Keith Swift Reporting,
The official funeral procession for Sir Barry Bowen departed from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at 9 am on the dot. Sir Barry Bowen’s flag draped coffin was escorted by the BDF Marching Band and transported on a military gurney. Immediately behind the casket was Bowen’s family – riding in his trademark Ford Broncos. The procession slowly wound its way through the main streets of the city….down Freetown Road, across Mapp Street, onto North Front Street, across the Swing Bridge and then Albert Street for the final stretch.
The entire route was lined with spectators – most of them were hundreds of primary school students. But there were crowds of just regular Belizeans who lined the street to watch and pay respect to the Belizean giant.
“I knew him from I was a little girl, my father used to work with him but he was a patriotic guy for Belize. I feel like I would want to cry right now because I knew him a long time ago but such is life, we have to go somewhere.”
“I think he is a great benefactor to the country and it is a well deserved chance to show appreciation…I am saddened by his death. He did so much for the country and I think they are paying him great respect, deservedly so.”
“I think that he was a very good man. He helped Belize a lot. It is a pity he had to go. I feel sad.”
“I knew him personally, I worked with the man for at least 21 years. It is a big loss for the country and the poor people in this country.”
“It is a loss for our country because he did a lot for the country. Whenever we had events he would be one of the persons to sponsor and so it is a big loss we have here. It is kind of sad really; really sad.”
And while Sir Barry Bowen might not have known them, these Belizeans say they knew him.
“I will always remember him because I am a Methodist and whenever we had our fairs he would donate in whatever way. Even though he didn’t give me anything personally, he gave to my church and schools. It moves me because you know that somebody that cares about Belize and Belizean people has passed away.”
“I think he made an important contribution to the country of Belize. He is now gone and it is left to his successors to carry on with what the companies are doing.”
And then there are those who didn’t know Sir Barry or of him but of his products.
“I didn’t know the Mr. Bowen.”
“You drink his Coca Cola and Sprite though.”
“Well we enjoy that, that’s all I could say. I hope whosoever is in charge now keep our Coke and thing. That is all we worry about because we didn’t know the man.”
But judging by today’s turnout - his legacy however is destined to be much greater.
The Funeral of Sir Barry Bowen
The funeral procession ended in front of the St. John’s Cathedral on Albert Street West which is where there was an official funeral service officiated by Anglican Bishop Phillip Wright and Canon Leroy Flowers. Here is that story.
Keith Swift Reporting,
The first to arrive at St. John’s Cathedral was Sir Barry’s wife Lady Dixie and their children. Lady Dixie was greeted by other family members and friends. Later she was in tears and had to be consoled as the BDF soldiers slowly carried the body of Sir Barry Bowen into the cathedral. Outside the cathedral it was standing room only. Two Belikin tents placed in the yard were at capacity.
Inside the cathedral the pews were filled and so was the balcony. The mood was sombre. There was a smattering of political leaders including Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife as well as former Prime Minister Said Musa and his wife along with other dignitaries. The official remembrance was given by Senator Douglas Singh.
Douglas Singh, Official Remembrance
“But most of all Sir Barry Bowen was a true Belizean. He invested in Belize. He truly believed in helping to develop Belize. He did not restrict himself to the bottling and distribution business. He ventured into shrimp farming, energy production, cattle and other agricultural tourism ventures that helped to create more employment for Belizeans and increase the country’s exports. The Bowen enterprise has lost a leader. His wife has lost a great husband, the children a great father, and Belize has lost a great son.”
John Searle, Bowen’s childhood friend, delivered the remembrance.
John Searle, The Remembrance
“I mention that Barry grew up along the Southern Foreshore in Belize and that is where I had the good fortune of meeting him and that is when I realized what type of a person Barry really us. Even at an early age, Barry was handsome, headstrong and daring. Amongst us kids, because that’s what we were, it was he that excelled in everything that he did. He had to, he would not accept second best under any circumstances.
Barry had a tremendous zest for life, a real joy for life and I think that amongst his contemporaries he probably got more out of life than the rest of life.”
The mood went from reflective to emotional.
“Sir Barry Mansfield Bowen, Knight Commander of St. Michael’s and St. George, you will always be remembered in Belize and abroad as an icon in our time, a man of the people and for the people. I will assure you all that Sir Barry Mansfield Bowen will be sadly missed by this entire nation. Goodbye Barry. May you rest peacefully with the Lord forever.”
And the last stretch of his journey to his final resting place here on earth began as the bell at St. John’s Cathedral tolled and his sons carried out his flag draped coffin for Sir. Barry’s final journey to San Ignacio.
The journey continued to Cayo where all along the route – in a quite remarkable showing - school children and businesses came out to pay their respects and watch the motorcade. This afternoon after the marching in of the firing party, and religious burial rites there was the interment followed by a gun salute at the San Ignacio Town Cemetery. Barry Mansfield Bowen is buried alongside his father: Eric William Mansfield Bowen, his mother: Emilie Josephine Bowen with the fourth space vacant.
A memorial service will be held tomorrow in Gallon Jug for Mike and Jill Casey and their two young children – 2 and a half year old Makayla and their five month old son Bryce. Their bodies will be flown back to Albany New York for burial.
Much is still not known about the accident but we should have answers tomorrow. The Civil Aviation Department will a host a press conference at 2 pm at the international airport. We’ll have full coverage of that.
Belikin Beer: The Barry Bowen Legacy
Sir Barry has been laid to rest with his parents in Cayo. It is a personal tragedy for his family, but for this most respected developer and entrepreneur, this former Senator and Knight Commander – his passing is a public event – because after all if you’ve lived in or visited Belize, you’ve consumed his products whether it’s Crystal Water, Coca Cola, Belikin Beer of Belize Aquaculture Shrimp. His imprint is all across Belize but the cornerstone of all his enterprises is the bottling works.
And the prize jewel in that is the Belikin Factory in Ladyville which was recently modernized and brought in line with international standards. Exactly one year ago we got a look at the thoroughly modern, totally quality controlled beer production process. We repeat that story which originally aired on February 18, 2009.
[Original Airdate: February 18th, 2009]
Keith Swift Reporting,
You wouldn’t know it by looking at them, but these aromatic green capsules are the most important ingredient in a bottle of beer. They are compressed pellets of the flowering plant known as hops.
Enrique Szekely, Brew Master
“Hops play a very important role in the taste of the beer and in the aroma of the beer. The more hops you have, the more bitterness you have in the beer. The less hops you have, the less bitterness you have in a beer.
The grains they come from Canada and this is one of the main ingredients. Of course it is like we told you earlier it is hops, it is malt, water, and yeast. And this makes, the grains of malt, once we mix this grain with water after having crushed them or milled them, we will obtain a very sweet liquid.”
Brewing of the beer starts in these large vessels where the hops, Canadian malt, yeast and water are slowly churned and cooked for 90 minutes.
So it is the water, the malt, the hops, and it is mixed together.
“Every part of it has a process. So first you will mill the malt, you will mix it with water, then you will separate the solids from the liquid and then you boil it, add the hops, cool it down, and then inject the yeast to the cold water.”
The entire process is completely managed and monitored by a computer system which tells this operator what’s happening in every part of the plant. It controls an intricate and complex process with it seems an infinite number of gauges, valves and joints. And to keep it all in check, they used to require 25 employees; now they just need one person to monitor it.
Carlos Turcios, Assistant Brew Master
“One operator controls the entire processing area which is the brew house, fermentation, storaging and filtration and we have rotation of shifts every eight hours.”
He and she just sits there and they can just see the entire process, they can just monitor it from that?
“Yes that is right because all the recipes are in the database. Any fault, we have an emergency and it will be indicated. It will tell you exactly where it is, what caused the problem, and what is causing the delay. So it is easy.”
The brew is fermented for 7 days in these giant tanks located in the cellar. There are 18 of them - – each capable of storing brew amounting to 10,000 cases of beer. Fermentation is followed by storage for an additional 14 days.
“After fermentation has been completed we put on the cooling on the vessels where we will have the yeast settle at the bottom, remove the yeast, select the yeast that we are going to use for a next cycle and go into storage for a minimum of fourteen days.”
So from the moment you put the yeast, the malt, and the hops together how long is it before that beer is ready for the market?
“Like I told in total a minimum of 21 days which is 7 days fermenting, 14 days in storage and we go from there to bottling."
But before bottling – the brew is put through a thorough filtration process – also in the cellar. It too is electronically controlled to remove any remaining sediments from the brew – which as you can see in this exposed pipe is still turbid. Today they were filtering beer, but bottling stout – and that’s the dark lustrous liquid in the pipe.
From here, the vast network of pipes transport the beer next door to the bottling plant – the most labour intensive stage of production. Today they were bottling stout. The plant is capable of filling 425 bottles per minute.
Dwayne Murillo is on the frontline of bottling as everyday – or every minute as the case may be - he loads crates of empties onto the conveyor belt. His job may be the hardest one at the plant – and I know because I tried it. It was hard for me but easy for Murillo.
Dwayne Murillo, Employee
“My job is to help load the pallets and just take it off and so.”
How many crates do you move a day?
“Sometime fourteen, sometime fifteen pallets. This is not hard, it is not hard. If you put your mind against it will be hard for you.”
From Murillo the bottles travel along the conveyor belt where napkins and lots of straws are removed. It then undergoes a thorough cleaning process where mud and other dirt are scrubbed out in a massive washer. The pints go in dirty and they come out clean. Workers then manually check the bottles for any remaining dirt and then they are filled – again 425 bottles per minute. They are rapidly sealed, washed again, and then heated to 158 degrees – a process called pasteurization. That is to kill all remaining bacteria which prolongs its shelf life to six months.
They are then corralled into groups of 72 and put into crates for delivery to a store or a bar near you. But before it reaches the stores – the beer and stout has to pass through the lab. Daniel Vasquez checks for bacteria.
Daniel Vasquez, Micro-Biology Lab Technician
“What we do right here is check that the product is clean of beer spoiling bacteria and if there is any bacteria that could damage the beer, there are measures taken and so it is very important.”
Next door Claro Blanco probably has a dream job – every day she along with a panel of experts judge beer and stouts for consistency, aroma, and flavour.
Claro Blanco, Laboratory Technician
“We do a routine analysis for all the bottling that takes place everyday. Here we have the set up of a tasting panel which is carried out on a routine basis everyday. We do taste testing with the brew master, the assistant, and a weekly tasting panel with Mr. Kevin Bowen. Actually everyday when there is bottling, we do analysis three times. We do this routine that we have the list, we do it three times to make sure that everything is under control and that everything is good quality. Lots of people envy me because I work at the brewery and they would want to taste a beer everyday and we have the luxury of doing that but professionally.”
And since I was there – I did a taste test of my own. The Brewery’s General Manager Kevin Bowen says their state of the art factory and quality assurance are all part of a world class operations.
Kevin Bowen, General Manager
“I am pretty proud that we have a bloody good company that everyone should be proud of as a Belizean.”
“I think you had a chance to go around the brewery and the brew house is actually very comparable to technology in Western Europe where a lot of the work we do actually started.”
“Our product, what separates it from other products in this Western Hemisphere is the high percentage of malt that we use. The other products from our big neighbour to the north Mexico use a very low percentage of malt and they use the balance of rice. In Germany, they use 100% malt because of their purity law. We’re very close to that. No one else can say that in this part of the Western Hemisphere.”
And the difference that makes is?
“The taste; it doesn’t taste like water, it tastes like beer.”
“People think making beer is like making kool-aid with sugar and water and it is not so. You come here and you see the cleanliness, the raw materials we use – it is so amazing and I have been to different breweries in the world and I was shocked when this brewery was put up because I’d been working with the old brewery where I contributed a lot with the hard labour work and coming here, it is so easy. My days go easy without a sweat.”
So the next time you drink a beer – think of the work that went into it: it is definitely both an art and a strictly controlled science.
8,000 cases of beer are bottled a day. Belize Brewing Company has 95 employees. The vision to modernize the factory was Barry Bowen’s. Senior Manager at Bowen and Bowen says he expects that the group of Bowen companies will continue to grow. His four sons Kevin – who you saw in that piece, Michael, Alexander and Dustin are involved in different enterprises within the Bowen Empire.
Hundreds attend the funeral of Sir Barry Bowen
It was a fitting farewell for a man who touched the lives of many Belizeans and is considered one of Belize’s most distinguished businessmen, Sir Barry Bowen. His many successful business ventures benefitted the country’s economy and he employed well over one thousand persons. His final farewell, an official one, was held today and thousands turned up at the church or lined up the streets to pay their last respects. Barry Bowen died last Friday as his plane crashed in a swampy area of San Pablo at La Isla Bonita where Bowen took up residence for years. The news of his tragic death and that of the Casey family has the nation in mourning. There were several hundred in attendance, including current and former government officials, business executives, family and friends. Marion Ali was at the St. John’s Cathedral and reports on this solemn occasion.
Marion Ali, Reporting
The procession was led by the official police vehicle and Sir Barry Bowen’s immediate family. The casket, carried by six Belize Defense Force pallbearers, and draped with the Belize flag, arrived at a few minutes to ten this morning at Saint John’s Cathedral to the hymn “The Lord is My Shepherd” played by the Police Band.
In attendance at the packed church for the mass of thanksgiving for the life of this philanthropist and business mogul were high officials, including the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Mrs. Barrow, former Prime Minister Said Musa and Mrs. Musa, other dignitaries and close family friends and affiliates.
Outside there were two tents for other friends, well-wishers and employees of Sir Barry’s many business establishments, while the street in front of the church was lined with more supporters and people who also wanted to pay respects.
In his Remembrance Speech, his good friend, John Searle, shared some of this businessman’s notable accomplishments in this country he lived and loved.
John Searle, Sir Barry Bowen’s friend
“In 1965 at the tender age of twenty Barry returned to Belize with a university education, speaking English, Spanish, and French, which he learned from his mother, Emily. To complete the picture, he came back with a wife. He immediately became apprentice in a family business, Bowen and Bowen Ltd. By 1978 he had demonstrated his ability to run the company and he bought out his parents’ shares. Eventually, he also bought out the shares held by to his brother Bruce and sisters Pam and Patty. He was thirty-three years of age and he had become the Chairman of Bowen and Bowen Limited, which now controls Belize Brewing Company, Coca Cola Bottling, Crystal Bottling, Belize Estate Company Limited, Belize Aquaculture Limited, the Riverside Tavern in Belize City, Chan Chich and Gallon Jug farming, coffee, cattle ranching community.”
John Searle’s remembrance was followed by readings done by Sir Barry’s two daughters, Courtney Bowen and Shelley Bowen Stonesifer and after the mass, conducted by chief celebrant, Canon Leroy Flowers, the well-wishers filled the church yard and street to convey words of comfort and condolence.
The procession resumed as the funeral attendants filed into their vehicles destined for San Ignacio for the interment, while a bystander displayed this copy of the obituary for our camera. The death of Sir Barry Bowen will go down in Belize’s history books as a great loss of one of our most accomplished businessmen. Sir Barry Bowen was sixty-four years old. He is survived by his wife, Lady Dixie and six children. Marion Ali for News Five.
This is such a tragic.
Civil Aviation Dept. Says Barry Bowen Lost Control of Plane
Five days ago Sir Barry Bowen’s plane crashed in San Pedro killing the beverage magnate and his four passengers. The news tonight is that the preliminary report on the disastrous crash is in and according to investigators, Bowen lost control of the Cessna 206 aircraft. But according to Civil Aviation investigators it was a normal flight, Bowen’s fourth flight of the day, and it should have been routine since he travels the same route daily. But something went terribly wrong just miles outside of the San Pedro Airstrip. The Belize Department of Civil Aviation discussed the preliminary findings at a press conference this afternoon. 7News was there.
Keith Swift Reporting,
These were the last moments captured on radar of Barry Bowen’s Cessna 206.
Rigoberto Cocom, Chief Air Traffic Control Officer
“The aircraft departed from the municipal airstrip enroute to San Pedro. At the presence he is cruising at 3,500 feet and he is just crossed Chicken Caye. The radar track shows him on a direct track to San Pedro.”
The radar tracked the plane to 5 miles outside the San Pedro Airport when it disappeared.
“He is approaching the coastline to San Pedro at 900, 800, 700 and that is the area where he disappeared. Normally that is the norm when aircrafts are descending into San Pedro.”
Gilberto Torres, Department of Civil Aviation
“It was a normal flight and at no time did the pilot radio any kind of emergency calls so to speak. So it was a normal flight as far as what we can see until the accident happened.”
And while he didn’t radio for help, the Civil Aviation investigators say there is evidence that Bowen attempted to re-ascend.
Brian Dominguez, Lead Investigator
“We believe the aircraft was in a relatively lower altitude that it should have been. We’ve seen the evidence that he attempted to recover.”
“On the radar it shows that he was at 700 feet before it disappeared off the radar. What altitude should he have been at in that area?”
Jose Contreras, Director – Department of Civil Aviation
“As I mentioned in my report, 700 feet is a normal altitude where the aircraft tends to disappear from radar because of the range. But when you are on final approach to land on a runway, you are always descending.”
Alfonso Noble, The Guardian Newspaper
“The air where he was at, should he have been at 700 feet?”
“Well he was descending at that altitude, he was on final approach.”
Shawn Young, Flight Operations – BDCA
“It is impossible for us to tell you that he should have been at 700 at that point. All we can say is that it was a fair amount of distance, more than 500 feet, below what he should have been. It was directly in the path of him proceeding on landing at runway 06.”
So what went wrong? Well Civil Aviation investigators aren’t sure but they say Bowen lost control of the aircraft.
“The findings at this time are the pilot probably lost control of the aircraft due to other contributing factors which are still under investigation.”
“You said he lost control of the aircraft, can you elaborate?”
“We mentioned that the probable cause we are looking out is that he lost control of the aircraft and there are other contributing factors why this happened. Those contributing factors are still under investigation.”
“We are conducting a full fledge investigation, everything will be tested. Everything from fuel, the aircraft engine, everything will be tested.”
And as part of that investigation, technicians from Rolls Royce and Cessna are in the country and will piece together the parts of the aircraft. The investigation is expected to take at least 12 months.
As mentioned at the top, Bowen flew three previous flights on Friday. He had a total of 5,705 hours of total flight time. He began flying in 1967 and got his airman’s certificate in 1976. He had a valid pilot license which was due to expire in October. As part of the requirements for his license, Bowen annually underwent a medical examination. His last examination was in October of 2009 and he was deemed fit to fly.
In related news, the bodies of Michael Casey, his wife Jillian Casey, their 2 and a half year old daughter MaKayla, and 5 month old son Bryce were flown back to Albany New York today for burial. A memorial service was held in their honour today in Gallon Jug.