Marguerite C. Jones Miles
Born in Belize over 65 years ago, Marguerite grew up in a family who were Missionaries to Belize from Scotland. Her grandfather was the Rt. Reverend Robert W. Cleghorn, O.B.E. JP, who served the country and people of Belize for over 75 years. His wife, Henrietta Cleghorn, served with him until she passed away at a fairly early age. Reverend Cleghorn’s daughter, Rita, Marguerite’s mother, continued the work in Belize for many years even after her father died. Rita was a respected member of the Baptist Church and was a Sunday school teacher and mentor in the Church, until she passed away in 1998.
Besides pastoring the Baptist Church, Reverend Cleghorn worked and served on many boards in Belize; a few were the Baron Bliss Fund and the Volunteer Guard. Rev. Cleghorn was a member of the Legislative Council in 1924; served as Pastor in charge of the Baptist Mission as of 1901; he served as Mayor of Belize and had the honor of presenting the keys to the City of Belize to Charles Lindbergh, when he landed in Belize in the “Spirit of St. Louis” in 1927. Rev. Cleghorn was also one of the original founders of the Cross Country Bicycle Races, which continues until today. He assisted many other pastors and ministers in taking over for them when they needed to go on “leave”. In his honor a street, Cleghorn Street, was named after him.
As Marguerite grew up, she attended St. Catherine Academy, a Catholic all girls private school. In those days, the Baptist and Catholic nuns were neighbors on Gabourel Lane and everyone got along great. Marguerite grew up in an era when Belize was very peaceful, where children were allowed to be children and so she spent her summers swimming, fishing and riding her bike with friends, all the while gaining knowledge about the flora and fauna of Belize. This idyllic time was broken for a short while, when at the age of 12, Marguerite moved with her family to Honduras for a few years. At this time, she learned about other cultures and an appreciation for travel.
The family returned to Belize so that Marguerite could finish her education at St. Catherine Academy and she graduated in 1962, the year after Hurricane Hattie destroyed the city of Belize. After graduation, Marguerite spent time in Mexico, where she was able to improve her Spanish. Upon returning to Belize, she joined and worked at Barclay’s Bank, when the opportunity came for her to go to college in Michigan. Marguerite embraced the opportunity to further her education and had the pleasure of spending time with relatives and getting to know Michigan and also Canada.
In 1966, she married and moved to live in Pennsylvania where she had two children, Trevor and Misha. After being away from Belize for almost 14 years, Marguerite decided to move home. This move was the move that got her involved in tourism, as she realized her years of traveling and living in different countries was now a great asset. Since tourism was just in the infant stage in Belize, she worked for Keller’s Caribbean Sports (originally Barothy’s Caribbean Lodge, Ltd. Opened in the early 1960’s) for two years in management along with Mike Heusner, where she gained a wealth of knowledge. As a team, Marguerite & Mike went on to manage another resort on a private island in Belize, and returned to Barothy’s Caribbean Lodge, when they purchased it in 1986, renaming the first fishing lodge in Belize, Belize River Lodge.
Luckily and as a note, Marguerite’s son, Trevor, married Victor Barothy’s Sr. daughter-in-law, Catherine, who had 3 grandchildren for Vic Sr. – Elizabeth, Melanie and Rebecca. Ole’s Vic’s family is still growing and Elizabeth has a son, Chase and Rebecca, a son Gavin; so even though Barothy’s was renamed, the original Barothy grandchildren and great-grand children are family to BRL, even today. Nicely summed up in an e-mail received over Christmas this year,
“It is nice to know that a family operated original fishing destination is still going strong.”