The following is a biographical profile on Mr. Robert Turton (1887-1955):
- Mr. Turton was bom in 1887 in Belize City.
- His goal as a young man was to become rich, though he only attended school up to standard 3.
- In his childhood years he was a goat herder, bottle trader and apprentice to a tailor but later ventured into forestry.
- He invested most of his money gained from previous professions in the importation of mules, which were used to extract mahogany from the dense forest. He became the chief supplier of mules in the Colony.
- He also invested in pitpans and river boats to aid the transportation of goods and people along the Rivers across the country.
- Robert and Roland Dewgard were two men that further opened the window of opportunity for Robert Turton to become a very successful businessman.
- The meeting of these two made Robert Turton transition from a supplier materials to one of the richest owners of the chicle and mahogany operations.
- He had significant business operations in Mexico and had business alliances in the United States.
- Roland was Robert’s chief advisor on the chicle and lumber operations to which they developed a sound business relationship.
Did you know that?
- Robert was a strong advocate of greater political and economic freedom. He supported the resistance movement against the colonial Government with its autocratic rule.
- This was evidenced by the fact that he convinced his employee George Price to run for elected office. George Price would go on to become Belize’s first Premiere and later Prime Minister.
- He was made Justice of the Peace by the same Colonial Government that rebuffed and scorned him because of his wealth, power, popularity and anti-British Stance.
- The Government of Nicaragua made Robert an Honorary Consul in Belize.
- He is also known to have employed young men in whom he saw great potential and was known to be charitable to the elderly and needy.
- He donated properties to the City Mission Church located on Victoria Street in Belize City, as well as donated the buildings which house the Red Cross Offices and Turton Public Library.
- Turton’s lifestyle was viewed with mixed feelings. He was the father of many children with different mothers and there were a number of his business practices which were describe as unethical.
How to cite: ISCR/NICH. “Robert Turton (1887-1955).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: [Insert BHA Website URL]
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