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Apr 28, 1999

Southside to get new park

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Those of us who enjoy cool evenings walking, watching our children play, or simply sitting on a bench talking with friends at the B.T.L. Park on the Barracks know how valuable a little piece of land by the sea can be. Well, in a few months there will be another spot to take in the breeze, this time on the southside. Today’s inauguration of the site under the hot sun was a little heavy on politics and public relations, but from the looks of things the B.T.L. Southside Park in the Albert Division will be something the whole city can be proud of.

The park will be situated to the south of the House of Culture, formerly known as the Government House Museum on Regent Street. The area promises to provide much recreation to the children and residents of the Albert and southside divisions. According to Mark Espat, Minister of Tourism and the area representative, the park is just one of the eighteen commitments listed in their “Making Things Happen” manifesto for the Albert Division.

Mark Espat, Area Representative, Albert Division

“Although Albert residents and our committee will work close with the House of Culture as custodians of this park really the benefit should affect all of us on the southside and the residents of Belize. We hope that visitors who come to enjoy the House of Culture, who come to enjoy the St. John’s Cathedral across the street will also be able to enjoy our park.”

During inauguration ceremonies, Espat accepted a check of twenty thousand dollars from Belize Telecommunications Limited for the construction of the park which is already underway. The playground is the second project of its kind to be undertaken by the telephone company. Lisa Shoman, B.T.L.’s chairman says such efforts underscore the fact that they are a company which is not only interested in making money.

Lisa Shoman, Chairman, B.T.L.

“We all know that it is extremely difficult for children who live in inner city conditions to find places to recreate and to find green spots. Although there are those who think that the green in B.T.L. is the color of money, I hasten to assure you today that in fact we are very proud and for sometime to come, that the green, at least in the Albert Division, in our corporate color that we are committed to the environment of the people in this division.”

The park, which will have its own entrance, will be well lit and have play equipment such as swings, slides and seesaws. It will be landscaped and include benches and walkways. Ediberto Tesecum, B.T.L.’s Chief Executive Officer said just as the B.T.L. Park on the northside has been well received, they are optimistic the southside park will be as popular.

Ediberto Tesucum, C.E.O., B.T.L.

“As we do this, we do it with great pleasure knowing or anticipating that it will be put to good use as well. The area is very well suited for it and I think it is about time it is put to the best use possible. B.T.L., over the past five years, has contributed over eight hundred thousand dollars to the educational process, sports and culture as well and this is just another opportunity for us to show that we do, we are sensitive to the needs of the community. This despite that we have undergone in the first instance a tariff rebalancing and now a tariff reduction it is not going to deter us from continuing our contributions to the community.”

Besides B.T.L.’s contribution, members of the Albert community will also be assisting with labor and time to get the park ready for its grand opening in December.

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