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Sep 7, 2012

Reconstruction still ongoing, but officials say Memorial Park will be ready

The celebrations kick off with the Jouvert and Carnival on Saturday, but the official ceremony that comes with all the bells and whistles, is a traditional occasion that includes members of the military, queens and politicians. That event normally occurs at the Memorial Park. But for six months, the park has been under reconstruction. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to the President of NICH and the Project Director concerning the deadline which is only a few days away.


Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The groundbreaking for the refurbishment of the Memorial Park was in February. Several months later, construction continues under the guidance of the project director, Christy Maestre.


Christy Maestre

Christy Maestre, Project Director, Sustainable Tourism Development Program

“We have a crew of almost thirty to forty guys out here. Some are doing a lot of cleanup work; getting the aesthetics ready and then some are business as usual—putting in the drains. As you can see over there, we are doing all underground electrical in the park; that has been a really good collaboration with B.E.L. who have been really helpful in giving us new polls around the outer sides; taking down high tension lines that were not used at all. We are putting in underground electrical and we are going to put a transformer there. so as you can see it is business as usual, and then the rest of them we have an extra ten guys doing the cleanup work for the aesthetics.”


But will the memorial be ready for the tenth of September’s Pomp and Circumstance?


Diane Haylock

Diane Haylock, President, NICH

“The contractors assured us that Memorial Park would have been available for us to do the tenth morning ceremony and twentieth night flag-raising ceremony. They are true to their word. We are out here today and pretty much what they had promised us would be in place is in place. So it is just the finer details now; cleaning up the space and so things will be ready for Monday morning.”


Jose Sanchez

“They have been working in shifts—day and night—right?”


Diane Haylock

“Yes they have. In fact, I saw them on Monday and I said you sure you don’t need me to go to a Plan B? And he says no, this is only an act of God would have made us have to go to a Plan B.”


Jose Sanchez

“I notice you have a very large flag pole and you will also be doing the actual stage inth e background. Will all of that be ready for the tenth?”


Christy Maestre

“Yes, everything will be ready for the tenth. As you can see, the flag poles going up. Although it wasn’t one of the requirements, the B.D.F. asked us to have it for the twentieth night; which we will. But we had it all in place and ready to install and so we went ahead and installed it today and they are gladly going to fly a flag on the tenth on the pole. It will be a large flag—that is one of the things we really wanted to promise so you can see it from the sea coming in. so you know any kind of nautical events happening, you can see the flag flying in the park. And the stage of course, we have all the electricity power to it now.”


Often forgotten is the significance of the Park as a World War 1 reminder, a Memorial Park.


Christy Maestre

“The Park is really a collaboration of tourism and where we are standing right now which is one of the lesser seen pieces of the park on the memorial component. So in starting we had a lot of consultation with the Ex-Servicemen League and other people participating in it. We really found out that the Memorial, as the namesake of the park, was really under-promoted, but it is something very sacred. So as you can see, we are re-erecting the memorial right behind us, the Obelisk, and we will be refurbishing that. And we have also laid three memorial plaques on the ground for the three men who were buried in the park a long time ago—World War I veterans. And then you can see all the landscaping having to come into place and a lot of the work for the tourism component and some of the venue stalls. But this is really kind of a sacred area because we will be erecting the old band stand that was over there—refurbishing all of the structures and giving it a new roof which has been corroded with the field over time.”


Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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3 Responses for “Reconstruction still ongoing, but officials say Memorial Park will be ready”

  1. fishcalledwanda says:

    who will the bloggers blame f or the park looking good, actually better than it ever had? Rod u have any ideas?…

  2. rod says:

    the PM who else

  3. Truth be Told says:

    It was the PUP that secured the funds for the STP project and also who had the initiative to initiate the project….just saying, but also saying that UDP doing a good job in implementing it.

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