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Aug 22, 2013

Bust of Antonio Soberanis adopted for the Battlefield Park

Meanwhile, in the downtown area, finishing touches are being added to Battlefield Park, having undergone a much needed sprucing up recently.  To complete the face-lift, City Hall is in discussion with Stephen Okeke to adopt the bust of Antonio Soberanis.  Despite all the work going into the rehabilitation, public safety remains an issue for the council.  Skateboarders have been making use of the paved surface and while the park is designed for recreational use, Mayor Darrell Bradley is concerned about the wellbeing and enjoyment of others who traffic the area or use the facility.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“That particular park which is being fully funded by the Belize City Council and we had the contractors International Environments doing that.  They worked on the park for three and a half months and that park will be turned back over to us next week Thursday.  We are going to have an opening and it’s going to be opened to the public.  It’s already being used by the public now because ninety-five percent of the work has been finished; they are just doing some finishing touches in terms of the aesthetics, the planting.  We are going to fence the green area so that it is something that is not trampled upon and could be there for the enjoyment of residents of the surrounding communities.  We’re going to put a little more park benches in the area, we were just monitoring it because, you know, we just had a situation historically of homeless people who use to frequent the park. 

Darrell Bradley

We have put in place a system to allow for park wardens so that we have people monitoring the park in the day and in the night to ensure that we don’t have people sleeping in the park and damaging the park.  Of course, you mentioned the idea of people using the park for skating and other purposes.  My personal view is that we would want everybody to enjoy the park in the way that they choose so that if we have skating and that kind of thing it is your park.  It doesn’t belong to the city; it doesn’t belong to the mayor.  It belongs to the community and the public and it is there for the enjoyment of every member of the public, as long as what you do is safe and what you do does not overly interrupt or interfere with the enjoyment of others.  Our people have been in ongoing negotiations with Mr. Okeke as it relates to the procurement of the statue.  Of course, in terms of the costing and the actual turnover dates those are things that our technical people are working on to finalize.  We had met with the Antonio Soberanis family and they had expressed their views to us in relation to the likeness of Antonio Soberanis that they would have preferred and we want to accord with their wishes.  Antonio Soberanis is a tremendous hero of Belizean life and the park is named Battlefield Park and he was a warrior for union rights and we want to represent him in a way that accords with his dignity and contribution to our national life.  And so I hope that we would be able to conclude negotiations by the end of the week.”

 

The Battlefield Park is a historic landmark in Belize City, as it was the venue for public meetings held in the Old Capital during the colonial period.

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