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Jul 31, 2014

Eternal Garden Gets A Facelift…

The Eternal Garden Cemetery is Belize City’s new cemetery, located outside city limits in Hattieville. It replaced the Lord Ridge Cemetery a year ago when that place of rest simply had no more space for the eternally weary. Recently City Hall has been investing heavily in the facility with additional staff, additional works and additional facilities. And to highlight those efforts, the media was invited up this morning for a brief ceremony. Mike Rudon was there and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Eternal Garden Cemetery is getting a facelift with the addition of new sanitary facilities, a shed and other ground enhancements. The works are part of a push to get Belize City residents used to the idea of a new resting place, and the City Council is investing to make it happen.


Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“If you look at the facility today, over the last month there have been substantial changes. The area you’re now sitting at has been upgraded with gravel. We recently filled a significant portion of this facility. We put in a new circular road. We installed trees, we installed stones, we filled the entire facility so that people…when they are buried here, they’re buried in a way that respects their dignity and respects the fact that their loved ones chose to have them buried in a public facility. This building that we have constructed also is one aspect of our works, and the larger plan is a plan that will cost us six hundred thousand dollar.”


That larger plan includes additional benches, additional shade areas, the development of a fountain, and a Chapel. The plan is to make Belize City residents at ease with the new facility and realize that the Cemetery of old is just too old to be of much further use.


Darrell Bradley

“The fact is for the Lord Ridge Cemetery we have just outgrown the space. The position really is that we are not accepting new burials at the Lord Ridge and that has been the position for at least a year. So that if someone wants to be buried in the Lord Ridge Cemetery they have to have already purchased a space previously or they have to use a grave space that a previously deceased loved one is buried in. So that we are doing tombings for example there so if you want to bury two people in the same grave space we have a certain amount of years that we look at. I think the previous burial had to have been above four years because we look at public health issues in terms of having to excavate and things like that so that our priority is to develop this site so that members of the public can feel comfortable using this site.”


And that’s important, because the transition hasn’t come without hiccups because of its distance away from the city which, of course, is an added expense. For some that is merely an inconvenience…but for others without the means it is a serious problem…though not an insurmountable one.


Darrell Bradley

“I can tell you that over the last week I waived the grave space for several persons. One of the facilities that the City Council does because it is by law mandated…we have to by law bury people, so if you can’t afford that we have to bury them anyway. And what we have done is that we have sat down with people who have gone through the difficulty of losing a loved one and we have waived whatever fees are necessary in those times and we do this on a regular basis. What we want is that we want people to know that they can be buried and their loved ones can be buried in a way that’s dignified and comfortable and we work with people even in relation to the fees.”


And even for those who can afford burial, the Mayor notes that the fees charged are at cost, and not for profit like undertakers in Belize City. Mike Rudon for News Five.


One serious, recurring problem at the Lord Ridge Ceremony has been the improper recording of burial location from many years past. The new facility features computerized services so that while you may lose your loved one once, you’ll never lose them twice.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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