Battlefield Park Resurges Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00

Official ribbon cutting ceremonyThe Battlefield park has seen a magnificent rebirth. On Wednesday, September 18th Mayor Darrell Bradley officially declared the park open once again. After 5 months of arduous work put in by International Environs (IE) the park was opened to the public two weeks ago. And it is quite a marvelous space to behold. Anyone standing at the center of the park can appreciate what Mayor Bradley’s intention was. According to him, the park was originally designed as a plaza to accommodate the  surrounding public buildings which include the Supreme Court.

The park now features a flat square with benches, a fountain, a flag pole, green spaces and the bust of the great labor movement leader, Antonio Soberanis. In opening the park Bradley described the park as the heart and soul of Belize City since it sits smack in the center of the commercial area. He noted that the park has a great historic origin having been the gathering ground for residents of Belize from as early as 1638. It was “ground stand for people to congregated and advocate for their rights,” and as such the redesign of the park was to pay respect to its history.

Work commenced on the park in April and concluded on target in September and Mayor Bradley said he was pleased with the outcome. He noted that over the years the park had become a “symbol of decay” becoming the resting place for people who had nowhere to go. With the reconstruction it signaled the reclaiming back of the park and more so the reclaiming of the larger Belize City.

One of the prominent features of the park is the bust of Antonio Soberanis. The plaque reads:

Antonio Soberanis Gomes
Father of the Belizean Labour Movement
Born January 19, 1897 - Died April 14, 1975

Was a member of the Unemployed Brigade that demonstrated for more work and better pay. He carried on the cause when its leaders gave up hope and resigned. He stated “I’d rather be a dead hero than a living coward.” He informed the labourers and unemployed association (LUA) in 1934, organizing boycotts, demonstrations and pickets against large merchants.

He led public meetings at this Battlefield Park talking about the Government’s unfair treatment of labourers.

He was jailed for sedition in 1935. His association’s efforts paid off, however, by wage increase for workers and more jobs. He took the movement countrywide to shed light on workers’ rights.

This bust was rededicated on 18th September, 2013 by Mayor Darrell Bradley and Councilor Kevin Singh to honor the contribution of this tireless warrior for union rights.