You heard Steven Okeke rant and rail against the Belize City Council for their apparent inaction over an agreement to purchase his completed bust of Antonio Soberanis, the labor leader who made Battlefield Park his stomping ground in the 1930’s. A bust of Soberanis currently sits at the park but is nowhere close to the likeness of the Honduran-born activist who died in 1975. Soberanis’ family has approved the new bust and so the Council has completed an agreement to purchase it.
Darrell Bradley – Mayor of Belize City:
Yesterday I signed an agreement with Mr. Okeke for the purchasing of the bust and we’re buying the bust from him for $25,000. We are closing this deal on the 6th of September which is next week Friday. I am also pleased to report that we’re not spending public funds on this bust, that’s monies that have been fully donated to the City Council and we had a lot of interest from people wanting to contribute to the acquisition of the bust. What we’ve done is that we had a campaign really to try and go out to the members of the business community and also our friends like the Belize Tourism Board and Belize Electricity Limited to indicate to us what our proposal was to the restoration of the park and how they could contribute. I’m thankful that they have come out in droves to indicate that their contributions would amount to the entire acquisition of the bust. The logistics of that is going to be worked out very shortly and the bust will be erected next week and then we will have a closing during the September Celebrations.
No date has been given for the formal opening of the park.