Belvedere community celebrates life of slain teen with playground | THE DAILY HERALD

A section of the crowd in attendance for the ground-breaking ceremony.

BELVEDERE–Friends, family and several members of the Belvedere community came together in celebration of the ground-breaking dedication ceremony for slain teen Jordiano Bakmeijer on Friday, March 13.

This took place on Buck Hole Estate, an area where Bakmeijer grew up. Several members of the community who were close to Bakmeijer reached out to St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) requesting permission to use a currently empty lot as a playground in his honour. SMHDF gladly granted this wish and provided full support to the project.

The plan is to transform part of the currently unused lot into a playground for children in the neighbourhood to enjoy.

Bakmeijer’s mother and sister spoke briefly during the ceremony. Both thanked the community for their continued support during their time of grief. His sister said the project would be something he would have loved more than anything.

Present for the ground-breaking were Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports (ECYS) Ardwell Irion and Minister of Justice Egbert Doran. Both ministers expressed their condolences to the family and showed their support for the project.

Irion promised a donation towards the purchase of materials for the playground and his support in being there to help with the construction of the project. Doran applauded the initiative and encouraged those present to continue to work together.

The ceremony concluded with the ground-breaking carried out by two close friends of Bakmeijer and his mother.

A church service in honour of the slain teen was held at the Roman Catholic Church on Front Street on Saturday, March 14. After the service a candlelit march was held on Front Street. Dozens showed their support by dressing in white or light blue (his favourite colour) and marched together as a stance against violence.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/belvedere-community-celebrates-life-of-slain-teen-with-playground

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