Pope's statue to finally make 12-hour rotation
by Krystal Paco
Guam - You may have noticed that the Pope John Paul II monument in Hagatna hasn't made its famous rotation once every 12 hours. According to Monsignor James Benavente, the local monument was sent to Thailand for restoration earlier this year to celebrate the pope's beatification to sainthood, but upon arrival back to Guam, problems arose in trenching for electricity to the site to power the lights and motor to rotate the statue.
Department of Parks & Recreations director Peter Calvo noted, "I know that at one point the statue did have electricity running to it to function the lights and the rotation."
Benavente says power was originally supplied from a conduit at the Plaza De Espana, but when the historic walk was established throughout the village of Hagatna, construction rerouted the electrical box. Despite delays, Monsignor Benavente is happy to report that work is finally going to start for trenching to the new electrical box.
Calvo says that it's important to document all the work done to the important local monument. "We're very pleased the statue was refurbished and restored and placed back on its monument, but our concern is that we record and document the activities that took place in order for us as part of our history of our people. We'd like to ensure these documents are in place and protected in our archives," he said. "The entire process should be documented so we can track the activities of that very historic icon for Guam."
Monsignor adds that he's grateful for all that have contributed to the project including contractors International Bridge Corporation and Pacific Welding who have donated their resources as well as contributions from parishioners. The statue is historically significant to the Catholic community because in 1981 the pope celebrated mass at that very site in Hagatna.