Work at Archbishop Flores Memorial Loop finally completed
It's considered a labor of love and a few years in the making, and today the renovation of an iconic memorial thousands drive by daily is finally complete.
The Archbishop Felixberto Flores Memorial Loop in Tamuning has come full circle. "My husband Ray's office began working on the revitalization of this loop back in February 2012, so it's taken us three years to get here but it's never too late and we're very happy to be here this morning," explained Attorney Naoko Shimizu, co-chairperson of the Islandwide Beautification Task Force. The IBTF under the direction of the Lt. Governor's Office formally rededicated the iconic memorial of Guam's first archbishop.
Shimizu added, "This particular project was done by all the donations of our private corporate citizens, non-profit organizations and again volunteers and elbow grease from everyone and government dollars were not spent to revitalize this very important loop." Part of the improvements includes a fully restored statue of Archbishop Flores, newly installed solar power lights that last twice as long as regular LED lights and of course a vibrant eye-catching mural.
"The mural consists of five different wall panels totaling up to 2,500 square feet," Shimizu detailed. "The design of the mural was created as a symbol of love and respect for our island and each of the 19 villages with each of the village flowers represented on the wall."
Over 100 hundred gallons of paint and up to 700 work hours were put into the project, something University of Guam art major Neill Catangay is very familiar with. He said, "We'd work night and day, we'd be here 8 o'clock in the morning and be here until 10 o'clock at night. A lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into this mural, a lot of time and a lot of paint and it all paid off in the end and it looks really nice."
And under the direction of UOG professor Ric Castro, the painting started with just six students but eventually evolved with numerous volunteers. "Where the students and I were more concerned about the color scheme, the design and composition of the entire scope of the project, it couldn't have been done without the help of the other volunteers in the community," he told KUAM News.
And just as the memorial loop was created to recognize one of the island's greatest spiritual leaders, it will also help to enhance the image of Guam. Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio officially handed the memorial over to the Guam Visitors Bureau to keep up the maintenance.