The National Executive Council of the Belize Ex-Servicemen’s League has locked its Belize City Branch out of their building on New Town Barracks to teach them a lesson.
Belize Ex-Services League President, Bernard Adolphus, said that it’s not that the National Executive Council really wants the Belize City Branch members out, but they have to learn how to respect law and order.
Adolphus, in a letter sent to the Belize City branch’s vice-chairman, Keith Pipersburgh, and its members on Wednesday, June 12, accused them of using the lower flat of League’s property to hold dances and other fundraising activities, while “refusing to pay rent and other reasonable impositions needed for the maintenance and improvement of the League’s property.”
The letter went on to state: “The National Executive of the League has decided to terminate the permission it had given to the Belize City Branch to use the lower flat of Canada House [the name given to the building] with immediate effect, … as from Monday, the 17th day of June 2013, the Belize City Branch and or its members must not enter upon, remain upon or hold any meeting in the League’s property.”
Therefore, when the Leagues’s general secretary and office manager reported to work on Monday, she was unable to gain access to the building, because the gate was chained up and padlocked.
Pipersburgh said he did not know who locked and chained the gate, so he cut off those locks to replace them with his own.
Pipersburgh also claimed that the lock-out is part of an attempt to sell the property.
Adolphus, however, denied that there are any plans now or in the future to sell the property.
When the last World-War-Two veteran dies, he said, the building would be passed over to the Belize Defense Force to hold in trust.
Adolphus said that the idea of selling the property is simply a diversionary tactic that the Belize Branch members are using.
He also lamented the situation, saying that the stand-off is impeding the operations of the League.
“The real issue is the welfare of those needy veterans in Belize City, that the Belize City Branch are not prepared to help,” he said.
For several weeks, things have not been going smoothly with the National Executive and its Belize Branch, but things came to a head in the wake of the July 31 Supreme Court decision by Madam Justice Michelle Arana, who denied an interim injunction filed by the National Executive Council.
The Council was seeking the temporary injunction to back up its June letter to discipline its apparent wayward Belize City Branch members.
According to Adolphus, Canada House and its operations are subsidized by the veterans organization of Canada, which has about 400,000 veterans of their own that they take care of.
Adolphus said that the League will once more seek the intervention of the court to resolve the standoff between itself and the Belize City Branch.
“We want comradeship. The building can be shared between both entities,” Adolphus explained.