“Faceta Park? Why are we calling it that? It makes it sound like an Imperial Princess.” The speaker was one of the new aldermen; thin and revolutionary with views on the old regime. He was also from one of the newer parts of Malapar.
“It is being named after an Imperial Princess.” The man he was talking to was a local, one of the City’s Works Committee and a more physically robust model of revolutionary.
“Why?” The aldermen was one of those who still wasn’t quite sure how he felt about the new perforce Emperor marrying the last surviving Princess, the man could have sons with anyone after all.
The committeeman said, “You may have heard that members of the Imperial family had an allowance every year that they could allocate to a project of their own choosing.”
The alderman snorted derisively.
“There was the proviso,” added the committeeman, “that the project could not directly benefit them or any other member of the Imperial family. It could be something that was on the projects list or something that wasn’t that they thought ought to be done. The allowance wasn’t that much, 10,000 credits, so it mainly went on little things done although sometimes some of them would club together to do something bigger.”
“So?” The alderman was beginning to survey the proceedings around him with distaste.
“Sometime in her late teens, we have no idea how or why, Princess Faceta became concerned about the water supply and sewerage system in Malapar Old Town. At that time the City Council was concentrating on the New Town and the suburbs and seemed content to let the old town decay into urban detritus.”
“The Old Town was a slum when I was growing up,” commented the alderman.
“It was and much of it still is,” agreed the committeeman. “We’re still not a big item on the Council’s agenda.”
The alderman had the grace to look abashed.
“Princess Faceta put her annual allocation into maintaining and upgrading our sewers and our water supply every year of her life after that for the just over fifty years that remained to her.” The committeeman sighed, “It wasn’t much each year, but it was work that wouldn’t have been done otherwise and it had an incremental effect. There was a study that showed that after a decade her works were having a positive effect on health outcomes.”
The alderman made the connections in his head, “So her choice to do that year after year is why the Old Town had compatible infrastructure to be connected up to the new reticulation and processing systems in the rest of the city?”
“Rather than having to wait for the Council to vote the funds through and do the work?” The committeeman smiled, “Yes. So we decided to name the park that replaced the old sewerage plant in her honour. We thought she would have enjoyed seeing children who benefited from her decisions playing in the sun and fresh air, poor lady.”
“Poor lady?” The alderman snorted. “She was an Imperial Princess.”
“Who spent her life as a sort of housekeeper in the Imperial Palace and who died with all her kin and descendants when we stormed the Palace. There is a certain amount of local feeling that as she cared enough to think of our welfare,” the committeeman’s face was carefully blank, “the least we can do is remember her kindly.”
“Yes, you’re right.” The alderman nodded. “Sometimes the right and wrong of it all is a hard thing to hold certain, isn’t it?”