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Panmen war

JOAN RAMPERSAD Wednesday, August 9 2017

ALL is not well within the pan fraternity.

A media release issued by Michael L Joseph, public relations officer of governing body Pan Trinbago yesterday, led to harsh words from chairman of the International Steelband Foundation (ISF) Michael Marcano.

Joseph said that listening to comments by some detractors of the steelpan fraternity, following a successful show staged by five of the leading large Steelbands in TT, one could believe there is some new development in the steelpan world that makes Pan Trinbago irrelevant.

“Most of these neophytes, who have gained some verbal strength by suckling on the breast of Pan Trinbago, would not recall that over the years Pan Trinbago has been advocating that steelbands, individually or collectively, wean themselves by promoting shows and organising programmes to enhance their image, especially events that would sustain them financially outside of the Carnival season,” Joseph said.

Joseph expressed delight and support of the ISF-initiative which was the staging of the big 5 concert. He congratulated members of the big 5 committee and said he looks forward to more steelband leaders coming together for similar events.

PAN TRINBAGO’S WORK However he said: “Pan Trinbago could never be affronted by these kinds of initiatives, for over the years, the executive has introduced countless events of a similar nature outside of Panorama.

One can look at the National Steelband music festivals right up to 1973, which after a seven year pause, was revived in 1980.” Joseph then listed a number of achievements of Pan Trinbago over the years including the first School Steelband Music Festival in 1981, Pan Trinbago’s introduction of Pan in d 21st century and Pan Down Memory Lane in 1998, its mass Choirs and Steel bands concert in 2000 and Panyard Sensation, also in 2000.

He also spoke of other Pan Trinbago initiatives such as the World Steel band Music festival held at Madison Square Garden in New York in 2005, its Honouring the Pan Guards programme, a new version of Champs In Concert – Crème De La Crème in 2008, Panazz - the Pan Jazz Experience, Steel Fest in 2013 and the National Youth Steel Orchestra.

“Just to remind those who tend to forget and those too young to remember that Pan Trinbago is the Vanguard of Steelband development.” Joseph stated Pan Trinbago will continue to encourage and support its members to become self sufficient in whatever lawful form or fashion they may choose and urge their detractors to stop the shameful display of seeing ghosts and demons at every turn of events.

BLOWS FOR PARADE To the Pan Trinbago’s detractors, he said, “Your showing at the Emancipation Day Parade was in very poor taste and disrespectful to say the least. Somehow, you all believe it was a J’Ouvert prance, so you came out playing clowns, failing to understand the true meaning of Emancipation...

so sad!” In an immediate reaction, Marcano, after acknowledging Joseph’s support of the ISF Big 5 initiative, noted that the President of Pan Trinbago Keith Diaz’s initial denial of knowing of their existence and his subsequent denouncing of the ISF’s effort.

And on the parade he said: “As a member of the Concerned Individuals for Pan, the group that staged the Emancipation Day rally at which I was present, I will say that the executive of Pan Trinbago should first look in the mirror before referring to anybody as, ‘clowns’.

To begin with, the countless events introduced by Pan Trinbago over the years, were initiatives of previous administrations all of which this current executive has the dubious record of crashing.

PAN TRINBAGO’S SHAME “The 2017 Panorama is the most recent example for had it not been for the efforts of the NCC (National Carnival Commission), we may have had no Panorama this year and and it is very possible that we may have none in 2018, as long as the current executive continues in office.

Perhaps they should tell the nation what initiatives they have introduced to raise funds to complete the edifice off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway that stands as a national disgrace,” Marcano said.

Marcano said it is the Pan Trinbago executive that is being disrespectful when they are still owing steel bands half of their prize money for the 2015 International Panorama, the 2016 Junior panorama prize money, salaries to workers for the 2016 Panorama but yet found money to pay hefty honorariums in 2016.

“Instead of publishing insulting remarks about the efforts of pan folks in their legitimate claim to be paid after they have played, the executive of Pan Trinbago should tell the country what has happened to the BMW X5, as this has brought that entire organisation into disrepute.” He ended by saying: “Emancipation is about struggle and the parade was in my opinion a fitting platform to highlight the fact that pan folks are still in bondage.

The gross mismanagement; misuse of funds; refusal to account to the National Convention (the highest authority in the organisation) under the dubious excuse that lawyers have advised against this...all of this is sad and disrespectful to say the least.”

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