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Wednesday 19 June 2019
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Regrello to intervene in pan dispute

Junia Regrello
Junia Regrello

San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello said he was willing to make an intervention into the dilemma between Old Tech Steel Orchestra and the San Fernando West Secondary school to bring about a win-win situation.

Regrello said it was an unfortunate situation in which the Orchestra had found itself and added he was willing to provide any assistance he could to ensure there was an amicable settlement.

Regrello said yesterday that the victims in this whole scenario were the national instrument and the young players who might be looking for an opportunity, wanting to expand their growth and development of the art form.

“Anything we could do as the city, we would to help. I propose to have a discussion with Mr Sean Ramsey to see if anything can be done on our end. It is a very sensitive matter and has to be handled from a different perspective.”

Regrello said what had to be first established was whether the orchestra was a school band or a normal. He said it could not be both and that was what might have caused the dilemma, resulting in the instruments being removed from the music room of the Farah Street, San Fernando, secondary school and placed at the back of the open air compound on Monday.

“It is a sensitive situation. The principal is within his rights in terms of what he is saying and requesting and we are all a bit emotional about the removal of the pan, considering the devotion and passion and commitment by Mr Ramsey to nuture the band over the years.

“This has been one of the original bands around San Fernando, one of the more reliable bands. That being said, we have to define whether they are a school band. I mean Old Tech does not exist any more. They may have to consider changing the name. If they are a normal steelband then they would have to be independent.”

Last Monday, Ramsey, leader and arranger of the band, awoke to find pans and other equipment stored on the school compound, dumped in the back yard. He said he was saddened by the treatment meted out to him, having birthed the band since 1994 and having brought pan glory to the school over the years.

The Ministry of Education on the other hand said Old Tech was no longer a school band and that the space was required to provide classrooms for an intake of Form One students come September.

The ministry said 15 classrooms were destroyed in a fire several years ago and only seven were rebuilt leaving a shortage of space to conduct school business.

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