LEGENDARY pan tuner and pioneer Ellie Mannette said he did not want a funeral of any kind, according to a post on Mannette Instruments’ Facebook page yesterday.
However, it said, memorial celebrations in the US and Trinidad are being planned and details would be published soon.
Emily Lemmerman, a professional pan tuner who studied with Mannette, worked with him from 1998-2004, and in the process reportedly became like family for the last 20 years, commented from West Virginia yesterday.
“Memorials are being organised in the US as well as in Trinidad, where we are co-ordinating with the Invaders Steel Orchestra. No dates have been set as yet.
“We are taking a moment to breathe, and we will take some time to prepare thoughtful and meaningful services. We will announce details with plenty of notice so those who need to arrange travel have plenty of time to make accommodations.” She added that Mannette very much wanted music at his service, so the organisers would be sure to programme something beautiful.
Desiree Myers, captain of Invaders, of which Mannette was a founding member, said the band will host its own memorial service on Thursday from 7.30 pm. Arrangements are still being finalised.
She said there will be tributes from the elders in the band and singled out James Inniss, who was around when Invaders was founded.
Arranger, educator and pannist Dr Jeanine Remy will speak on the academic contributions made by Mannette, and invitations have been sent to Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz and Mannette’s nephew Barry Mannette. Hadco Phase II is also included on the playbill and Invaders are still awaiting word from Ken “Professor” Philmore, who plays one of Mannette’s rare pans. Both Invaders’ senior and junior bands are listed to play as well. An Ellie Mannette Memorial Fund has been set up to assist in final arrangements and memorial services. Future goals are to create an Ellie Mannette scholarship and projects for the preservation of Mannette’s legacy.
An electronic option is being set up and will be posted on Mannette Instruments’ Facebook page. Donations can be mailed to: Ellie Mannette Memorial Fund, PO Box 4250, Morgantown, WV 26504.