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Wednesday 12 December 2018
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Ex-mayor wants to head Pan Trinbago

Keron Valentine
Keron Valentine

GARY CARDINEZ

KERON VALENTINE, former mayor of Port of Spain, has thrown his hat into the Pan Trinbago election race as he seeks to become the next president of Pan Trinbago, the world governing body for pan.

At the end of the reconvened aborted EGM held last Tuesday at Communications Workers Union Hall, Henry Street in Port of Spain, it was made clear that October 1 will be nomination day, and on October 28 the membership will elect a new executive to run their affairs. The meeting also agreed that the elections must be held under the guidance of the Elections and Boundaries Commission.

In a bold move, Valentine resigned his position as manager of Hadco Phase II Pan Groove, a position he held from the lead up to Carnival this year. He also resigned as chairman of Angostura Newtown Playboys Steel Symphony in an effort to fully concentrate on heading the organisation.

Valentine is also an academic and an all round pan music lover. He is a St James boy who grew up under the tutelage and guidance of master pannist and legendary arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe.

He holds a Bsc in International Business and Marketing from the University of Akron, Ohio, USA, an education he received having been the recipient of a Pan Trinbago Inc Business Scholarship Award in 2004. He possesses a Management Certificate in Diplomatic Negotiations from China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing, China, where he studied for some time.

He also holds a certificate in Music Literacy from the Centre of Creative Arts from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, being a graduate of the Republic Bank Pan Minors scholarship programme.

Valentine feels it is time he gives back to the organisation which is responsible for his tertiary education in an effort to move Pan Trinbago into the future.

He says, “I know it will not be easy but the time has come for the changing of the guards. The organisation needs young, fresh minds to build upon the foundation left by the pan pioneers and the path they forged. I salute them for the blood, sweat and tears they shed to make Pan Trinbago Inc an organisation and recipient of the highest national award.

After serving as deputy mayor of Port of Spain for six years, Valentine became mayor for one year in 2016. While in City Hall, he created events like Mayor’s Pan Jazz Experience, Pan Down Frederick Street, City of Pan Parade and Pan Avenue Bomb Competition, for this he is still known as the “people’s panman mayor”. In 2016, Valentine also gave Pan Trinbago Inc the city’s highest and most prestigious award, the Key to the City, for its contribution to TT and the world at large for pan, the national instrument.

Valentine’s first salvo at the elections came last Saturday when he was the feature speaker at Friends of Pan Trinbago AGM held at Newtown Playboys’ pan theatre.

In his address Valentine told those present that as friends of the mother movement, they have to do more to help Pan Trinbago to turn a new page away from its current impasse and difficult operational crisis in which it has found itself.

He urged members to come up with innovative ideas in order to regain trust, support and confidence in the steelband movement. He said, if this is done, he is confident that the world governing body for pan and steelband affairs will return to its rightful mandate for the betterment of pan.

Valentine and his team are currently working on a manifesto which will show the membership how they intend to take Pan Trinbago out of its current crisis and move forward in a positive light.

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