Katzenjammers in limbo over long-time sponsor Petrotrin

Youngest member of Petrotrin Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, Jadon Phillip, conducts the band as members performed at the Socalypso Chronicles concert at Shaw Park Cultural Complex earlier this year.
Youngest member of Petrotrin Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, Jadon Phillip, conducts the band as members performed at the Socalypso Chronicles concert at Shaw Park Cultural Complex earlier this year.

BEVERLY Ramsey-Moore, one of the main contenders for the post of president in Sunday's Pan Trinbago executive election, said while her former champion band, Katzenjammers, will participate in next year's Panorama competition, the jury is still out on sponsorship.

Petrotrin, which has shut down its refinery and is sending home close to 3,000 workers, has been sponsoring the Tobago medium band since 2010. However, Ramsey-Moore could not say if the state company's sponsorship of the Black Rock-based Katzenjammers would continue in the Government's new dispensation.

Petrotrin has been replaced two new state entities – Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd and Paria Fuel Trading Company.

Ramsey-Moore told Newsday Tobago: "We don't know what is happening with our sponsors, but definitely we will be going to Panorama in 2019, although we have not selected a song.

"Petrotrin is our sponsor and we know definitely there is a turnaround with respect to the company."

She added: "I am hoping that whatever happens there will still be support for not only the sponsored bands but for those that require assistance."

Beverly Ramsey-Moore, leader of Katzenjammers.

Ramsey-Moore said she also hoped the new companies would support the national instrument.

"I hope they know that it will not be just about giving bands money, but it is about developing the artform and helping those communities to chart a new course for the young people. So regardless of what happens with Petrotrin, they will give that support to our youth in culture."

One of eight people contesting Pan Trinbago's presidency, Ramsey-Moore said she is confident of victory in the election, having spent several years "battling" with the Keith Diaz-led executive which had a turbulent stint in power.

"I am no stranger to the steelband world. I have been battling with that executive and I never ran away," she said.

Ramsey-Moore accused the former executive of persecuting her and others.

"I have been at the floor of every meeting battling, opening the membership's eyes; I was severely attacked and prevented from giving our views."

If elected, Ramsey-Moore said her first order of business would be to meet with her team to amend aspects of Pan Trinbago's existing constitution "so that the power would reside in the hands of the membership.

"As much as there is going to be an executive, we have to respect our members, and so through the collaborative effort with member-bands, their leaders, we will sit and take another look at our constitution.

"As long as we look at our constitution and clean up our constitution, then we can prepare for the long road ahead."

Declaring Pan Trinbago broke, Ramsey-Moore said if elected president her journey would not be easy.

"But our greatest resource is our members. We know that with our membership – together – we will rebuild Pan Trinbago."

In this regard, she said her team has formulated a ten-point plan to bring about change in the beleaguered organisation.

"We don't understand the power of our organization. Pan Trinbago is an NGO and unless we recognise how powerful NGOs are, then we will not be able to go anywhere."

Saying Pan Trinbago was the largest cultural organisation in TT, Ramsey-Moore argued: "But it is not only about the pan. Pan impacts on communities, and when you think about the amount of people the steelpan movement impacts on, then government and private sector will support us if our initiatives are the right one."

She said her focus would not only be on developing the festivals, but the people, by using the national instrument as a vehicle for social transformation.

"Unless we move in that direction, nobody will take us seriously."

Ramsey-Moore said a new Pan Trinbago under her watch will focus on social responsibility.

"We too must play a role in job creation, in poverty reduction, in reduction of crime. It must not always be gimme, gimme, gimme. What are we doing to help ourselves?" she asked.

"That is the newness that I want to bring – the development of human capital. We too must play a role in that and unless we see that as part of our responsibility, then we are going nowhere."

Ramsey-Moore said the executive will also have to regain the trust of the government and private sector.

"Once you present honest leadership, then it is easy. Beverly Ramsey-Moore an other members of this team are names you can associate with transparency, accountability, openness and fairness. And so long as you have clean and honest leadership that you can trust, then obviously the world will notice us."


"Katzenjammers in limbo over long-time sponsor Petrotrin"

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