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Tuesday 17 September 2019
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Pan worth more than money

Ramsey-Moore tackles ‘eat-ah-food mentality

Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore
Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore

Three months after being elected Pan Trinbago president, Beverly Ramsey-Moore is predicting that Panorama 2019, under her watch, will be the best ever.

"We will have a Panorama next year and I look forward to this being the best Panorama," she told Sunday Newsday.

Ramsey-Moore, who is yet to receive her budget, said one of the possible new features of the event will be the staging of what the organisation is calling a Savannah Party J'Ouvert Jam from midnight to 10 am on February 17 at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain. This will be held before the semifinals of the Panorama competition.

"We are massaging the idea and we believe with good promotion it will be a success," she said.

Ramsey-Moore spoke at the Northern Regional Office of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation's, Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, where she has been given temporary accomodation, pending the opening of Pan Trinbago's new office at Dundonald Street, Port of Spain, possibly within the week.

Ramsey-Moore is buoyed by the response she received from her first “extraordinary meeting” with panmen on Tuesday at which there were 98 per cent of the bands in attendance.

“To hear members say it was the best meeting that Pan Trinbago ever had, the professionalism, the way how we operated. There was no shouting, no noise.

“It was so good to see how the members embraced me at the end of the meeting because I would have inspired them and they know that there is hope. That is what we bring to the table and I am so happy about that.”

But apart from ensuring a smooth flow of Panorama, one of the most eagerly anticipated Carnival events, Ramsey-Moore also has a bigger plan in store–changing the existing 'eat-ah-food' mentality as it relates to prize money into one that sees the activity as a viable commercial entity that will ultimately sustain the organisation.

She said: “What is important for us is the performance, the camaraderie, the social interaction. Do not see the money alone–the players’ money and the prize money.

“Look at the experience and the contribution we make to bringing in foreign exchange to the country. That is what I want them to discuss, not just the money alone.”

Ramsey-Moore added: “The way how we can help to bring in foreign exchange by demonstrating our talent. Panorama is one of the greatest shows in the world and so we must see the stage and see that the world is looking at us.”

She said once this is achieved, compensation will come.

“Compensation does not only come through prize monies. Compensation will also come by the work we do. Pan tourism is a project I am looking forward to that can bring in revenue. So the focus must be a bigger picture.”

Still, Ramsey-Moore, who was appointed to the board of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) on Tuesday, has registered some successes since being elected Pan Trinbago head in August.

She has gotten an “agreement” that all outstanding Panorama prizes since March will be paid for the small, medium and large bands.

Ramsey-Moore said she also has been able to work with her executive to come up with a strategy to pay the organisation’s service providers for this year’s Panorama and staff for the past seven months.

“I am happy about that. So, I can say that hopefully everyone will he having a great Christmas.”

Although her new position has come with much personal sacrifice, the former Tobago House of Assembly representative said she was enjoying the job.

“I have always liked to fix things. From ever since, working in my community, leading young people and being in village councils, with my band Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, is all about rebuilding and rebranding. So for me I am really enjoying it.”

Ramsey-Moore described her first NCC meeting last week as “baptism of fire” but pledged to work with the Winston Peters-led body.

She said though Pan Trinbago and other interest groups must recognise that NCC has to work within its budget.

Ramsey-Moore thanked the NCC and Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly for the support they provided to Pan Trinbago thus far.

“They have stretched out their hands and embraced this new executive where we can sit and chat.”

Ramsey-Moore also responded to queries about how her band, Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, is likely to fare after the disbanding of Petrotrin, which has sponsored the Black Rock-based outfit over the years.

Petrotrin has been replaced by Heritage Petroleum and Paria Fuel Trading Company.

She said all of the bands sponsored by the former Petrotrin received letters from its executive director Reynold Ajodhasingh indicating the company would be in contact with them.

“But, as president, I am going to ensure and communicate so that I can have a meeting to speak not only for Katzenjammers but for all the bands that received support from Petrotrin.”

She said the new companies must recognise it was also their social responsibility to continue to invest in culture and youth.

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