“We embrace the North Park!” Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore declared yesterday as she addressed the launch of Panorama 2019 at BP Renegades Pan Theatre, Charlotte Street, Port of Spain.
“We look forward to that great show, that great show in the North Park,” an upbeat Ramsey-Moore told pan lovers.
She said although the organisation has had its “challenges” with the decision of National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters to do away with the North Stand, Pan Trinbago now had a dynamic team that has been working alongside the organisation to ensure its interests were secured. They are vice-president Carlan Harewood and ace pannist Dane Gulston.
“These are the two men who are working closely with the operations committee and also the infrastructure committee of NCC to ensure that pan has its space,” she said.
“We have already indicated that we will not be bullied out of our space. If you are not constructing the North Stand, then it is a new idea. It is a novel idea. We embrace the North Park but pan must have its space.” Ramsey-Moore added: “No one must run us out of our space and, as such, these two gentlemen will be there to ensure that the posses come in the space.”
She said posses were calling the organisation every day.
“And we want to assure the posses that your space is secured in the North Park.” Peters announced the decision to abolish the North Stand, several weeks ago, saying it was not profitable and had become “an albatross” at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS), Port of Spain. The NCC chairman said the facility would fall within the framework of a reconfigured QPS in an area which will be referred to as Carnival City. Peters had said the North Park will include a picnic area and seating accomodation for patrons. The decision to abolish the North Stand was met with scepticism from several stakeholder organisations, including Pan Trinbago.
But yesterday, Ramsey-Moore appeared willing to give the concept of the North Park a chance, saying on February 17, the organisation would host its Savannah Party in the venue.
“And, we expect that all will go well. Despite the challenges, we will be jammin still, jammin in the North Park.” Urging supporters to come out in their numbers, Ramsey-Moore stressed this year there will be no freeness in pan.
“Pay yuh money and go into the ‘Rama.’ Don’t ask this president for any complimentary. Pay uh money and go into the ‘Rama’ because we need your support.”
She said the organisation was seeking to rebuild its image and, as such, needed the financial support of pan lovers and corporate bodies.
“It is the social responsibility of corporate bodies to support communities, to support youth in pan, to support steelpan organisations.”
She said Pan Trinbago met with Caribbean Airlines officials just two days ago “and they are ready to come on board.”
Ramsey-Moore said CAL has asked for 400 tickets for their posses. “And we are calling on all the other corporate bodies. Buy out all the tickets, fill up the North Park.”
She said they were assured the North Park will accommodate in excess of 8,000 people.
Ramsey-Moore also said some 163 bands will be participating in this year’s competition.
She said the event will be dedicated to the country’s fallen cultural icons, including ace arranger Ken “Professor” Philmore, pan icon Ellie Mannette and veteran calypsonians Winston Bailey (Shadow) and De Original De Fosto Himself (Winston Scarborough). After the formal part of the launch, Ramsey-Moore and her team entertained supporters on the pan as members of Pan Trinbago’s newly-formed executive steelband.
Ramsey-Moore, manager of the Tobago band Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra, made her official debut on the base pan. The band played several tunes, including Swappi and Ultimate Rejects Party Start, Nadia Batson’s So Long and Farmer Nappy’s (Darryl Henry) Hookin Meh, to the delight of the audience.