At Thursday’s draw for playing positions in the small conventional steelband finals, Beverly Ramsey-Moore, Pan Trinbago president, told band representatives: “We are trying our best to ensure that you receive your subsistence tomorrow (yesterday), but you know what?
“You will not only get your cheques from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, but Caribbean Airlines, Coca-Cola and Bmobile were approached by Pan Trinbago for T-shirts and they have responded, and so in total we have 2,500 T-shirts that we will give to unsponsored bands. That is their way of supporting bands that are going to participate in Carnival activities, meaning that bands, even though some may not be competing, will get this assistance with transportation and trailers to come out on the road for Carnival.”
Bands are asked to liaise with Pan Trinbago trustee Keith Simpson to make the necessary arrangements for the collection of their T-shirts.
The draw took place at the VIP Lounge in the Queen’s Park Savannah, Asked about Pan Trinbago’s readiness for the Panorama semifinals this weekend, Ramsey-Moore said: “We have put all the plans in place to ensure that we have a smooth running of Panorama semis, which is our biggest event.
“We are still working out the little scenes with NCC with respect to crowd control, because we expect to have a massive turnout for the semifinals, and in respect to the North Park, which we will be testing for the first time, we are still in talks with NCC (National Carnival Commission).”
It was Ramsey-Moore’s intention to talk with NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters to put last-minute touches in place, since Pan Trinbago expressed concern over issues with the north grounds and the covered part of the North Park, to be set up in the Savannah for Sunday’s medium and large band semifinals.
“We have to work that out. But other than that, we think that it will be the greatest show on earth.”
Asked to elaborate on her concerns about North Park, she explained that patrons in the ($400) covered area can go anywhere, even in the “avenue,” at the back of North Park. But those who are in the North Park grounds area, who will be paying $300, can only remain within those grounds.
Questioned as to how the movement of the people in the two distinct sections will be regulated, Ramsey-Moore said: “We have our pan wardens and also the NCC security.”
On funding from the NCC, Ramsey-Moore said: “The NCC has given a commitment to give us a $20 million allocation but I have pleaded, and I have asked the board to consider an increase and that will be tabled at the next NCC board meeting which could be next Thursday. I’ve already served notice that I will be coming for an increase in the allocation for pan. I think the board, despite what, they understand the dynamics that go with respect to organising for pan.”
Ramsey-Moore lamented that there has been a falling-off of bands due to financial constraints.
Of a total of 63 single pan bands that registered, only 48 participated in the prelims, and of the 100 conventional bands that registered, 85 participated. Nevertheless Ramsey-Moore expressed her heartfelt and sincere gratitude to all Pan Trinbago members.
“We thank you for your tremendous support to this executive, we thank you for your patience, and we want to congratulate all of you for the hard work and for lifting the standard of pan in 2019.
“There is no TT without pan. Pan is a way of life, and let us all work together to ensure that we lift our organisation to the top of the mountain and we would beam that bright light that it will impact not only on TT but on the world.”
The order of appearance of small bands in the semifinal round of competition to be held at Victoria Square on Saturday from 4 pm is:
1. Crescendoes Musical
2. Alpha Pan Pioneers
4. Cocorite West Wind
5. Golden Hands
6. Laventille Serenaders
7. TT Defence Force
8. Fusion Steel Ensemble
9. Simple Song
10. Fascinators Pan Symphony
11. Steel Sensations
12. Arima Golden Symphony
13. C&B Crown Cordaans
14. Jay Notes
15. Tobago Panthers
17. La Horquetta Pan Groove
19. Old Tech
20. TTEC East Side
23. Uptown Fascinators
24. Blue Diamonds
25. Our Boys
26. Xpress 21
27. West Stars
28. West Side Symphony
29. Tunapuna Tipica