First Citizens Supernovas Steel Orchestra got an early Christmas gift on Saturday night, when Clarence Rambharat, senator and Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, presented bandleader Amrit Samaroo with their letter of Cabinet approval for the lease of a parcel of state land in the Samaroo family’s hometown of Surrey Village, Lopinot.
The presentation took place at the Pan in d Borough event in the Royal Borough of Arima.
The site is next to the site on which construction of the new Surrey Village Community Centre is about to start.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Samaroo thanked Rambharat for his assistance and said, “This is but the first, albeit very important step in us finally having a permanent home for Supernovas.”
He added, the band had been housed by the Surrey Village Council at their community centre, but now they have a vision for the site which is currently in development.
“It will not only accommodate the band but also be a centre in dedication to Dr Jit Samaroo (patriarch).” Samaroo also said Supernovas members were excited about the news.
“They are proud to be part of a pioneering group of players who are contributing their talents to build a great band, institution and community. Seeing it happen before their very eyes is an amazing feeling.”
Also speaking with Newsday yesterday was Rambharat who said the Surrey Village community had been pursuing the idea of a pan theatre, and it became more urgent as the condition of the existing community centre deteriorated.
The minister said since Supernovas’ creation ten years ago and its immediate impact as a conventional band, the idea was pursued with more vigour. The matter was taken to Cabinet in 2013 but not approved at that time.
Rambharat said, “Earlier this year I completed work on the matter and Cabinet approved the lease of 15,000 sq ft for the establishment of the pan theatre. The lease would be granted by the Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts (CDCA) at a nominal annual rent.”
He said he also spoke to the president of Pan Trinbago about other outstanding state land issues facing other bands and promised to work with the CDCA minister to review those matters.
He said Culture Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and MP for the area Cheryl Crichlow-Cockburn worked on the Supernovas file with him.
On hand to witness the presentation was Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore and representatives from the east zone of Pan Trinbago.
Ramsey-Moore expressed her happiness with the minister’s gesture towards Supernovas.
“That is one of the things we have been working towards – having bands regularised.
“The minister and I are to meet next week, re regularisation of other bands occupying state lands, and also to treat with Pan Trinbago headquarters.”
Ramsey-Moore said her executive would have discussions on whether Pan Trinbago wanted to continue occupying the 11 acres of land in Trincity, off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, currently allocated for the headquarters or if it was necessary to find another space.