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Sunday 22 September 2019
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Police deny pan side’s bingo application

A MARABELLA steelband has accused police of botching its application for permission to hold a fund raiser, forcing its cancellation.

President of Southern Marines Steelband Foundation, Michael L Joseph said that two months ago he applied for permission to host a bingo on September 1, but less than 48 hours before the event, he was informed his application “was late” and therefore denied.

He said although the band attempted to inform ticket holders of the cancellation, many disappointed fans, mainly elderly people who find joy and excitement in bingo, still turned up at the pan’s facility in Marabella.

“Southern Marines is an unsponsored band that has represented its community with pride and passion and has always engaged in activities that would uplift and benefit the youths and keep its community name alive in the sphere of steelpan. Southern Marines has shown a determination to achieve a level of self-sufficiency coming out of the pervading consciousness of the 1970s social revolution,” Joseph said.

“Though not as successful as we would like, we always engage in fund raisers to maintain our existence through various cultural and educational events and activities and are quite proud of our achievements thus far.

“With the destruction of Petrotrin, our survival and ability to attract meaningful funding for our developmental projects has become a bit more strenuous.

But that has neither deterred nor dampened our enthusiasm, as we continue to pursue our vision of self-sufficiency and maintain our facilities,” he added.

He said the application was made during the first week in July and twice he was contacted by Marabella police to correct a slight error and attach a letter to the application form.

“All issues regarding application were cleared up more than six weeks prior to September 1. We proceeded with our promotional and marketing strategies and all other physical preparation toward a successful event.”

However, he said, on August 30, someone from the Police Administration in Port of Spain office called to state the band’s application was received late and as such permission to hold the bingo was denied.

Marabella police subsequently called to confirm and he was advised to reapply for another date.

“What is ironic about this whole debacle is that accompanying your application must be a ticket with the information of your event.

This suggests that your tickets should be already printed, which is an immediate expense.”

Joseph said the band has applied for a new date and advised bingo players that the tickets they already purchases would be valid for the new date.

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