After a meeting with the National Carnival Commission (NCC) on Thursday, Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore said its chairman, Winston “Gypsy” Peters went to her, gave her a hug and called a truce.
Earlier this week, Ramsey-Moore said Pan Trinbago requested of the NCC to erect Pan City, something resembling the North Stand for Panorama semi-finals of the large and medium bands, but Peters was adamant that North Park, that he came up with for last Carnival will return with a little modification.
Ramsey-Moore said, “We have agreed to work together and ensure that the mutual respect is maintained. We have sent a team to work together with the operations department of the NCC and we have already seen a preliminary draft of how they intend to compromise and ensure that we have a Pan City full of love and laughter and enjoyment.”
All parties are expected to walk through the space at the Queen's Park Savannah on Sunday morning so they can be sure they are on the same page.
Ramsey-Moore said: “It is the first draft we have been presented so far, and we are looking at it. But we have to walk through it to ensure that it resembles what we want.”
Reminded that Carnival is a month away and asked how long will it take to build, Ramsey-Moore responded: “We have the Iwer George syndrome in this country...We wake up one morning and just realise...”
She said: “Peters was bent on the North Park while we were saying no, let’s tweak it and make changes, and that is why nothing was happening. But we are going to have Pan City.”
She said the structure is expected to hold 7,000 people.
Ramsey-Moore also thanked the Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, for her intervention on the release of funds.
Pan Trinbago will pay single pan prizes on Saturday. Small bands received their assistance on Friday, after getting part of the allocation on Friday.
But that truce is not the only peace-making effort going on.
Project co-ordinator Auburn Wiltshire, giving an overview of the work of the Multicultural Music Programme Unit (MMPU) of the Ministry of Education during the Junior Panorama launch on Friday, told of an MMPU instructor, pan arranger and musician, Stephon West, who was invited to Israel to be part of a peace programme called Peace Drums, for Arabs and Jews to come together, using pan.
Speaking with Newsday from Israel on Friday, West said: “The steelpan was used because it has no religious ties. Hence the reason why they chose our national instrument.”
West, who has been in Israel for the past eight months said the programme is being funded by the US Embassy in Israel.
He added it was the brainchild of Prof Harvey Price, retired percussionist at the University of Delaware, who launched the programme in the US. West, who was a student of the University of the West Indies, met Price in Trinidad at the interview for the job in Israel.
Apart from being the musical director of the Galilean Steel Band, West teaches at the Leobeack Jewish School and St John Arabic School.
He said: “The students are in love with the instrument and are happy to create music together.”