Bandleaders demand Pan Trinbago elections before Carnival

Pan Trinbago President Beverly Ramsey-Moore. -
Pan Trinbago President Beverly Ramsey-Moore. -

“Peace, be still,” was Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore's only response to more calls for her to step down and call an election.

She was responding to demands by a group of steelband leaders for the overdue executive election to be immediately held.

The currrent executive was voted into office in 2018. Pan Trinbago's constitution says an election must be held between September 1 and October 31 every three years.

In November Ramsey-Moore said the election was postponed in the best interest of the organisation’s elderly membership.

On Monday, bandleaders from City Sun Valley Pan Groove, Belmont Hi-Larks, Diatonic Steel Orchestra, Western Stars Philharmonics, Power Stars, Desperadoes and Trinidad East Side Symphony spoke to the media at Pan Trinbago’s headquarters on Duke and Melbourne Street, Port of Spain.

They condemned Ramsey-Moore for keeping mum on the postponed election and annual general meeting. The last AGM was held in 2018. They also raised concerns about the government’s safe-zone Carnival plans and threatened not to take part in any pan activities until the election happens.

Contacted for comment, Ramsey-Moore paused for a few seconds before saying, “No comment, no comment.”

After another brief pause, she added, “Peace, be still, That’s my comment.”

She also said a proposal for pan-related Carnival events has been submitted for the National Carnival Commission’s (NCC) approval.

But Fuad Abu Bakr, of Western Stars Philharmonics Steel Orchestra, said the group will not acknowledge any decisions by the sitting president until she upholds the organisation’s constitution.

“No one should be recognising the president of a body that refuses to have a meeting and refuses to have an election when they are due.

“It is way past the time for her to meet with us as a group."

He said Ramsey-Moore should approach the EBC (Elections and Boundaries Commission), which he said supervises Pan Trinbago elections.

However, an EBC official denied the commission had ever supervised or hosted any Pan Trinbago election in the past.

Abu Bakr said after that, "Elections for Pan Trinbago could be had and then we could go forwards with this Panorama and the management of the pan fraternity in Trinidad and Tobago.

“We are absolutely displeased. Yes, we do want some type of activity, because we want pan to go on and we don’t want to jeopardise any activity. In fact, many of us moved to ensure many activities continued.

"But Mrs Ramsey-Moore cannot be allowed to continue along this course she is embarking upon."

He claims Ramsey-Moore's decision to include Pan Trinbago in the government’s safe-zone Carnival activities is a move to discriminate against unvaccinated band members.

“This is a big issue for us in the pan fraternity. We believe strongly that all events, like other events taking place now, can take place safely with those who chose to be vaccinated and those who remain unvaccinated."

Former Pan Trinbago treasurer Gerard Mendez criticised the NCC and the Ministry of Culture for contributing to the long-standing issues in the organisation.

“They are encouraging misbehaviour in public office, because they are fully aware that a constitutional election wasn’t held, and I understand they continue to disperse monies to this illegal institution.”

He called on the Culture Minister and the NCC to intervene.


"Bandleaders demand Pan Trinbago elections before Carnival"

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