Patrick Arnold remembered for contribution to steelband movement

Former Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold.  - Pan Trinbago
Former Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold. - Pan Trinbago

FORMER Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold is being remembered as a man who changed the face and fate of pan and its players.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts as well as the United National Congress (UNC) extended deepest sympathies to Arnold's family.

Pan Trinbago's vice president Keith Simpson told Sunday Newsday players who are being paid for their talent today, owe it all to Arnold.

"He was a good and honest man who changed the face of the movement by ensuring respect and financial rewards for its members.

“He is the one responsible for securing remittances for pan players and raising the prize money up to $1 million.”

Under Arnold’s leadership, Simpson said, he introduced Pan in the 21st Century and Pan Down Memory Lane.

He also sought to separate the bands into small, medium and large categories, as the smaller and medium bands did not stand a chance competing against big bands like Renegades, All Stars and Desperados.

“For his contribution to the steelband movement, he must be revered and remembered,” Simpson advanced.

Echoing Simpson’s statements, Pan Trinbago president Beverely Ramsey-Moore said he was also responsible for pan yard judging.

“He made a contribution to the community and the instrument itself, as he was a builder and a pan tuner.”

Ramsey-Moore said the organisation, which is forever grateful for his contribution to the movement is speaking with his family to ensure a celebration of his life and a fitting and final send off.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised for Arnold who died at a nursing home in Tobago on Wednesday morning, at the age of 84.

He was suffering from Alzheimer and was being cared for at a nursing home in Tobago.

In addition to serving as president of Pan Trinbago from 1996 to 2009, Arnold also served as chair of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) under the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration.

A former Senator, he was also the founder and manager of Our Boys conventional steelband.

In a statement, the Tourism Ministry said Arnold was a great leader, visionary, cultural ambassador and local icon.

“Patrick Arnold was a stalwart in the steelpan movement and a valiant contributor to the Tobago Steelband community.

“Arnold contributed significantly to developing and promoting the steelpan art form both locally and internationally. Arnold’s contributions to TT culture also extended to our Carnival landscape, having served as chairman of the NCC during his career.

"The Ministry recognises Arnold's significant impact on the steelpan community and the broader cultural fabric of TT. His legacy will continue to inspire future musicians and cultural practitioners.

"The Ministry expresses sincere condolences to Arnold's family, friends, and colleagues. His contributions will always be remembered and celebrated.”

Describing Arnold as an ambassador of culture, nationally and internationally, the UNC recalled that under the Basdeo Panday administration, Arnold received the deed to the lands at Trincity for the construction a national home for pan.

"He had a lasting effect on the organisation and management of the steelpan movement. My he rest in eternal peace," the UNC said in a statement.

The NCC in a statement said Arnold always displayed a fierce determination and vision in whatever field he served.

"In many instances, he was instrumental in redefining the scope and shape of several aspects of our annual carnival traditions that we celebrate to this day.

"While his passing is a tremendous blow to the Carnival and cultural communities, he will be remembered as one who set an example of excellence for others to follow.

"The NCC joins with the family, friends, and the nation in remembering Patrick Arnold, a leader whose hard work, commitment, and love for Trinbago culture has helped preserve it for future generations."


"Patrick Arnold remembered for contribution to steelband movement"

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