To commemorate World Steelpan Day a celebration has been planned for the Buccoo Integrated Facility car park, Tobago, on Sunday from 7.30 pm. That line-up includes reigning medium band Panorama champions Katzenjammers, NLCB Buccooneers, Plymouth/Bethesda Steel Sensation, Alpha Pan Pioneers, First Citizens Tobago Pan-Thers.
Of Tobago’s celebration, Ramsey-Moore told Newsday: “We have to do something on the island to celebrate this achievement for Trinidad and Tobago. This is a significant achievement for the nation. So in Buccoo, we are going to showcase the steelpan again on Tobago’s stage.”
Ramsey-Moore, a Tobagonian, created history when she became the first female president of Pan Trinbago in October 2018. Pan Trinbago, the world governing body for pan, was incorporated by an act of Parliament in 1986.
Under her watch, Tobago hosted the country’s first-ever national medium conventional band competition in 2020 at the Parade Grounds of the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet.
Owing to the covid19 pandemic and the restrictions on non-essential activity, no competitions were held in 2021 and 2022. But the medium band pan finals returned to the same venue in 2023.
Ramsey-Moore, who has been the manager of the Black Rock-based Katzenjammers Steel Orchestra since 2013, also recalled a personal experience.
“The panyard in Black Rock was right next to my house in those days. My father and seven of my uncles were all foundation members of Katzenjammers and I couldn’t dare go in that panyard and play pan.”
Today, she observed, women make up a sizeable percentage of the pan-playing fraternity and have also taken up leadership roles in the movement.
On August 1 – Emancipation Day – the Tobago House of Assembly honoured Marie Toby, captain of the large conventional band RBC Redemption Soundsetters, for her contribution to the development of the culture and the steelband movement in particular.
Ramsey-Moore said, “So when you roll back the curtain of memory and you look and you see where we came from, we have indeed come a long way.”
Reflecting on the theme, Ramsey-Moore said pan emerged from the impoverished communities of east Port of Spain.
“In those days, when the slaves got their freedom, they headed for the hillsides. That is how they reached Laventille and other areas and settled. What the town people did not realise was that on top the hill was the best place to be.”
Ramsey-Moore, chairman of the Tobago regional executive Salisha James and others are expected to address Sunday’s event in Buccoo.