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Published on December 15th, 2013 | by Robbie Joseph


BAS 15th Annual Awards Presentation 2013

The British Association of Steelbands held their annual awards presentation on Saturday 7th December 2013 at the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury, London. Top comedians and actors, Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor, opened the evening. After some light banter with the audience filled with humour. Robbie and Nestor handed the floor to BAS Chairman, Pepe Francis.

Pepe’s extended speech included all aspects of the trials and tribulations faced by the association and its member bands.  He highlighted that the association and all its member bands will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the steelband’s involvement in Notting Hill Carnival. It was certainly a treat for all in attendance to pay homage to Russell Henderson OBE who was present on the night as he was the person responsible for introducing the first steelband, the Russell Henderson Steelband, to Notting Hill on an invitation from Rhaune Laslette who organized the Notting Hill Neighbourhood Carnival in April 1954.

Pepe highlighted the association’s three key priorities for 2014

– Further engagement of Young People

– Performance on the International stage

– Raising the profile of steelbands

At the end of his speech he presented Brent Holder MBE with an award for his achievement of being the youngest Trinbagoian to receive an MBE award from the Queen HRH at just 36 years old. This young man who hails from Laventille is certainly a shining example of what can be achieved by sheer determination and commitment to the steelband culture.

He thanked the BAS Executive, Eversley Mills, Robbie Joseph, Debi Gardner, Tara Baptiste and Patrick Mckay for all their hard work in making BAS an outstanding carnival arena and global icon.

Keith Diaz, President of Pan Trinbago followed with his delivery filled with enthusiasm about their involvement with Pan in Africa, putting steelbands in schools in Trinidad paying homage to Gerald Forsyth OBE, who was responsible for putting steepan on the British school curriculum in the 1970s. He stressed that the BAS and Pan Trinbago had a strong relationship and was looking forward to this relationship going from strength to strength. He closed off with his view of how Pan Trinbago will be involved in the promotion and further development of the steelband culture.

Distinguished guests on the evening included Russell Henderson OBE, Gerald Forsyth OBE, Sterling Betancourt MBE, Dudley Dickson, members of the BAS Hall of Fame and UK Pan Tuners Guild, Rudo Forteau, Keith Diaz, Ainsley King, Mrs Herbert, Denise Tsoi-A-Fatt, Lewis Benn, Debora Alleyne De Gazabon and Lyndon Lacrette.

MCs on the night were none other than Kayleigh Lewis and Joel Hamilton Mills who had the attendees fully entertained alongside Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor. DJ on the night was Mike Forbes who had them burning up the dance floor until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The following awards were presented on the night

30th Anniversary  – Stardust Steel Orchestra

40th Anniversary – Metronomes Steel Orchestra

Pan Clash Champion Soloist – Jenny Gilberg

Junior Panorama Champions – Ebony Steel Band

Crystal Gail Holder Award – Ryan King

J’Ouvert Bomb Competition – Real Steel Orchestra

Best Traditional Steelband – Nostalgia Steel Band

Best Conventional Steelband – Ebony Steel Band

UK National Panorama Champions – Real Steel Orchestra

Randolph Baptiste Award – Debra Romain

Ezekiel ‘Biggs’ Yearwood Award – Eustace Benjamin

BAS 2013 Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award – Tony ‘Cowboy’ Charles

The after Awards party celebration went way into the wee hours of Sunday morning with everyone now looking forward to BAS 16th annual awards presentation in 2014 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the steelpan being the first official musical artform in Notting Hill Carnival.

Visit our Face Book page to view all photos on the night – Pan Podium  Face Book- Awards 2013


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