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Caribbean

Published on January 25th, 2015 | by The Trinidad Guardian

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Despers: Laventille will always be home

Despite high crime and band members’ fears for their safety, steelband Witco Desperadoes says the community of Laventille will always be home. Band Manager Finbar Fletcher said this yesterday, as the steelband presented its performance piece for 2015, Pan Hooray, written by arranger Robert Greenidge and Austin (Super Blue) Lyons. The band also celebrated the 50th anniversary of its partnership with tobacco company Witco.

The steelband was in the news recently when Atiba Pantin of Diego Martin, who was helping move pan racks, was shot and killed by gunmen during gang warfare at Rudolph Link Road in Laventille. Since the murder, supporters and members have been cautious, with diminished numbers visiting the steelband, despite its temporary relocation to Queen’s Park East, opposite the Savannah.

Fletcher acknowledged that members and supporters were afraid to go to Laventille to support the band. However, he said, the band’s management had tried to make the environment as safe as possible. He said while the crime in the community was affecting the steelband, the band would not die. “We are trying to fight against it but, yes, it is affecting us. We have been around for 75 years and we will still be around to fight it in the years to come.”

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