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Published on May 29th, 2016 | by Peter Ray Blood Trinidad Guardian Newspapers


Pan conquers rain

From early morning, forecasters warned of thunderstorms in Las Cuevas and it seems that show host Richard Forteau, Pan Trinbago secretary, was correct when he said “God loves pan.” Rain fell from about 6 pm but it was intermittent. Despite the weather, an extremely large crowd was on hand at Pan in De Countryside, staged by Pan Trinbago Inc, in conjunction with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture & the Arts at the spacious Las Cuevas On The Greens.  Some say it was the largest crowd to attend one of these events, one which also included an excursion from Point Fortin of 25 pan lovers. They have attended every edition of Pan in De Countryside, including those staged in Tobago.

Minister of Community Development,  Culture & the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly was an early attendee to Saturday’s event and was seen trudging through the rain as the VIP reserved tent was overtaken by patrons seeking shelter. The minister and her entourage were seen standing in the rain looking at the performance by Red Hill D’Abadie Parks Foundation Limbo dance troupe at 7.30 pm. Also present on Saturday were director of Community Development Susan Corbett, Community Development accounting executive Carol Ann Forde, Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz, past Pan Trinbago officials including Owen Serrette, Dr Finbar Fletcher and Keith Byer. Jamaat-al-Muslimeen iman Yasin Abu Bakr also attended with the Jamaat steelband, Western Stars Philharmonics.

On Saturday, Pan Jammers of Santa Cruz was the first steelband to perform, followed by Maracas community band North Coast Serenaders, which thrilled with its set of retro selections. Residents of Las Cuevas, Maracas, Blanchissuese, La Fillette and environs turned up in their numbers to welcome the convoys of visitors making the trek to the scenic North Coast. Many farmers, chefs, and clothing, handicraft and confectionary merchants made a brisk trade selling provision, delicious fish meals, homemade delicacies like farine biscuits, pone, seamoss and beetroot punches. North Coast Empowerment Group, based at Blanchisseuse Secondary School, was one of the groups selling food and merchandise. Its president Gemma Thomas told Pulse: “We are three years old and our primary purpose is to empower the residents of our community. Our group consists of five sub committees and among our projects is the thrust to try and get internet accessibility to the North Coast which is now limited. We are also trying to enhance farming, do parent training and have introduced a Maringa Project to enhance farming. We are also in the process of generating a community farm.”

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