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Caribbean

Published on October 13th, 2014 | by Gary Cardinez - Trinidad Express Newspapers

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Pan Trinbago pays out

Leader and manager of the Codrington Pan Family Cary Codrington breathed a sigh of relief on Monday evening when he received a $250,000 cheque from Pan Trinbago‘s President Keith Diaz. The cheque represented the first prize for the Pan is Beautiful XII, Steelband Music Festival held in October last year at the Queen’s Park Savannah. In a very simple and straight forward ceremony held at its offices, Pan Trinbago presented the winners of Pan is Beautiful XII with their long-awaited prize monies.

President Keith Diaz thanked the participants for making the festival one of the more successful to date and for their patience in waiting for their winnings for so long. Diaz said the delay was because the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism had not honoured their commitment to pay the prize monies. He said Pan Trinbago got a commitment from the ministry in 2011 for the festival but the government called the state of emergency and everything was thrown off. “We were assured that whenever we planned the festival the ministry will honour its commitment.”

Giving those present a bit of history, Diaz said from the inception of the Music Festival his organization always had trouble getting funding from all governments, “It was never a smooth flow for us from the times of first president George Goddard in 1956. “Then came Arnim Smith and he started Pan is Beautiful, no Government gave us any money. It was Ram Kirpalini who gave TT$1M to run the festival. Things were no better under Owen Serrette (1989-1996) as well as Patrick Arnold (1996-2009)

Diaz showered praises on former prime minister Basdeo Panday whom he said was the only one who readily gave his organisation TT$6M as the entire festival bill in 2000. “It is as though they don’t understand pan is about Trinidad and Tobago; everyone in the world is using the instrument to help move their society forward except we of course. “They seem to forget the contribution to the development of this country made by pan players,tuners and arrangers.

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