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Published on February 7th, 2016 | by Michael Scobie Joseph


When will the persecution of Pan Trinbago Inc cease?

Gary G Aboud of Port of Spain says, that he is a lover of pan, but Pan Trinbago does not have the skill and efficiency to manage $34 million dollars in prize money that the government contribute towards Steelbands participation in the national festival. This malicious person went on to say, that the Sunday of the national panorama semifinals, the place was packed to capacity; and that persons were selling stolen tickets outside the gates for half the price; and he demands to know how many tickets were sold by Pan Trinbago.

This malicious lover of pan, went on to allege that Pan Trinbago is a FIFA type secret society in T&T. How come, not one of these officials have anything of substance to show. Pan Trinbago should be complemented for its ability to manage successfully,  the national panorama with over twelve thousand Pannist coming from over one hundred and seventy Steelbands across Trinidad and Tobago. But, persecution seems to go on and on by some very narrow minded citizens of our republic, whose contributions to a better society is pure lip service. who is best qualified, only to break down and dismantle, whatever they cannot understand and control.

They keep badmouthing Pan Trinbago at every turn, wondering aloud, why is the government taking such keen interest in the works of Pantrinbago, but failing in their bias minds to recognize the Stirling contributions that Pantrinbago is making towards life and enjoyment. And that governments over the years recognize and appreciate the need to mentain these people type institutions. they keep contributing because they are satisfied that Pan Trinbago is justifying, and have been justifying over the years, their allocations. But, there are those with hidden agendas, hell bent on taking away the lucrative business that the pan is  becoming, from the grass roots, and putting it in the hands of the business class.

So, vilify the grassroots administrators. Accuse them of being dumb to the management of large sums of money and or dishonesty. That way they will be forced out or get frustrated and leave it alone. That never happened in the perilous times, why will it happen now?. Why does Gary and others feel that pan peoples’ business should be addressed in the public domain? Could Gary and others honestly look us intheeyes and tell us that theSteelpan movement have not been contributing to the stability and the economy of Trinidad and Tobago over a long period under very stressful conditions?  he honestly believes that he and his friends can do a better job in the pan fraternity?. Is Pan Trinbago responsible for the people selling tickets outside of all other shows and events in T&T and across the world?

There are so many persons and organizations that get assistance from the government and don’t give an account, why Pan Trinbago? An organization that submits audited statements to the relevant authorities every year.  Life Sport billions, no account. Politicians squandered and misappropriated billions. So many government buildings projects and programs stalled and never get off the ground, costing billions. People plagiarizing others melodies and chasing it with a drink of rum, and are being rewarded with millions.

While Pan Trinbago is creating and promoting youth development and discipline in our society, some sponsors and promoters are tripping over themselves to promote vulgarity, obscenities and barbaric behavior bordering on pornography in the wider society. Steelbands bring the most positive effect to the communities, and should be better supported and funded.

In everything, there are challenges. What makes Pan Trinbago the favorite whipping horse?

At a recent facilities upgrade ceremony, held at the Blue Diamond Pan theatre, the president of Pan Trinbago made an appeal that the Steelbands should have as part of its facilities, a licensed bar in order to generate much needed financial independence. The goodly MP for the area, who is also the minister of housing, and was present,  got on a high emotional moral horse, with good intentions I supposed, that there must be no bars in Panyards because of the children that frequently use these facilities. Truth be told, high emotions are not catalyst for change. There is no Steelband yard that I know of that would encourage minors to buy and drink alcoholic beverages on its compound.

The bands that enjoy the privilege of having a bar over the years, have not produced alcoholics. Most have produced outstanding citizens who are making contributions towards a better Trinbago, and at times would invite some friends to their pan yard to have a drink and listen some good pan music. What is so wrong with that? Most of the homes that all these persons of high morals for the Pan yards come from, buy and consume more alcohol, especially at Christmas time, than any pan yard could have even at the height of Carnival.

Why the double standard? There are two trends of thought before us; one is that the Steelbands facilities become schools where we develop all the artisan crafts related to the industry, funded by the government. No bar. Or, It is recognized as a cultural heritage site that would attract the tourist dollars throughout the year, which a bar will be a supporting factor. Which one is the goodly MP supporting? Lip service does not develop Steelbands, nor advance the movements’ agendas. Why do some people feel threatened by the independence of the Steelpan movement? It is time for the politicians to stop dictating to cultural organizations, and work with them to advance their causes. Every politician believes that they have the best plan for culture, and it is only confusing the real issues.

Let those who Labour, hold the reigns of power!


Michael L Joseph

Public Relations Officer

Pan Trinbago.

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