When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music




Sometimes, I wonder if people understand the function of Pan Trinbago. Obviously, this "leader" does not, good intentions or otherwise. Oftentimes, I wonder if we all understand what "leadership" means. What does it mean to be a leader? What (exactly) are "leadership" qualities?


Adages and clichés are often hackneyed, but the old saying is (thus) true: Those who forget the past... I'll save you all the boredom of completing this archaic phrase. Regardless, it remains a fact that Pan Trinbago has not had any credible leadership for decades. This is not arbitrary, for in the early 70s, Pan Trinbago became the "bride" of the PNM and its leader. This, the political "booty" of a previous battle between Pan Trinbago's father (NATTS), and her new husband. (And Revelation is fullfilled!!!) However, the groom (a LEADER, nonetheless), never loved his new bride, and the marriage, nothing more than a juxtaposed arrangement. (Yuh mean like getting marrid fuh meh green card? Yes.) A controlling, calculated and calculating husband, who could do his wife anything. Promise her anything for political sex, and when he done with her, she's left there by herself, politically and organizationally illiterate, confused; with no "head" on her metaphoric shoulders. 


Yet another adage: The only thing constant is change. An organization is supposed to evolve; adjust to the opportunities and challenges of time. True leaders are able to mobilize a unified and collective membership into action. Today, there is no "movement". If you're not moving forward, then, in reality, you're actually moving backward, for life and time "tarries not with yesterday". (Cliché.) With forums such as WST, we are seeing all kinds of great ideas, coming from members who are genuine in their search for solutions to the issues and challenges we face as pan continues to move through this 21st century. I hope that we can take this beyond discussion and rhetoric, for, as we see, Pan In Danger!


P.S. Please don't forget to support our local pan manufacturers. BUY LOCAL!


Pant'um - The Ghost Who Talks. (Honoring the legacy of George "Sonny" Goddard.)


Views: 1692

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

George, what do you expect from ah guy whose name is "Di-azz" and the other one "Four-toe" LMAO!

I LMAO too!   Good one.

I too would like to add my two cents to the captioned subject. When I read the article yesterday, I wondered what kind of comments the story would have generated, and while it is still early, I must commend the previous writer for his comments.

I keep wondering when will the membership rise up and say enough is enough, when the leaders constantly embarrass them with the same rhetoric year after year. "we want more money, the government aint giving we nutten". It is so unfortunate that we are yet to see a president who will chart a true course for the independence of the pan community and Pan Trinbago.

Pan Trinbago, as their slogan says 'WORLD GOVERNING BODY FOR STEELBAND should really remove this tag line  from it's letterhead and all official documents, one will have to ask the question is that really so? do some real soul searching and see what answer you will come up with?

For starters, if Mr. Diaz was really serious as the new president, he had the goodwill of all steelbandsmen/women the business community, the country, and everyone waited with baited breadth, as they all  expected some real changes, unfortunately he was not able to deliver on all his promises and the movement has found itself in greater s..t, there is no transparency in the organisation, he's taking the members for granted (Not a meeting of the general membership since carnival, he adjourned a meeting of all officers (national and regional) at the Chaguaramas convention centre, to attend a performance of the St. Margaret's Boys School steelband , by Skiffle bunch in San Fernando, all because he was getting some stick from some members of the Northern Region on his performance, now tell me is that the way a leader operates? Sorry Mr. Diaz but this thing is over your head. Money is being spent like it going out of style, huge loans are taken out from Panvesco, the investment arm of Pan Trinbago, and this is being done without the approval of the whole executive, is this what he said in his manifesto? where he spoke of transparency and accountability?

Instead of going around begging an crying of no support, all this heavy expenditure on non productive events, could have been invested in a drum making plant, that way you begin to show that you're interested in moving forward. e.g. there is a ready market  of customers waiting to purchase drums, not only in Trinidad, but tuners in the Caribbean, and maybe the wider world, Shell Caribbean Ltd, who still refine oil in Trinidad could purchase the other drums for their business, thus ensuring continuous activity, thereby making the venture profitable. Instead of loosing in excess of M1.5 TT$ in 2010 for the cancellation of Pan Yard Judging, (no sponsorship for the bands to go to the different locations as promised) $499,000.00 losses in Tobago Jazz, paying an event manager close to $580,000.00 to produce shows in 2010 (champs in concert - pan down memory lane/pan in the 21st century - Tobago Jazz) all these figures are in the financial report of the 2010 AGM get a copy and check them out. 

On Monday 10th October 2011, the government of Trinidad & Tobago will be presenting it's budget for the period 2011/2012, and they have realised the need for diversification of the economy, if PTB was really serious they would have sought to get an audience with the Minister of Finance and presented some kind of proposals that could have shown whereby if given some kind of Loan for investment purposes (and maybe a 10 year moratorium on interest, it is done for other big business operators in the oil and energy sector when setting up shop in Trinidad)( do like what the business community does, the Chamber of Commerce, The Manufacturers Association, DOMA they meet with the Minister and make representations for their members before the budget is completed and presented) they would have been investing in their non functioning Pan factory, (PAN WORKS LTD) setting up the drum making factory, and later on a chroming plant. but this president is not interested in those things, you cannot gallery yourself with those things that calls for serious work and plenty commitment, instead he's spending a lot of valuable cash in his PAN IN THE COUNTRYSIDE CONCERTS, while this is good for the bands and they will make a little change, the bigger picture is spending money on things that will bring in some financial returns, these concerts bring in no income to the coffers of Pan Trinbago. This is really community development, and the government should have been responsible for paying the bands, word is that it costs PTB roughly $45,000.00 to produce one of these concerts and they have about 12 planned, do the maths.  Not forgetting that there is a $95M U.S. market for steel pans (check out pan yard in Ohio) they are unable to supply the demand for instruments. But as the bible says a people without a vision - WILL PERISH I rest my case.

In my next article I will go into more detail the real reason for the failure of PAN TRINBAGO  - 4  TOES



Messrs. John & Samuel, and the WST community..


The coffee has been brewed, the cat has been belled....and Dog Food with a complimentary bowl of canal water is the menu for PANMEN for Panorama 2012.

With anticipation and bated breath, I await John's next article without prejudice. I will however confirm that 3 officers of the Central Executive of Pan Trinbago (PTB), knew nothing about huge loans amounting to $500,000 TTD being taken out from Panvesco, the investment arm of Pan Trinbago, and this was being done without the approval of the whole executive.

Here is a pre-budget sound bite that was released and was minuted at a Northern Region PTB meeting, on Thursday 29th September, 2011, at CWU hall on Henry Street.

'The Minister of Culture and his Permanent Secretary, has transmitted via a meeting with PTB Central Executive Secretary & Trustee that the Government through his ministry, intends to pay remittances of $1000.00 only to bands that make it into the SEMI-FINAL stage of the Panorama 2K12 competition. As well active consideration is being given to foregoing the assistance to unsponsored bands for Pre-Panorama preparations from his ministry as well. Take it or leave it. but say nothing to the press'

At the same Northern Region meeting, a resolution was tabled from the floor, to indicate that the membership from Northern Region vehement opposition to such action, and adds that should this course of action be promulugated, then be it resolved that there shall be No Panorama for 2012. Additionally, PTB has already indicated that for registered bands can expect no assistance regarding transportation grants to get to and from  the various stages of the competition as well.


What this means, is that approxiamately 3500 pan players (mostly in single-pan, small & medium, categories) will not receive any monies for their participation in the Prelims stage with large bands being by and large, unaffected by this measure as most times based on recent history, they automatically move through to the Semi-Final stage.

It is in my humble view that the articulation of 'this divide and rule' strategy is designed to split the movement on these salient issues.  That means $3.5Million will go to something else, God, the Minister of Culture and PanTrinbago knows what I guess.


I take serious umbrage with PTB handling of these issues stated and wish to state categorically that whilst my medium band is unsponsored, we do not intend to eat any Dog Food and drink canal water as a part of our diet.


Hmm....a sad state of affairs for the custodians of our national instrument





WHAT PAN IN DANGER! Imagine the TT Government spend $34 million dollars of our tax dollars to develop all the voices of the STEELPAN - THE G PAN.


Four years ago with all the hoopla and fanfare the Government launch the products to the world. (did anyone ever see an ad for the sale of these PANS- PanTrinbago has a website they don't even advertise the annual CD's & DVD's,  WST has the greatest medium to advertise these G  PANS to the world)


Today PanTrinbago is telling us this year there would be a STEELDRUM SHORTAGE (what a joke)


What was or is the reason to spend $34 million tax dollars to develop quality instruments only TO PUT IT ON THE SHELF - TRINBAGONIANS THE SYSTEM ARE FLUSHING OUR TAX DOLLARS DOWN THE DRAIN.


Where is the return of this investment? Are we going forward or backward? CAN PANTRINBAGO OR THE GOVERNMENT GIVE US AN ANSWER ABOUT THE "G PAN" PROJECT. 






Mr Culture minister I am waiting with bated breath to see what is in the budget tommorow for the STEELPAN INDUSTRY.....You talk all year about the diversity of the economy. For the last 6 years SIDD has been pointing out about this BILLION dollars Industry. We the people have to keep stoking the fire to get this Industry of the ground.


Thanks to the WST staff we would reach Madam Prime Minister on this forum about all the promise made about developing the STEELPAN INDUSTRY in Trinidad and Tobago.....




I guess you want a breakdown on the 34 million that was spent to develop the G-pan? Didn't the professor detail everything for you? Now you want to put the stink into the lap of Madame Prime Minister.

Here we go again……Last year we did an On-Line   petition accumulating just over 400 signatures from the world wide Pan Community. It turned out that the majority of signatures were from Pan in the Diaspora not Trinidad & Tobago.

We in the Diaspora wanted to do something for Pan to assist our brothers and sisters in  T&T whose  basic income from the Panorama preliminaries was being reduced by $200.TT by the Government in particular the Ministry of Arts and Culture , specifically by the Minister Winston “Gypsy” Peters.

The saying, ”We are our worst enemies” certainly holds true. There should have been at least 5000, signatures from Trinidad alone, after all this was for their own cause where they were the sole beneficiaries of this Petition.  This was also a great opportunity for the so called “World’s Governing Body for Pan” to get in solidarity with the rest of the world. Even though a lot of us who signed the Petition had and still have serious issues with Pan Trinbago and the leadership. We were ready to line up as one for this specific issue. This opportunity was lost because of the leadership not recognizing the importance of the world Pan community that it claims to be the world body of.

Pan Trinbago never officially endorsed the Petition and therefore never encouraged getting it out to the member Steelpan groups in T&T in any meaningful way.  This work was only done by local T&T residents from various bands who recognized the world’s community effort and appreciated and saw the merit in such a Petition.

However as promised we presented the 400 plus signatures in an official meeting in Trinidad on behalf of the world community and pressed the Pan Trinbago leadership to present the Petition to the Minister of Arts & culture and the Prime Minister. But, at that time according to sources Pan Trinbago had “already caved in” by agreeing to pay the $200.TT from their own coffers to make up the shortfall. They again missed the opportunity because the point about the Petition was not just about getting the Government to put back the money it was also to make a strong statement that the Pan people local and international are united and will stand up to defend the rights of the individuals, and these united actions by the Pan community would help prevent the government from similar actions or at least have them think twice before doing this again

The question now is “Did Pan Trinbago ever present the Petition to the Government?”….

After reading a recent post from Mr. Gregory Lindsay (who was also present and very vocal  at that meeting when we presented the Petition). It leads me to believe that there was in-action by Pan Trinbago on this issue and in-action always leads to the following dictates as stated by Mr. Gregory Lindsay. I am reposting the paragraph from Gregory Lindsay.

'The Minister of Culture and his Permanent Secretary, has transmitted via a meeting with PTB Central Executive Secretary & Trustee that the Government through his ministry, intends to pay remittances of $1000.00 only to bands that make it into the SEMI-FINAL stage of the Panorama 2K12 competition. As well active consideration is being given to foregoing the assistance to unsponsored bands for Pre-Panorama preparations from his ministry as well. Take it or leave it. but say nothing to the press'

So now we wait on the budget to see what the real deal is going to be, and what actions will be taken by Pan Trinbago.


The part of not moving forward ,,they are moving backward,,i would like to correct,,if they are not moving forawrd,,then it,s total stagnancy which would stink,,,leadership is by example and nohing more or less.
I mentioned this once before,,those that do recieve their salary when  the month ends and have no respect for the steelpan along with it,s members just don,t care,,,one can say having the wrong person in the right place,,my comments may be hurtful but  my statement is from past experiences and the truth.
Jerome: You are the only one who seems to understand; PanTrinbago is a nothing but a paycheck for a governing body whose members would otherwise be UNEMPLOYED.
Hey  Claude i,m stating my point of view from expriences had in two countries,,,no one cares,,this has been an old custom,,everyone just hanging their mouth where the soup leaks and those working ardiously ,,making endless sacrifices neglecting their loved ones,,just name it, are forsken,,,once more as the month end reaches those from pantrinbago   collects their salary,,the steelpan Players,,arrangers,,,tuners whom may not be having a regular source of income  ahve got to get up and get,,,of what value or benefit is it to be having an organaisatio that does not take care of the interest of the steelpan world specifically T&T.,it,s better to try and  fail,, than fail to try,,thus one must take into consideration how long this attitude by pantrinbago was in practice.

I am not really dibzing in the conversation, but just wanted to say, Hi Claude!


Merle Baggoo - from the Jus' limin' days.

Living in sweet T&T


© 2020   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service