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On Saturday June 21st 2014, I attended the free Concert hosted by Pan Trinbago and the Deputy Mayor of the Port of Spain City Corporation [advertised in the Express Newspaper of June 17th on pg.44 – the final line of the article stated that the “public is invited”] in honour of the 83rd birthday of Steelpan Pioneer and Icon Anthony Williams at the St James Amphitheatre. I arrived at the show around 8.10 pm, greeted by the sweet sounds of White Oak Starlift. As I listened to Starlift, I greeted other friends and colleagues, among them, Owen Serrette, Past President of Pan Trinbago, a very respectable man and old family friend. I then walked around to see if my Pan buddies had arrived.
I was approached by Richard Forteau, Secretary and Keith Diaz, President [resplendent in African garb]. Richard Forteau in an intimidating tone addressed me saying “That’s the man!” to which Keith Diaz responded “Oh he is the man?!”

They both walked away from me and proceeded towards the entrance of the Amphitheatre. A short while after Allan Augustus, Trustee a.k.a. “Pablo” approached me in a very abusive manner, sticking his finger into my face saying, “You always writing terrible things about Pan Trinbago on When Steel Talks, for that, you must leave this function now!”
Allan “Pablo” Augustus, with his hands all over me, then proceeded to push, bully and physically assault me out of the St. James Amphitheatre, with his stated threat, “if I see you anywhere and at any Pan Trinbago function again, I will beat you up.”

I said nothing to Allan “Pablo” Augustus during this ordeal, as I realized then, the possible consequences of being there all alone. I calmly left the scene and walked into the St. James Police Station, located one building away from the Amphitheatre, making a report of the entire incident to the Police.
PC Telesford then suggested that we both take a walk back into the Amphitheatre where the incident happened, and after walking among the patrons for a while, Allan “Pablo” Augustus could not be seen or found.
We then returned to the station where an official report was written up on the matter and I was provided with my receipt [Citizen Report Receipt # A 037132, St James Police Station – Assault].

Summary Offences Act 11:02 clearly states that such actions as stated above, the persons involved can be prosecuted.

This is the second police report in as many months I have made in relation to these threats as an ordinary citizen of our Republic. All I do is write information in my articles as a Pan supporter/lover. My conscience is clear. You bully, assault and intimidate citizens of our country when they criticize and write the truth as they see it?
Why must members of the present Executive deny citizens of their right to freedom of speech?
My only hope is that one day we in Trinidad and Tobago can be proud of a world class Pan Organization that is reflective of a properly managed 21st century model.

Several questions can be raised arising from this incident!
[1] Does the behaviour reported above represent dignified conduct for any Executive Member who represents our nation under the umbrella of “World Governing Body for the Steelpan?”
[2] Is it right for any executive of the Pan body (at State expense) to be bullying and intimidating ordinary citizens of our Republic, for asking simple, direct questions of how our Trinidad and Tobago Tax dollars (not your personal money) are dispersed, spent on Pan culture and accounted for?
[3] Do they also believe that the outstanding payment of the 2013 Festival Prize Money to steel bands [now owing for over seven (7) months], despite the huge profits made from Panorama 2013 & 2014, that the “World Governing Body of the Steelpan” would earn world respect?
[4] Can the current Executive members truly claim to be “defenders of the Steelpan and the Pan Players of our land”?

I would like the present executive, especially Allan “Pablo” Augustus to know that I will never be intimidated, bullied or threatened into submission by them.
I am a law abiding citizen of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and I am entitled to all rights under our Republican Constitution.
I love the Steelpan, our national Instrument, and most of all I love my country and I am prepared to die for it.

Bertel Gittens
Proud citizen of Trinidad and Tobago.

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Cecil, you are correct that the 2 per does not give an "accurate reflection of all pan people". The question is who chooses the 2 per? Is it the Mgr, Captain or a committee? One tends to choose his/her friends, so the vote is now skewed. To quote Sprang: "Wey we goin'?" Wey Pan goin'?

T&T is in love with the gangsta life where bad johns rule from the roost, ent. The image with their recent antics bullying fellow pan people who do not share their vision or join their caise brings the movement into ill repute with unethical and questionable behavior. But Cecil raises a good point about the way the voting/election mechanisms take place and are controlled. PT execs do not even follow their own stated mandates to behave in public or private, do they?

The Association shall formulate a Code of Conduct to be followed by its members so as to improve the local and international image of the steelpan and steelband movement. http://www.pantrinbago.co.tt/index.php?option=com_content&view=...

As you complain about the Pan  Trinbago person so you should complain about your government, because that behaviour is a reflection of  them. It is a sorry state of things.

I figured that the gov't was involved. Stay with the facts. Skip the politics.

Is this the manner in which the President, The "PERMANENT" Secretary, and a Trustee of Pan Trinbago should comport themselves in public?. These people swear to a Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct, yet portrait neither.

In a pan Trinbago meeting in 2004 to 2005, Keith Diax bashed Patrick Arnold and his committee for not doing anything to attract the youth; i wonder if this is what Mr. Diaz meant, by encouraging this type of discipline.

Please members and representatives of bands, do not wait until something affects you only, before you retaliate. Seek the benefits for each of us in the Pan Body and for the Pan Movement as a whole. Let us be pro- active and not Re-active.

There is either RIGHT or WRONG, not "RIONG"  

The World Governing Body could not have shown their TRUE colors at a better time, with the courts  are set to rule in 4 days who knows the judge might forget his pension for now  and rule on this matter.

"Code of Ethics", "Code of Conduct" ??? In T&T??? Where????

Well yes! Is this a fact? Then if so, perhaps it can be safe to say that 'pan' isn't actually moving FORWARD but instead seems to be regressing. I was at that event. My goodness! I hope in the name of this noble instrument, the parties allegedly involved can make the time and amicably/responsibly resolve without causing further ill-ill, and alienation.

Sandra one of the main issues here is why has the Trinidad media gone silent on the matter?


Like you forget is panmen you dealing with. (It's supposed to be a joke so don't jump up and chastise me please)

As long as pan men beat up on one another, dey can fight but cyar fuss, ent... http://whensteeltalks.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=2534462:Topic:45...

Very sad when living in peace is no longer a norm!


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