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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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Years later, same type of story. 

In 2006?  Not sure of the year but there was a big brouhaha surrounding keith diaz, long before he was President of Pan Trinbago; he was still part of their 'executives' though.  Patrick Arnold was president of the organization back then. 

Keith Diaz took exception to some steelband-related issue and the opinion voiced by a female media presenter in Trinidad. She worked for Gayelle at that time but is now with TV6.  Her name is Marcia Henville. Keith Diaz threatened publicly to 'slap' her.  This was publicized in the press back then.   So no surprises here with Mr. Bertel Gittens' experience.  I am grateful however that he was not harmed physically.

What is of definite concern here is the fact that Keith Diaz is displaying a pattern of responding to issues through threats, at the very least, of violence.  I cannot understand where the Trinidad and Tobago Government is on this issue regarding Mr. Gittens. You have the president of an organization directly funded by the Government (without Government funds there is no Panorama) publicly linked to a threat to Mr. Gittens.  What is the next step?

My wife and I also attended this event at the amphitheater and witnessed some of this incident. We did not know who was involved nor what it was about. We saw a man pushing and berating another man from inside the amphitheater all the way to the sidewalk. The man who was being abused did not retaliate or say anything at all. Now that I'm reading the whole story I'm feeling so ashamed that an executive of Pan Trinbago was the abuser. Once again Pan Trinbago...shame, shame, shame! 'World Governing Body of Pan?' What a joke!

Thank you Mr. Dee for corroborating Mr. Gittens account of the incident. What happened to him could have been done to anyone of us.  Who will they bully next? A Panorama judge? A pan player who disagrees with them? My child? Me? A Minister? 

Finally here is a crime the police of Trinidad and Tobago can solve. We waiting.

I dont know if there's politics involved in this scenario, but it seems to me that if these socalled executives were duly elected then, this forum of public opinion should be used to poll those who are concerned enough to want to expose those who continue to abuse the rights of others from their "Bully Pulpit," to let them know that their days are numbered in displaying such undignified behavior in the public domain, and creating a nuisance to the rest of those who may hold positions in this organization, by striving to uphold the noble principles for which it was founded.

Mr. Gittens,

I did you a great disservice by saying previously that I was grateful that you were not physically harmed. As you yourself said and so now too Mr. Dee as witness, you were physically manhandled - pushed out and abused and by Allan “Pablo” Augustus, this after you were verbally accosted and assaulted by the Pan Trinbago Richard Forteau, then followed up ‘in agreement’ by the President of Pan Trinbago Keith Diaz. I apologize.

 

Again, I and many others await to see if/when the Government of Trinidad and Tobago will move on this matter. Given how its own Ministers have been behaving publicly as well, however, one does not know if Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar through her minister of culture Dr. Lincoln Douglas will call for an investigation into this matter, leading to the removal of these three bullies and abusers from a state-funded organization that says it governs Pan worldwide.

Based on your account, charges should be brought and pressed against not only Allan “Pablo” Augustus but also Richard Forteau and Keith Diaz as the two who put the incident into motion, with the aim that all three appear in court, and at the very least, be severely fined, if not jailed. And certainly removed immediately from holding any official duties in Pan Trinbago, ever. 

 

Assault is not a joke, against the elderly or the young.  These are not the so-called badjohn 'old time days' for this type of behavior, and where people should just comment.  This is the year 2014 and things are done differently, actions must have consequences, and legal ones in this case.

These three individuals Allan “Pablo” Augustus, Richard Forteau and Keith Diaz make the steelband look very bad internationally, in their open and brazen intimidating and physically abusive measures, "on behalf of Pan" no less. Or make that on their own personal behalves should anyone dare speak out or write anything that is shining a flashlight on their activities.

It's a sad state of affairs in the governing body of Pan Trinbago , really sad .

 

 There is no "world governing body" of pan because nobody 'governs'. The men should get together and settle this thing amicably. Bertel has options and can exercise them as he sees fit. We can scream from the rooftops for change, but for what, more feeders at the trough? PAN goes nowhere unless pan players are respected.

Oil & Water Doh Mix!!! ;-)

The shameful display by Allan Augustus alias''PABLO''will be recorded in the 'HISTORY 'Book  of Trinidad & Tobago.What will he say to his children.This BLOG IS READ WORLDWIDE.Most times when a male does not get the Respect at home he will do anything to be recognize outside.What do we expect of the Young People.Maybe he is trying to compete with  ANIL  AND KAMLA.they have not ''Earned' my respect,hence I did not put 'handle to their name.''GOD CLEANSE THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY OF OURS.Mr Bertel Gittens displayed the right attitude.That was ''CLASS PAR EXCELLENCE'' LEAVE THE FOOL TO BRAY.

It seems that we are back to the old PAN BADJOHN days.

we still are looking for leaders!

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