Yesterday, it was brought to my attention that a certain “big wig” in the government, who also happens to be involved in steelbands, turned down the invitation to attend the town hall meeting, because we (Trinbagonain expatriates) are viewed as foreigners. While this “leader” continues to wine and dine with the upper echelon of the class system, the local panman and panwoman continue to be excluded from the “all-inclusive” shindigs they host for the elite and snobbish.
I have always made it extremely clear that I represent the “masses”; that I recognize and reject the insertion of a class-based system within the steelbands, where only a select few have access, and get to live lavish lifestyles as local “celebrities” and "millionaires". Naturally, I expect those who promote this hierarchical order, to view me and my efforts as threatening to their game plan. They are possessed with money and power, and know that they MUST keep the “masses” uninformed.
Many of us (“foreigners”) see the proverbial mountain from a distance, allowing us to have a broader view of what is taking place in Trinidad and Tobago, not just within the “pan world”, but in the overall society. And some of us actually care; actually want to do something. I happen to be one of those who left the shores of my homeland, and never stopped looking back. (Sankofa.) I never gave up my roots, and I never gave up on my people. My Scripture-trained conscience does not allow me the privilege to turn my back in apathy. This is what drives me, and gives me the courage, faith and strength, to embark upon this journey into an uncertain horizon.
I am aware of the negative chatter; those that come from my fellow expatriates, who keep saying that nothing will come out of this; that the meeting will be a failure and I am "wasting my time", as well as those that come from certain “locals”, who have no other criticism, than to “call me foreigner”. (Lord Nelson.) However, what I am experiencing is an overwhelming amount of support from many “locals”, most of whom are not of the “upper class”; they are the ones who are uninvited to the “all-inclusive” private parties of the bourgeois.
The “divide and conquer” tactic may work in many cases, but I have confidence that WE, THE PAN PEOPLE, will soon unite and collectively reject this attempt at monarchy and monopoly of the local steelbands. This is a class war, and our strategic geographic locations, can be viewed as advantages, and not disadvantages. Scattered across the globe, we (true) “Trini to the Bone”, can use our international influence, and our experience as steelband and pan “globetrotters”. Finally, I am thankful to our international colleagues, who not only learned our culture, but are also giving back to it, and not just take, take, take. I ask that they become more vocal over the issues, and not remain silent, for that gives us (“locals” and “foreigners”) the impression that you care only about the culture and not the people. Have a great day.
George D. Goddard, B.A. (Ghost)
YES! to both questions. Panmen do not fight for what is right (fully) theirs.
George are you still organizing to have Skype interviews in order
to give the people their say?,....those who can not be there in person
The 'foreign' vs 'local' mentality starts as soon as you reach immigration. They (ppl) do not care for your foreign "letters", they resist your opinions. suggestions. ideas and expertise. Many are stuck in a third world mentality that continues to stifle every segment of the society. Doesn't mean you should give up though. The 'masses" must only view your effort as one of positivity.
U R on the money patrick.
If ever there is a President or Prime Minister .Ministers,,that does not like or appreciate their natural resources ,point blank the Steelpan,,, then there will be no support,,,,Phan"tum straight up ,,I thought that you were sleeping ,,,the issue of the Town Hall meeting ,in the inception there was full response ,,thereafter silence,,Brother there is no turning back ,,continue on your course,,,i would not be able to attend ,,but my full support on WST you do have,,yuh know ,,luckily my President Desi Bouterse,,Moms,Doekie,,Sitaldin,,Mangalie ,,Ronnys,,Sitas,, all of mixed race and of different etnical backgroungd and the list can go on and on do love and respect the Steelpan,,, always do support the Steelpan,, the God Given Instrument of T&T, I do have the guts to mention such things here ,,,for its the The Truth,, the masses from the root of T&T,,the unfortunate,,the neglected,,the looked down upon that lives in the land of our God Given Instrument T&T may not be in a position to voice their opinions ,,but with the constant bombardment of we the WST members speaking out and not givIng up,,,,A CHANGE WILL COME.. A CHANGE WILL COME,,
There always are, and probably always will be: naysayers.
DO NOT GIVE them more power than they already have.
Keep striving and solidifying the base...which is the source of real power.
The other is just illusion..temporal. Go around that.
Just tossing a random thought out there. May be pointless.
Maybe a model will have to be created away from the Mecca, and eventually entrusted to a new group capable of governing the best interests of pan... That in order for it to prosper locally in TnT, it must be fixed globally by Trinbagonians that want to see it elevated back home eventually. Thoughts? Do we shape the thing abroad, and let the Phoenix die in TnT so that it may rise again from the ashes?
Corey your random thought is not pointless, it is not irrelevant, it is not mind boggling, and it is not just a penny for your thoughts. ...Somewhere if we do not do it right ...somebody will eventually do it and capitalize ...our sacred cow was the thought that "At least we alone could make the pan" ...wrong again ...Pan Yard inc in Ohio USA is making pans and many other places all over the world ..Last time I checked Pan Yard Inc ..maybe five or more years ago ...they were selling a double second (Alto pan) for $7999.00US ( $8000.00) US
Convert that to T&T currency you will be getting around $50,000.00 T&T dollars for a double second ....now That is mind boggling. .... In my very pro active days as a pan activist I could not wait to get back to Trinidad to get on TV, radio and news papers to express my views which I did... Unfortunately I got some slack from a prominent Pan Tuner whom I still have great respect for ...but he accused me of exaggeration and creating hysteria. With respect I simply told him to go to their website and verify the facts of what I am saying.
So brother Corey thinking outside of the box is relevant
Action Action Action. The time to start is now. Panmen in T&T do not realize their strength.A pool party in panorama? What Jacassness is this? Who are these freaks who sat down and came to this decision? Boycott the frigging panorama, send some people to puncture their damn mickey mouse pool before the put a golf range on the stage next year
Ormiston Grant(All Stars to the bone)