In the latest outbreak of a two-decade-old war of attrition, the Port of Spain City Council has sought a court order for the removal of the Phase II Pan Groove steelband from the Woodbrook site it has occupied since 1972.
Then scew them!!!
dis is ah good one fuh de corts tuh decide . . de new lan owners . . weyever dey call deyself . . want tuh finish dey projec . . an Phase 11 blockin dem . . de fite is on . . in tuh de Colonial cort tuh fite de Colonial powers . . Mr.Anthony Smart . . yuh have meh backin tuh fite dem in cort . . ' we din take no oath ah poverty " an dat gey dem de rite tuh tief big . . well we din take one ah stupidity idah . . c allyuh in cort . . de ironic ting is dat de projec is now in Phase 11 . . ah wonder if dat have anyting tuh do wid Diaz- fite in Boogsie ? .. wot is Pan Trinbago position ? . . dong in de swamp ? eh . . sanfly alley an moskito trace . . ah gess dey go supply de cockset 2 . . Tonneh . . not tuh menshun wen it flood . . or de sea come bac in . lan fill go be lan-full . . ah sea water . . sea weed anyone ? ? .
By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, December 5 2010
Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing’s “newness” in the post may have accounted for his unwillingness to allow veteran steelband Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove to remain at its Hamilton Street, Woodbrook, base, which it has occupied since 1972, Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma said yesterday.
During an informal news conference at the band’s panyard, hosted by Phase II member Felipe Noguera, Sharma promised members and supporters he will meet immediately with Lee Sing to hammer out the issue, which is threatening to impact Phase II’s performance in next year’s national Panorama competition.
“Immediately, I will communicate with His Worship, the Mayor of the city of Port-of-Spain. I think, perhaps unfortunately, that he is suffering from newness,” Sharma said to loud cheers from panmen and supporters. “The panyard has a place and we must do everything in our power to encourage it, to accommodate it. What pan players do for us, very few people do.”
Phase II Pan Groove, one of the country’s top steelbands, is currently embroiled in a controversy with the Port-of-Spain City Corporation which, for several years, has called on the long-serving band to relocate to an area along the Audrey Jeffers Highway in Mucurapo.
However, the band, led by prolific arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, has deemed the proposed site as unsuitable.
Lee Sing has maintained that the issue had been in train long before he became mayor of the capital city.
Before his visit to the panyard yesterday, Sharma said he had conducted an investigation into the longstanding issue “and as far as I am aware, the panyard has all legal rights to be here. But certainly we will explore.”
He said: “This pan tent has been here 38 years since 1972. I am standing next to one of the very distinguished former Attorneys General (Anthony Smart) in Trinidad and Tobago. This lawyer, the real lawyer says that you have rights here. Story done.”
Sharma said pan continued to play a very important role.
“You know pan is in all our schools and is being exported the world over,” he said, noting the allocations for the instrument in the budget. “Pan is going to be one of the Government’s revenue earning agencies. The most important thing is that you have legal possession.”
Smart, who has been representing the band in the matter on a pro-bono basis, read out nine letters detailing correspondence between himself and the Port-of-Spain Corporation since November 2004.
He said Phase II had all legal right to be on the property, more than anyone else in Woodbrook.
He said although the band had what he referred to as freehold title to the land based on its number of years at the site, Smart said the band was attempting to acquire a paper title under the real property ordinance.
“That is the process we are now involved in,” he said, adding that a survey plan of the area was also being undertaken.
Pan Trinbago President Keith Diaz said the issue reflected the need for the Government to address tenure of property for all steelbands, small and large.
His predecessor, Patrick Arnold, added that the matter again highlighted the total disrespect by some in authority for the steelpan movement. He claimed plans were also on stream for the Starlift band to be relocated.
Councillor for Woodbrook/St James Cleveland Garcia and chairman of the regional executive of Pan Trinbago Douglas Williams also spoke.
As I have indicated before on the previous post, and supported with revelant documentation in the public domain, this issue is an issue affecting the question of land tenure for most if not all steelbands in Trinidad and Tobago. The silence of the World Governing Body, PanTrinbago as usual is deafening.
All that rah-rah from December 05, 2010 has brought the topic full circle like a child on a merry-go-round. If or when this reaches before the court, the presiding judge will decide and that judgment will then become precedent for any other steelband (sponsored or unsponsored), on private lands, in a similar predicament.
Phase II panyard is smack dead center in the middle of the proposed Maraval Parkway of the One Woodbrook Place (OWP) complex (linking Mucurapo Road to Western Main Road), that was proposed to alleviate the traffic flow off of Damien Street (entrance to Phase II) as well the businesses to be soon opened and operated (Tru-Valu, IMAX theater, et al) within the OWP complex.
Robber Talk and Grand Charge will definitely end with the judgment of the courthouse. And trust me, as my previous post has alluded to, former AG Anthony Smart (Phase II chief legal counsel) and his team are not going into this battle to concede. Time will certainly tell, if this is another one of the Mayor's gaffe's with his local Government minister....tick tock, tick tock