Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
......my mark is 4.5 and dropping this is for the present administration
I have looked at the responses to my post, and indeed there were some interesting variance in the points awarded. I would now like to give my scores for the different presidents. Also I would like to give a bench mark of 4 - just for staging the panorama. George Goddard - I cannot give a score for him as I was too young then and did not attend or showed any interest in the administration of the Steelband Association, as it was called then.
Arnim Smith - 6: I've awarded that score, as the country and the citizens generally showed no respect for the instrument and he had a hard time convincing people of the importance of the pan as a musical instrument.
Owen Serrette - 6: to me he faced a similar dilemma as Arnim Smith, though he did not seem to be a strong leader.
Patrick Arnold - 8: Patrick Arnold, singly raised the bar as president of Pan Trinbago, if one has to be fair, when he became President the first prize was the princely sum of $37.000.00. I am not sure if bands got any assistance to prepare for panorama as exists now. He introduced Pan Yard Judging, so as to save the organization lots of money that is spent in transport annually. He also introduced categories so that more bands would be able to get a substantial prize depending on their size. He was also responsible for the large bands receiving the $1M first prize they now enjoy.
Keith Diaz - 6: Since his elevation to being the president, what we have seen is a total disregard for the membership and their views which is having a negative impact on the panorama as a whole, the excitement that was felt in the earlier years is no longer there. The scrapping of Pan Yard Judging, without executive approval, resulting in a whooping $1.5M transport bill in the first year, placing the organization in a negative financial position, we have not recovered from that since, despite increases in revenue from government. I am not sure what the figure reads now, (transport bill) will have to do a review on the financials from the time he became president on the various AGM's. Only yesterday I was told (it is alleged that some players went to have their checks changed and they bounced) So with more money being paid into Pan Trinbago's coffers with the advent of the 'GREENS' are we better off. That is the question?
Withfield, from where I stand, you cannot give Pan Trinbago an honest grade without proper or approximate knowledge of how much money was managed and or invested by the Pan Trinbago body for the last Fifty years or so. Gradeing the past and present leaders really dont mean a thing if you are not getting VALUE for the Tax Payers moneys that are spent or dispursed year after year by the said body. What are you grading these leaders on, their GOOD LOOKS? Sorry, I cant give anyone a grade on the excitement of Panorama, or the scrapping of Pan Yard Judging or even the setting up of the famous GREENS. It is time we as Trinbagoians see the BIG PICTURE.
Are we getting VALUE for our money? Where and what are the Assets of Pan Trinbago? Where are their business plans and are these plans working in the interest of the Pan Players presently? Did we as Tax Payers get proper accounting of OUR money over the years. Is Pan in a better place now with all the millions dispursed over the years?
These are some serious questions that SHOULD and MUST be asked of any of the leaders in the past and in particular the present leader Mr Diaz. And it seems to me that Pan Players of Trinbago are all afraid to address these serious issues with their leadership. So where do we go from here?
Bertil, I get your point and it is a valid one, but just where and from whom are you getting that information? I can bet you that the majority of band leaders cannot tell you exactly how much money PTB got from the government this year 2013, and I can go out on a limb and say that some members of the current central executive will not be able to also say how much. That information will only be known by a select few, the inner circle or as Jack Warner will say "the cabal" So good luck with that. Much less the amounts received since 1963.
Another major accomplishment that Patrick Arnold achieved, under his stewardship, players received their stipend, this started somewhere around 1996 with the first 5 bands in the final received $200.00 from the then B.W.I.A then it went to all bands in the final, then all players, thereafter. It moved to $400.00, then to the current $1,000.00 across the board. Hence another reason for Patrick Arnold receiving an 8.
Withfield, I am sure we can get all this information from The Government of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. And here again, I don't see Pan Trinbago as Patrick Arnold or any of the past leaders, so why waste precious time to grade these men when Pan Trinbago/The Steelband Association,was/ is one body from ever since regardless of who leads? Is Pan Trinbago useful as a body representing Pan and the Pan Players or NOT? The records MUST show this in Todays World! If not, the body MUST undergo immediate, emergency, surgery.
How do you remove a DICTATOR? Is the system enabling the present PT admin. to remain in power?
A pan revolution, and men/women who are not afraid to stand up for what is right!! How is it that people who are complaining about the direction the organization is heading, are afraid to say so publicly? and would only express those views privately.
And, yes, the present system is enabling the present administration to remain in power, they have the organizations finances at their disposal, so they can spend as they see fit without any regard to who objects, the majority of the membership are not complaining. Check the amount of money that is being spent in legal fees!!. How many young people within the organization we can send on scholarships, whether it be music, business management etc, but they prefer to make lawyers rich at the expense of their own young members who toil day and night in the pan yards. What a shame. I wonder if those high legal fees were to be paid out of individual's pockets, if we would have seen so much litigation.
Just look at the reasons for the appeal in the matter with the members of the New Visionaries? They withdrew in the high court the matter with Keith Simpson, yet they are now appealing that same matter!!!!
All that money being spent on lawyer fees should be paid out their pockets because it's being used for Diaz party to stay in power, this is NOT Pantrinbago business .
I think the New Visionaries could make a good case here because PanTrinbago should have to foot the bill for the re-election of the present administration.
A breakdown of legal fees since Diaz is president is as follows:
2009 - $449,982. (this figure is between Arnold & Diaz) Dias was Elected 26.10.2009
2010 - 385,863.
2011 - 847,839.
2012 - $ 1,111,921.
Grand total $2,795.605.00
These are the figures I am talking about that is being spent on legal fees. Could you fathom the amount of positive things that could have been done with that kind of money. Yet band leaders and members CHOOSE to remain silent. For starters, how about spending some on the building of shame on the highway (Headquarters) How about some scholarships for some deserving young panists, What about training courses for members of staff (in other places it's called an investment in human capital) How about some money being spent in research and development of steel pans. Could it not be better to spend some on young pan tuners? We could go on and on, but some people with the clout choose to remain SILENT. You have to wonder why?
Outside of the work done by Mr. Goddard, Pan Trinbago is a failed institution.
We have to start calling out all the big bands about taking a more active role in seeing that the people who are in charge of taking care of everything that's PAN do just that.