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How do we expect to create a Pan Industry when there is very little Pan music produced. I think our big break will come from the sale of Pan music.

We are blinded by the panorama mentality that we fail to see the big picture, who could play the best in the world is not important, who could sell the most CDs is, we are putting our marbles in the wrong basket.

The use of pan music as accompaniment of pan tunes could be a start. We have to admit that as it is you can only reach "so" far with pan, we have to create an industry so that our young panist could have a career in pan.

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Hi Cecil,

In my previous post..I have shown that the defining way of creating a pan industry that covers all areas of pan including recordings etc.... is the way of having a pan ministry, because without money it will only be old talk.. A pan ministry will have a budget for pan ...we can not depend on the business sector to do this ...it is too risky for them and they do not have confidence that the pan can do it.They have never attempted this in over seven decades.. We seriously have to push this agenda if we really believe in the viability of an exclusive ministry for pan in T&T.......tell me what other vehicle is possible to achieve any substantial changes to pan..................Salah

Salah, I am in agreement with a Ministry for Pan, however Wayne raised some good points, particularly the one with who is chosen to represent.  People in the Mecca attitude has to change concerning the pan/steelband, bad leadership has left them hopeless.

As for the Steelpan, it's global and I won't be surprise it another country takes it to the next lavel, the Steelband on the other hand is what we have and is being treated like Ebola.

"We cannot play mas and fraid powder" ..everyone knows what that means ...Granted Politicians  are not looked upon in the best of light but there are politicians who have made a difference in their countries and we have dedicated people who are intelligent and will do a good job if put in that position of being a Minister ..( everyone is not a scamp).

We can not be afraid to test the water ...what are the alternatives? read my 7 points as to what constitutes a ministry and put the other ministries to that test as we are putting the pan. ...let the dialogue continue

The steelpan is a major cultural asset of T&T,  and has the potential to also be a reasonably lucrative financial asset to the republic.

At this time , the T&T government remains the main source of funding of steelband activities via Pan Trinbago , and therefore has the potential to direct the steelband "movement" ( for lack of a better word) in whichever direction they wish.

In other words , the government has control over the steelband organization and can apply such control whenever they wish , which is why funds are paid to pan people at the government's pleasure, not according to pan people's wishes.

In my opinion , the government's  motives for funding  steelband activities may be cultural , but they are also political.

Since the time of Dr. Williams , politicians have been aware of the potential of organized pan people as a political force , and have successfully co-opted such political potential by controlling the purse strings of the steelband organization , and doling out favors to steelband leaders.

Understanding the nature of politics , one is aware that governments change ,ministries change , and agendas also change.

To make the steelbands even more dependent on the whims of government than they are today , by creating a ministry for pan , one has to assume that such ministers will always have the best interests of the steelband and its people as a priority that they're willing to fight for.

I'm not convinced that this will always be the case .

I think that the steelband movement will benefit from more insightful leadership , more accountability to its membership , maybe some government oversight ( since government provides much of the funding) but less direct government involvement.

Glenroy thanks for your post ...yes there will always be distrust of politicians  ...nevertheless this is the system that we have and what ever so called accountable organization we can come up with they will have to go to the government to get funding and therein lies the problem ...The pan has "grown up" and needs to have its own budget ..I will present some scenarios where the necessary funding to these things is to have a substantial budget. This will not come from the private or business sector only the government and having a pan ministry will facilitate this easily that is my point ..We can develop a system where the pan ministry will have its responsibility but the daily operation of say a pan industry factory..etc will not be handled directly by the government ...got to run right now but I do have a lot more to add ...let the dialogue continue this is important.

My point is , Salah , that government is already so involved with the steelband organization, that it is in effect a de facto department of government , and naming a ministry won't alter that fact , except for its symbolism.

What the steelbands should do  is have some type of symposium with a panel of knowledgeable pan people to discuss the state of the movement today , and what needs to be done into the future.

The pros and cons of all aspects of steelband activities should be debated , including the "sacred cow" panorama , and this panel should be able to produce a binding , agreed upon document of recommendations, and demands to the government for funding of such proposals, of course with the necessary oversight.

And I say "DEMANDS " advisedly ; I'm sure millions have been added th the nation's coffers because of the steelband as a cultural attraction, surely pan people are entitled to participate in this bounty.

There are many intellectual pan people who may be able to assist in producing such a document , people who are not self serving or only interested in what would benefit their own interests.

Of course , this may not necessarily be something that the "ministry of pan " would approve of , since it would almost be like a union action , and as far as the current governing body is concerned , like I said , they're are in effect , a de facto department of government (IMHO of course)

Glenroy,  I beg to differ ....but really ...to consider the pan ministry as mere “symbolism”  is an  incorrect statement.

A pan ministry is the vehicle needed at this time ....whatever symposium you may have or whatever new organization you might consider  to lobby the government comes up to the same problem ...they will have to report to some ministry...so whether you have no confidence in the government or politics or individuals who are in politics.. you will have the same problem of having to report to them to acquire funds ... My point is that we have to use politics because the system is set up that way, there is no getting around that and we already know that the business community is not really  interested in pan.  So why would you want to go through a channel of having to report to some ministry for assistance and funding when you can have your own ministry ...it makes no sense to me to go through someone else.

Glenroy you are not a scamp and there are many people in Trinidad who are not scamps so there are intellectual people who are not self serving and who will have the pan interest as their foremost endeavor. We have a million and a half people in Trinidad and Tobago.

There was a time that we had a ministry of sports and culture as one ministry, with growth and evolution we now have two separate ministries. In this light let us at least imagine growth and evolution and the possibility of a pan ministry

Glenroy I would like you to go back and read my seven points on what constitutes a ministry and weigh the ministry of Tourism against the seven points like we did for the pan and tell me whether the ministry of Tourism in T&T can survive or pass that test.

I personally appreciate the “against the pan ministry” because this is needed to find the appropriate responses.

So let us please continue with the dialogue


The Steel Pan must be declared a National Emblem and National Instrument by both chambers in the parliamentary process and through an Act of Parliament by a private member's  bill or by the ruling government..... 

Hameed, a pan ministry will ensure that the pan truly becomes a national instrument among other things like true recognition of our pioneers and legends

I don't think it matters much what we think here, the main players are the people in the Mecca. It will take a  considerable amount of patience to awake them from their slumber and bring them up to speed about the status of the steelband and why a Ministry of Pan is needed. Most just don't give a shit.

Precisely why we have to start now if they are so asleep ...ir should not happen when our grand children decide to do it ....we have a big job to do ..so lets not leave it for a next generation .................


Someone in the Mecca just brought it to my attention that  the government changes every so often, which means the minister will have to change also and this might not be in the best interest of the steelband.


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