When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music




Pantrinbago / Tuesday, November 29, 2016
/ Categories: Public Relations Officer


Steelpan, oh what an invention, it should be the pride of our nation, but what ah seeing, lord it have mih grieving, why is the Steel bands still suffering?  (Merchant 1985)

Established in 1949, for over sixty years the Steelpan fraternity have been evolving and reinventing itself in a way that is a marvel to many. From Sydney Gallop, our first president, right through to Keith Diaz, every executive and president have been maliciously accused of mismanagement and corruption. Every Steel band leader have been accused of robbing the players of the band. The executive of STEELBANDS have been made to operate in a most hostile environment throughout its eveloution. Yet, in spite of all the negatives, the movement kept on rising to establish its presence as the world governing body for the Steelpan instruments.

Men and women have sacrificed and invested their time and efforts to shake off the negatives stigma, and contribute towards the development of a strong and resourceful organization that is Pan Trinbago today. There will always be challenges, both external and internal, like all other institutions including the family. But this only served to make the institution stronger. Because of resistance, resilience and true grit, the image was changed from BAD JOHNS, to STEELPAN SCIENTIST and MUSICOLOGIST, creating an industry that is taking the world by storm, with the potential to attract enormous amounts of foreign exchange to our blessed twin Island nation.

The present executive under the leadership of brother Keith Diaz, have embarked on an industrial, commercial and globalization thrust which is slowly but surely taking shape and getting off the ground. Only now to be distracted by an over ambitious individual who swears to stop at nothing to have his own way. He is not the first, and certainly would not be the last. But his malicious and reckless allegations are doing untold damage to the fabric of the organization that he has an obsession with wanting to lead.

He has accused the president of mismanagement and wastage, claiming that for things to improve, the president must leave, resign and pass on the leadership to him. Realizing that he was on his own with that position, he took to the position that some of the executive members together with the president must go. Today he is saying that the whole executive must demit office so that he can fix all the ills of the Steelpan movement. Is he a magician, or is he suffering from some sort of dementia?

Pan Trinbago prides itself with being one of, if not the only and oldest democratic grass root organization in the Caribbean, and it caters for the ambitions of all its members, by holding elections for officers every three-years. The membership are the ones with the power to elect its leaders at a convention held for that purpose. All members with such ambition must stand the scrutiny of their peers in order to be elected to office. It is not something that a present office holder can give or pass on to another.

Pan Trinbago presents an audited statement of accounts to its membership, and copies are sent by the secretary to the line ministry and other relevant agencies as soon as it is ratified and passed at its annual conference held for that purpose once a year. All allegations of misappropriation and corruption made by the former vice president who served for over seven years, are malicious, unfounded and unfortunate.

Pan Trinbago was never in the habit of conducting its internal affairs in the public domain, but this prevailing situation give rise to us having to place the facts before the world, to eliminate all the misconceptions created by a mischievous individual.

(1)   Pan Trinbago’s executive or its president at no time imported or tried to import two high end vehicles for use by individuals or organisation.

(2)   Pan Trinbago is not operating within a deficit of thirty million dollars created through corruption or mismanagement. As a matter of fact, the relationship with governments over the years have always placed the organization in a deficit position coming out of the national festival. This is kept to a minimum by servicing during the year, through our many fund raising activities.

(3)   The Keith Diaz regime that took office in 2009, inherited debts that had to be serviced in order to stabilize the organization. National insurance and Health Surcharge that was never paid by previous regimes, had to be addressed to bring the staff in line with common practice. This was done at a cost of 1,300,000.00 dollars.

(4)   A debt of over 1,034,000. dollars were carried on the books of the organization for over ten years, coming out of a Caribbean Steel band competition held in Grenada in 2001,where it was said that some Caribbean governments were on board to take care of the expenses. This never materialized, and Pan Trinbago was left holding the tabs.

(5)   In 2013, the then minister of Culture had given the assurance that his ministry would provide the necessary funding for our national Steel band music festival “ PAN IS BEAUTIFUL 12. Only to start dancing away after the fact, until he and his regime demitted office, leaving the organization holding the tab.

(6)   The world conference and Panorama that was held in 2015, which had such a significant impact on our nation, was another project that left the organization in dire financial straights in spite of its contributions. After the blueprint and a budget for thirty million dollars was submitted, and favorable and encouraging response was received from the government, Pan Trinbago  went ahead and engaged the Steelpan world. At the very last minute, government committed to only half the cost, which was fifteen million dollars. And I can go on and on to show that the deficit that Pan Trinbago  is working assiduously to reduce, did not come about through mismanagement or corruption, but was fostered on us by deception.

(7)   The players remittance that is still outstanding to date, is on account of untimely releases by the relevant authorities. Having experienced an unexpected increase in the number of  Tobago Steel bands for panorama 2016. Pan Trinbago  informed the relevant authorities that there is a shortfall of 2.7 million dollars which was taken from the reduced budget to pay for the accommodations of our Tobago contingent. To this date, it is still outstanding.

(8)   Pan Trinbago  received the outstanding five million dollars which was the balance of its 2016 allocations minus the 2.7 million dollars on the 28th of October 2016. This cannot satisfy full payment of the player’s remittance. We are making every effort at negotiations for the shortfall.

Pan Trinbago takes its mandate very seriously, and frowns on anyone try to bring its good name and the members of its hard working executive into public odium and disrepute. We have our challenges as all other. But we have always served the best interest of those who voted us into office. The organization cannot be accused of corruption if two misguided workers are found selling complimentary tickets at panorama, or letting people pass through a back gate for a fee. Those are matters that would always be dealt with in our domestic settings.

Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C, has now established a drum assembly factory that is producing a special type of drum for the instruments, and saving the Tuners from the chemically poisonous drums of the past. Outside of the global thrust, a number of initiatives are in the pipeline that is geared towards our self-sufficiency. Distractions by one over ambitious individual cannot and would not be allowed to impede progress as we continue to build a strong and economically successful Steelpan Industry to the benefit of our members and country.

Pan Trinbago remains an ambitious and progressive organization that is intent on building an image that reflects its status as the World Governing Body for the Steelpan. Any and all assets acquired by the organization is geared toward such end.

Respectfully Submitted,

Michael L Joseph

PUBLIC Relations Officer

Pan Trinbago Inc.


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Diaz promised NOT TO WASH DIRTY LINENS in public and now the man is doing just that. He say Patrick Arnold left the organization in over 2.3 MILLION DOLLARS of DEBT which he inherited and had to wash clean. In a very early interview he refused to reveal that (even though he hinted at it) but now that water more than flour -- all is fair in love, war and politics.

All the people on this forum really care about is dey PANORAMA. Dey never take time to psychologically profile this man and when you come and say something about him -- dey want PROOF. If you know what subject line to GOOGLE you could get all the proof right there in BLACK and WHITE.

All in all this DIAZ DEFENSE is very weak and comes way too late for me. But he understands the TRINI GAME better than anybody else so I will NOT count him out. Yet, DESPERATION ABOUNDS!!!

bugs showed a lot of intuition with his "PAN TRINBAGO SUING PAN TRINBAGO" post. Which forced me to think that KEITH DIAZ might just call for a boycott of PANORAMA if the show is handed over to the NCC. That will be PAN TRINBAGO boycotting dey own PANORAMA SHOW.

What a TING!!!


I want the two luxury cars back on the table.

Who denies children their Christmas monies right before Christmas and expect them same children to comeback to work in 2017?

This is a special kind of gangsta. Not even Al Capone would mess with children's Christmas money. Yes the psychological profile of Rolly Polly is a must study.


Through the consensus I've seen.. players are NOT about to play fool again.. anything remotely infringed upon by anything pantrinbago at the moment is NOTHING any self respecting player is going to touch..
I know people been relying on and hoping for that money. People who REALLY need it... people who did not sign up to be in a puppy show who spent hours ; days ; weeks practicing and travelling just for someone to profit off their efforts? I see tricky times ahead

They receive 5.000000.....minus 2.7 millions.....that  leave them with 2.3 millions.......why they cannot pay the bands something now...too much excuses....stop the crazy spending....pay the members now.....

One thing is always consistent with Pan Trinbago. They always believe that Trini people, especially the Panfolks are STUPID! And they just might be right about this!

Again its not an excuse after all these years where T&T governments come and governments go, that  they disappoint the allocations or they don't come on time, or they come in half the amounts and what have you. By now you should know that the T&T governments do not really consider pan, pan players, and by extension Pan Trinbago to be of any economic importance to T&T. It is too long in realizing that in order for the steelband community to really go forward as a "Going Concern" it has to operate quite differently from how it is operating now. Your Events and Promotions and payments to steelbands and pan players and all other expenses for pan must not depend on government promises only. The Government does not own the invention of the original steel pans and steelbands and pan players. They own themselves. They have invested blood sweat and tears in order to bring the pan instrument worldwide to what it is.  How many years have Pan Trinbago and pan persons been cheated by the various governments. What again does it take to inform pan players, pan tuners, Pan Trinbago and everything and everyone related to pan-the unique musical instrument of Trinidad and Tobago that the government of T&T since 1956 has never really been an ardent supporter of pan players, steelpan manufacturing, tuning and has not encouraged it to grow economically and into a full fledged international industry capable of producing income worldwide so that all aspects of involvement can be achieved internationally.

The T&T Governments of the past and present tells us that they are not really interested seriously in pan, and yet we go hat in hand and beg them for money. If the Government was really interested in pan, a Pan Ministry of T&T  would have been formed already and from that Ministry, they could now facilitate pan industries of various types both locally and internationally. Why only Pan Trinbago?  All nonsense now. Pan has grown passed T&T by leaps and bounds. Pan Trinbago cannot do it. Pan Trinbago cannot raise private funds in the vicinity of 100 billion US $ and that is the kind of funds needed to run an international pan industry. Such level of funds must continually come in without begging, stealing or borrowing from any one person or government.So It is a kind of mismanagement on the part of Pan Trinbago's officials both past, present and future to think that T&T government can pay for everything pan. That was never really possible. As a result of this mismanagement of chosen officials of Pan Trinbago, sponsors both locally and internationally have also pulled back on sponsoring support. So really what we are witnessing is the death of the T&T pan in T&T instead of its international appeal that it should move towards. Pan Trinbago officials cannot do it alone. There is need for much more people from all sectors of professional, industrial, financial investors worldwide help. It must not involve any government funds and support. Government can have a Ministry in order to regulate and administer industrial support in a holistic way. But funds cannot be expected to really promote pan- the Industry. Panorama is really nothing in essence. Pan has out grown Panorama. It was merely the start in 1963. But it is now presented as if it is the be it and end all in pan. 

Pan Trinbago has to stop spending any monies not yet received into their bank accounts. Pan Trinbago has no excuse for thinking after all these years that a promise made by government to give donations- for that is what it is donations, That Pan Trinbago starts initiating an event including Panorama.

Good management goes like this. If the event of Panorama is subsidized with funds of donations of say 50 million promised, that amount of funds must come in before Pan Trinbago can begin building anything toward a Panorama event. The remaining funds of Pan Trinbago should not be first used and then hope to get the 50 million. The government promise of a donation of 50 million is not a fixed and legal liability on the part of government. It is not that Pan Trinbago can sue for the 50 million. No not possible. So why begin projects with just a promise of funds from government. If you constantly do that then you constantly mismanage and mismanagement means a lack of actual intelligence. Better there is no Panorama and  Pan Trinbago summon the steelband members and we all protest towards the government. When did steelbands ever walk protesting towards the lack of government funds. No one does it so the government never got embarrassed. So it has become the norm  that government will ditch the promise and or send something way below the promise. In this way Pan Trinbago officials are going along with trick promises. If you support trick promises, you also are tricksters and the rest of the pan people are tricked. This is called mismanagement. Why continue along that path. Therefore there is a "Going Concern" doubt about Pan Trinbago.

The way to get out of this type of trickery is to fully turn Pan Trinbago into an international Pan promotion company owned fully by shareholders both locally and internationally. Then hire professionals to run that International company. If you cannot do this, then be prepared to also accept the blame of being called tricksters.  The results are showing now is that Pan Trinbago cannot run even a local chapter what to speak of an International chapter of pan and band promoters. So being tricked by government for all these years is not an excuse. This is what has spoilt the image of a great invention on this planet. That people look at pan and the pan community as being beggars, rather than full fledged musicians and pan industrialists. Simply because you allowed the government to trick you for so long (60 years and more). That image is first to be changed in order to go forward in this 21st century where pan and the steelpan industry can hold its own and pay its own way and not be a big beggar simply to play a musical instrument. No one will look at pan as a real musical instrument if its proponents simply beg governments and business. It cannot be that anymore.

100 billion US to run pan. Don't make me laugh. That is more than the budgets of half the countries in the world.

Government does not owe Pan Trinbago or anyone else money to run their losing associations. That money belongs to all the citizens, not just the pan players and certainly not Pan Trinbago.

If the projects of the pan fraternity are falling short and they can make a case for additional funding because of the benefit it brings to the country, no government will refuse, but if all you are doing is begging for money and not producing anything substantial, then don't expect any government to continue giving you what you are begging for.

The idea of a Ministry of Pan is another one that will not get any traction.

What will be different if there was a Ministry. Just more money wasted.

There is no oil ministry, no gas ministry although there is an energy ministry. The ministries are set up to direct certain activities essential to the lifeblood of the country: health, education, culture etc. What will a ministry of pan do for the country? Pan is a subset of culture, the ministry of culture should have the responsibility for pan just as it would have for film, dance, music in general etc.

All that is needed is a proper association that can take what we have done with the pan and carry it forward. A ministry will probably slow it down, just like the other ministries mentioned have done with their respective portfolios.


Many persons across the globe have more than 100 US billion dollars. It sounds much for pan, but the steelpan industry globally has to be worth more than $100 billion US dollars. Worldwide that money can begin to do something for pan in a most meaning full way. It includes not only the instruments costs to make and maintain, but the electronic versions of it, just like guitar and piano and bass has. It includes special radio and television Stations across the globe. It includes a pan music circuit for steelbands worldwide. It includes land and building purchased for pan bands-not renting or borrowing some else's building or land space. It includes special industrial equipment to build pans. It includes special clubs for calypso, soca, Caribbean carnivals and pan. It includes a carnival in a city near you filled with steelbands. If you can expand your mind in this way, then the 100 bllion US dollars will fit in this way. It includes special recording studios for steelbands and it includes a film industry for Caribbean Carnivals with steelband to be included. It includes sponsoring and promoting steelpan musicians. In other words the steel pan music industry should have its own music and film industry. Can you imagine this? That will cost money in the 100 million dollars bracket. Still many men have this money singularly now with the Internet revolution.

The oil and gas industries will soon come to and end by the next twenty years. There will be new sources of energy. The Entertainment industry is a must for human beings.Pans and the pan industry is part of that industry or should be. So you see, some of us think high when others think to narrow and low. Narrow and low thinkers cause trouble to valuable industries. Instead of wars and third world wars, there should be steelband carnivals across the globe.  Its a peace rally instrument.Think like that and it will expand.

Almost three million dollars to accommodate the Tobago steelbands? No wonder they are losing money.

Even here.. from the UK. I can see where allegations of money spent have in this article; been called false... that that is a lie. The purchase of good from the UK is something many of us are and were aware of prior to Serrette whistle blowing; however, we were ignorant to "at what cost"
As I'm sure said statement is a LIE, I'll also assume the rest of the article is made to confuse and sideline those seeking the truth.

If the payment towards pan players were not made after ICP.. where was the logic in promising them full payment after Panorama 2016? .. if your in debt with one project.. how do you then start another?.

The money paid over in October ... where is it??.. how can you be given money to pay a debt and you take it and spend on clothes...
Pantrinbago supposed to work for the players, not the other way around.

PAN PLAYERS WILL NOT BE GETTING PAID FOR PANORAMA 2016. Lets get that out of the way now.

Well, well, well...

This seems to be much more than a lovers quarrel now. This document is now in the public domain. Pan Trinbago is now saying we are innocent of all wrong doing and if we go down others will be going down with us.

What it interesting is what was known, when it was known and who knew it.

This move of Pan Trinbago suing Pan Trinbago and having the Pan Players pay for it is beyond something even the Grinch would do. 

Pan children hold on to your Christmas presents tight. 

  1. 11/29//16 Pan Trinbago new release
  2. 11/26/16 Trinidad Express -- Pan Trinbago Threatens Lawsuit over $$ Matters
  3. 11/6/16 Trinidad Guardian   -- Pan Trinbago facing $34m debt
  4. 11/4/16 Trinidad Guardian   -- Minister says Review for Pan Trinbago ahead
  5. 11/2/16 Trinidad Guardian   -- Pan Trinbago vp Byron Serrette resigns
  6. 6/19/16 The former vice president issues his report.


Bugs: When you take a cigarette break from writing your GANGSTA script. Check out this picture of the brand new proposed stadium for Kevin Durant and Company. Ah Wish STEELPAN TRINBAGO could build an all-inclusive headquarters like this.


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