by Aqull Arrindell
Please permit me to make it clear that I am not referring to anyone, nor do I wish for anyone, to be personally branded as any of the animal characters that appear in the literature I am drawing reference to. I believe we are all above such base behavior.
Most of us who did English Literature at secondary level or saw the movie, Animal Farm, know that it tells a story which depicts a real human trait that we have all either seen, experienced or participated in. The story starts with the backdrop of some farm animals, poorly treated by their owner who then rebel and drive the farmer off of the farm. The animals then come up with rules to govern themselves in order to make sure all animals live as equals and to maintain order (much like Pan Trinbago’s constitution). The Pigs, being more intelligent than the others, take charge and gradually change the rules until they became fat and greedy while living luxuriously and wearing human clothes. All this, while the other animals starve and are worked to death. The animals find themselves in an even worse situation than they had under the farmer.
Before the PRO’s appointment into office, his family and mine grew up closely. As a matter of fact, no other pan family and ours was closer. He and my father are very deeply involved in African heritage and the love for this instrument. Often, visits to the respective pan yards or homes were welcomed on both sides. As a youth, it was always exciting to hear his stance on how Pan Trinbago should be run. But what always stood out to me in his conversations was related to the fact that Pan Trinbago belongs to the membership. He was always saying words to the effect that it is we who are in charge, and the people elected by us are to serve us and not the other way around. He also said that they should not be running the thing like a Boy Scout club.
Grown now into adulthood and by God’s will, I ended up serving on the executive with him. It was unbelievable for me to see him in action in 2015, while he was chairman of the southern region. He tried to take money (which my band won in a competition where his band came last in the conventional bands) and have it be divided among the participating bands equally. In 2016, he and I, at my last executive meeting, almost came to physical blows simply because I insisted that he and the ERO should not be receiving $5,000.00 of band leaders’ money for travelling whilst the organization was renting two vehicles at $5,000.00 each a month, which in my opinion was, for their personal use. My reasoning for saying personal use was that Pan Trinbago had three company drivers reporting to work every day and at least one of them was always available. Now, at the 2017 Annual General Meeting, he stayed quiet, together with the rest of the executive in support of the disgusting behaviour of the president as he forced dictatorship on the membership. Even at one point in time the ERO gave the president an article to read to the membership to justify the president’s behaviour. Is it really that they are so overwhelmingly ignorant of the provisions in the constitution they were elected to uphold? Or is it just that they are at the part of the story where the fat pigs start to wear clothes. Mr PRO, remember who you were and stop being like the pigs, stop gradually changing the rules just to collect a salary. Believe it or not, some part of me still thinks you are better than that.
To all band leaders, be sure you know who you are in this story, the starving animals that are worked to death or the fattened pigs. Some of you have already started your Panorama tune, but remember that with no pay for players, no pay for the staff, and less money for bands; the executive’s money remains the same.
Band leaders, sign the petition because Animal Farm should have no place in Pan Trinbago. Mr. Bryan Melville, you are the president’s advisor. I am guessing that you have something to do with his behaviour. Most unfortunate.
Still educating the masses.