Players will be paid for 2018 and possibly, 2019, but somebody need to grow some balls.
By Aquil Arrindell
I left yesterday’s meeting with a glimmer of hope. With some convincing from the membership, our players are getting a commitment from our president, that the 2018 remittance will be paid. Hats off to all the band leaders that came a made representation for their players and thanks to our president for accommodating the suggestion. The argument was that the language to the debt for others was a promise to pay in time, however, players would get nothing. Miss Moore immediately righted that wrong and said that it is a debt that would be honoured but she added, not at this time.
As for 2019, our president said that from tomorrow she would be going from door to door asking corporate sponsors to chip in and help the pan players. She also said once the panorama made a substantial profit, she would use part of it to pay players remittance for 2019.
Now, although none of these things might materialize, and although I know my president is a seasoned politician, I am still comforted by the gesture that pan people’s efforts are respected. I am happy to hear that the executives are working night and day to give each player a remittance for 2019. So where does this leave players? Two unsure commitments to players. I will advise all players to report to your respective pan yards and talk with your band leader. Because it all depends on gut feelings now. Would they get that money? Would they honour the debt? My position has softened because I believe that they will, but I could be wrong.
Fuad Abu Bakr, another member from the Concerned Individuals for Pan (CIP) said to the executive that the 20 mill is simply not enough. This is close to a national election year and we will see all kinds of people getting all kinds of things because the government wants votes. Therefore, let us unite, let Gypsy and the rest know NO PANORAMA unless what we need to continue to host the biggest show on earth is available. He went on to explain the social, and financial benefits the show brings to the country and stated “if we have to write that on a piece paper to try and convince Gypsy, the minister, the prime minister, if they in the position they holding now and don’t know those benefits, then they should not be in office”. Gregory Lindsay and Oswald Alexander, both CIP members, spoke about when Pan Trinbago Tobago region and Chutney Soca monarch representatives stood up to the government in 2018, they got the money they asked for. So then, why can’t we? Other bandleaders spoke in this light, telling the executive to grow some balls.
Our president said, she is a fighter but, strategy is needed, the last regime left the organization with a water gun and our opponents have machine guns. We will fight but not at this time. She implored us to be patient. “the road is hard but I know what I am doing”. She said. “We are only here for a little over two months, give us a chance, we will turn our situation around. Participate in the panorama, let’s make a profit and move forward from there, as things can only get better”.
Captain of San City Steel Symphony