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Prime minister, ministers, mayors and councillors, take notice and take action. Pan camps need help. Part 2


By Aquil Arrindell


Lastly, last year’s pan camp did not adequately attract sponsorship and we were not able to pay the tutors. However, the same tutors came back despite that, with the knowledge that it may be the same this year. There are always the other options that some of the other youths in the pan yard take every holiday which is work at grocery stores, book stores, “take a look inside” stores, clothing stores etc.  However, Kenlica Boswell, Asia Richardson, Lexine Lambert and Jorder Lewis, the pan camp tutors of 2018, understand the need for personal sacrifice to help our nation’s children so they committed themselves to accept that responsibility. I am proud of them and I think we as a nation should “Catch them when they are good” and applaud them for their efforts. I urge you all to make a contribution and if there is anyone who would be interested in contributing towards paying their stipends, feel free to make the connection. I must make mention of Councillor Parris who is not our councillor but frequents our pan yard and shows a genuine interest as children from his constituency are beneficiaries of our programs. Also Ms. Kelly Richardson for being the art tutor regardless of pay.


I am calling on our councillor, whom I have never seen since she was elected into office, to show some interest. To Mayor Junior Regrello and Minister Kazim Hosein, please help, as San City is the only steel band within the purview of a corporation and by extension local government, which the corporation’s workers benefit from. The assistance of the Minister of Community Development and Youth and Gender Affairs is requested as this is a cultural program engaging youths, some who have had physical and mental challenges. I am calling on Ministers Faris Al-Rawy and Randall Mitchell, as it is your constituencies we in San City culturally enrich. I am calling on the Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley to take notice because pan camps in south are dying away because of a lack in finance. The bands who are still at it are doing so with minimal resources and may not be able to continue in the near future.


I am making an appeal to you and our nation to please invest in the youths to catch them before they go bad and not after the fact, because by then it would be gross waste of tax payers’ dollars. My number is 727 8203 and Asia Richardson’s is 374 6185. San City remains focused and asks you to help us help others.


Yours truly             

Aquil Arrindell


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San City doing it regardless, as we do every year. But i must take the opportunity to bring to the public attention that pan camps need help.

So let us then, take our own advice and show the government we do need our money for social programs. So i am expecting everyone who read and commented on the article to get an envelope and contribute, if you want it can be address directly to the young ladies. I am sure between our selves we can chip up and pay them. I will video the handing over of your contribution to the young ladies, identifying the contributor and post it up on WST so the process would be as transparent as possibly. 

So who is first?

Aquil: You should put up a NUMBER. Like how much exactly you are trying to raise for the SUMMER CAMP.

i just want to cover their cost,

all the other thing, inclusive of the art and dance tutor, who comes in once or twice a week,  San City could deal with that.

500 and week

4 weeks

3 ladies mainly

So that's $6000.00?


10 PAN LOVERS from WST put up 100 US or 20 PAN LOVERS from WST put up $50 each?


Aquil,every GROTT administration have allocated over $7 BILLION yearly to the Ministry of National Security.The AG and other Cabinet Ministers have stated a monthly cost of $28.000 per prisoner per month.

I would love for any person on this forum to show the world what value have the Nation gotten from this gigantic yearly expenditure.

I would love for anyone to quantify the costs for transport,food,toiletries,materials to accommodate these prisoners.

I would love for anyone to state the reasons for citizens not socializing as they would normally do, and quantify the resulting economic fallout.

I would love for some one to identify any major business/business person who are not looking for handouts from the GROTT, to upkeep their owners lavish lifestyles.

I would love for anyone to identify a TT steelband that's a huge financial success.

For quite a number of years the GROTT has been paying monthly rents of $30 million plus,for unoccupied buildings to the wealthy,but a Steelband that is using it's little space to keep the Nation's youths in positive activity,the GROTT cannot contribute to the Nation's welfare?  

I would say again,Steelbands in TT were not created to be economic entities,they were created to be a communal space,and physical,social,educational,spiritual,and physiological generators.

The irony is, other countries have recognize the value of the Steelband yards, and some have even incorporated them in their judicial system as a preferred rehabilitation process,rather than sentencing to a jail term.

The Perilious Life of Symphony Orchestras by Robert J. Flanagan,would probably give a reflection of the struggles of a Steelband,less the uniqueness of the steelband relationships with it's community.

Of course selling two toolums,some paradise plums, a few tambrand balls and bene balls ,would put a few dollars in the coffers to buy a struggling youngster a meal, or pay a taxi for a young lady to travel home.

Sponsored Steelbands would always have it easier than the un-sponsored bands,who have to absorb every single costs.

I am always hopefully that the day would come when I see a financial guru's handiwork,that she/he can present to the world Steelbands, as a blueprint for financial success.

'Quil those who walk the talk,would always have obstacles to overcome.

Those who talk the walk,always have a genteel and level path.

Go Brave or go home!

Aquil do you have space in the pan yard to rent a canteen or shop or even some small business?

because we are on the san fernando city cooperation compound, no. but we do have sales among them from time to time. 

More evidence of the author of this articles bankruptcy and unsuitability. A country band could teach you how to get away from that nasty gimme gimme syndrome in real time sir.

I am convinced that if all steel bands become financially independent of the state and the handouts they will be much better off. There is nothing better than to be able to do your own fishing when all the oceans are your fishing grounds. No gimme gimme there, only plenty of all kinda food!

I am agreeing that band must become financially independent. So no need to convince me of that. Where we  are RESPECTFULLY share difference in opinion is, if the government should used our money in social programmes, not only pan, other than using it for things that are not beneficial to the public. (carry prisoners up and down in a van for millions of dollars when we can invest that money in programmes to reduce those prisons van trips)

I love the debate doh.

I invest my time and money in this camp annually to ensure its success. regardless of who contribute or not. 

But this is not about me.

The heroes of this articles the the young ladies. 

plz, do take away the attention from the selfless attitudes for the young pan people who see i fit to give back.

lets focus on how we can assist them help our nation's youths. 

keep the suggestion coming.

You should not focus on the government handouts, but rather how your band can pay the bills independently. That's all I am saying. You and your band will always remain poor depending on handouts. I suggest to make your Panyard a business environment despite the present ownership situation, they/government  will assist over time when they see constructive usage. Go brave, God help those who help themselves.

So, your suggestion is to set up a business on SFCC’s compound? OK, if that’s your suggestion.

Sorry if I gave you the impression that my band is having financial issues. So let me clear that up.

I, Aquil Arrindell, am running a program, using my band's resources (pans, lights, water, toilet facilities etc.). I have to raise money every year to help OUR NATION's YOUTHS. This program, which my band also makes a monetary contribution to, also holds a Kwanzaa, kids pan competition other community-based programs every year with or without help from government. It is nearly impossible to fund the number of events we host by relying solely on cake sales and other in-house fundraisers, especially given the frequency of these endeavors.

So it was really laughable when the critics insist on critiquing and not doing.

But back to you my good friend Mr. Bertel Gittens, what I am debating is, as these events are social programs, should they be assisted by corporate, public and private citizens?  Could they be considered an investment that would reduce crime, which would benefit us all?

I realize we are debating different issues.

But thanks for the advice anyway.  


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