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Remembering - George “Nugget” Joseph - Patriarch of Antigua and Barbuda’s Steelband Movement

George “Nugget” Joseph, a centurion, is the patriarch of the Antigua and Barbuda steel pan movement.

“Nugget,” as he is popularly known and referred to, is a pioneer of the steel pan movement of Antigua and Barbuda and a founding member of the Hells Gate Steel Orchestra (HGSO) (the world’s oldest steel orchestra), whose birthplace and home is in “The Point.”  Hells Gate Steel Band began as an organized ‘Iron Band’ in 1945 and the steelpan was introduced in 1946.  However, the “essential steel” (rhythm instrument), to date, remains an integral part of the steel orchestra, though far less in quantity than in the iron band.

George “Nugget” Joseph

“Nugget” served as the secretary and treasurer of the Hells Gate Steel Band from its inception in 1945 until 1958. Effective 1948 to 1958, he served as captain and secretary treasurer.

“Nugget” was present when the name Hells Gate was chosen and confirmed that it was Eustace “Manning” Henry, who suggested that name, after brain-storming for a name by the other members.

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Yes! It is refreshing to find this excavation of pan history, so carefully done.

Congratulations to Stafford Joseph!

Hopefully, others will repeat this type of research to establish the regional roots of a

pan movement that will find strength and stability in those roots.



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