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STEELBAND LEADERSHIP MUST RE-INVENT ITSELF by Rae Samuel

I have just finished reading an article from the former public affairs manager of the sponsor of the now 'homeless' Desperadoes Steel Orchestra. The piece sounds like nostalgia for the good ole days a la Mary Hopkins song Those were the days my friend' or Richard 'Nappy' Mayers’ song Bring back the ole time days.

To the writer it seems that the Despers Panyard is a paradise lost as once upon time we could go up the hill and lime in peace, with the statue of the Virgin Mary protecting us.

Yep: Laventille was a tourist paradise where the natives were happy to welcome visitors to the sounds of Rudolph Charles's hammer or Hilanders’ "Let every valley be exalted'. What we must not take away from reading the piece is that this is a fate that has befallen just Desperadoes.

Two years ago the Birdsong was evicted. In 2018 it was the Old Tech being ejected from a school compound. All these have antecedents. Even the mighty Phase II has had to brave these dangers.

While the circumstance may vary from scenario to scenario, the story is the same. Some bands with visionary leadership such as the Southern Marines secured tenure and can sing Short Shirt’s Nobody go run mih. Others have strong sponsorship or iconic brands and are safe. One thinks of Exodus or Trinidad All stars respectively. Or Skiffle Bunch

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Crime is the issue, but not a concern for the majority of Despers fans and supporters. How many concerned pleading for the steel-band to return up the hill?

Crime pays.

I also read a big part of it is the difficulty of moving racks up and down the narrow hilly streets lately because they are now filled with parked cars.

Yes, pan needs leadership that need really understand what Lyod Best meant when he stated, "schools in pan and pan in schools".....the reconceptualizing of the pan yard into a space that will invigorate the pan yard, economically and socially is what is needed....connected to urban and rural transformation

Dean Arien assume you have a teenager daughter who loves the steel-pan,and plays the musical instrument, and one day she want you to walk up laventille hill with her to see, understand the history of pan etc. Tell me when is the best time you can take her? Politicians cloud many people minds with phrases etc. 'schools in pan and pan in schools' makes no sense. The people need to elect individuals to govern, whereby have systems in place, so citizens can be free to enjoy what they do.

PATRICK: That is why we is SUCH GOOD PARDNERS -- yuh not SWALLOWING THE OLE TALK!!!

But ah sure that you do not know the WHOLE CRIME STORY -- but, anyway, keep attacking it. That is one of  my pet peeves too.

Loyd Best, was one of our prominent economist. His phrase was about seeing the pan yard within the larger context to community development. The pan yard, has amazing eco-system, we can use to develop communities, from engineering to social development...if we can truly comprehend and levarge these potentials. You and me can walk up Laventill, or any communities as a matter of fact. But we have not invested in social development...so our communities have fallen apart. For example, community centers, was envisioned to be anchors in communities....when Loyd Best, coined that phrase, he was pointing too, an already existing community center...which we should use.

I'm not sure we ever tried to use it....I'm aware, there are music schools...

Dean: When the NEW PRESIDENT took office spouting the "CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE" line from Best -- I suggested to her from this forum that she start with ONE PAN YARD.

Maybe you should contact her and share your ideas -- if she was not just sloganeering!!!

I agree patrick, for too long the Pan Movement spinning top in mud..

Cecil, personally I would elect someone under 40 years of age to run the pan movement, same with TT government, ah fed up with the old heads.

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