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Trinidad's birdsong Music Org. Under Siege - Threat of Destruction Eminent.

The internationally revered music education organization was recently served notice that the landlord was advising of the scheduled demolition of their premises of 28 years on Monday August 15, 2016. The birdsong institution has been serving their community for the past 43 years.

The shock of the move has cause the management of birdsong to question publicly -   What does the designation of pan as the “national instrument” really mean?  Does this country deserve pan?  Does pan have exactly what it deserves by having this country?  Is the law out of step with putative social reality by valuing the rights of the individual as superior to those of genuine community institutions? 

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We need to consider the concept of an exclusive ministry of Pan in the Trinidad & Tobago Government .....This is probably the best vehicle that can take the pan forward and thus achieve the necessary goals to not just uplift the pan movement but rather make a truly viable economic entity.. We are committed to working on this necessary project

Salah Wilson (PHD Candidate)

The owner has been paying water/land taxes, electricity for 28 years Maybe Birdsong was paying a little something and they not reasonable to come to an agreement of buying the land The T&t Government can't buy every panyard and build something.   

Typical of many trinis, and its becoming the norm, squatting on someones property not a right. Period. What I don't get is, how can one sit on someones property for all these years, without any concern and believe its their right to stay there. Come on people, I am sure the owners give the band a break to use the property temporarily during the early years, this should mean something. Please don't blame the owners, Pantrinbago should play a better role to advise steel-bands in locating and purchasing their own property.

Patrick: Yuh real brave to put up that VERY REALISTIC response to this posting. I am usually left standing on the other side of the road on most topics but in this one I have a pardner standing next to me ... break out the OLD OAK and leh we have a drink together!!!

I hear yuh Patrick…I was present 28 years ago at the launch of birdsong's Pan Theatre…which incidentally was two years after we (Merry Tones) had acquired a 99 year lease for 1 Bagatelle Road… I imagined that they had legal tenure too...so it comes as a surprise to me that they are facing eviction…at any rate people we need to find out the real story before we go running we mouth...

Yuh only have 69 years left on your lease, Merrytones. Yuh better start renegotiating.

So true Claude..we who engineered the lease may be long gone by then too…lol...

Now this puzzles me. How could a prominent steelpan body sit on a spot for 28 years and not consider to legitimize its status. All the good things we have heard about Birdsong, and the very foundation they sit on is shaky?

This story is so familiar with Pan it makes me wonder where panman head is at.

Yuh mean Government must do EVERYTHING fuh we?!?

Merrytones, I hear you about "running we mouth." The fact is, we should not even be hearing of these panyard occurrences if our heads (panman) were thinking straight. Its time to move UP Panman! The government cant do this fuh we.  

To make matters worse in this scenario is that it seems to be private property that they are occupying…not like in Phase II's case where it was government property and they got a bye…with private property is only goodwill could save yuh…not even money, if the owner don't want to sell…but still we don't know what arrangement they made with the owner...

Regardless of what's the arrangement, offer to BUY or MOVE!! BBQ and Cake sales for 20 years will buy that property!

They must be the owners so that all those great programs they started will not be interrupted!!

Pan is long-term!

What were they thinking of?

This is a heavy slap in the face. After all these years on the band has a positive on the people in and out of the community.

Is this due to gentrification (as has been happening in Brooklyn)? What about Nestor Sullivan's "Panyard Regularization" Project? The result of that project should have the govt acquisition/purchase of the land used by "squatter" steelbands. What is really need is a set of national policies/laws for the National Instrument, including land tenureship rights to protect steelbands.


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