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DAMNED IF YOU DO by Michael Joseph

posted 17 Feb 2014, 04:02 by Gerry Kangalee
Everywhere you turn these days, you can hear talk about what Pan Trinbago Administration should or should not do to promote the Steelband and make money. Most of the talkers are amongst those who would not support a Bar-B-Que to help a Steelband during the year. The very same people who have the North Stand half empty and the Grand Stand, worse, during the very Panorama they claim to love so much, hence the reason they hang out on the drag.

The North and Grand Stand cannot hold the amount of people required for Pan Trinbago to make a profit, yet these part time lovers of the Steelbands stay on the drag and enjoy all that sweet music for free. No care for the sacrifice all these pannists made to get there.

Then there is the complimentary posse who could afford to pay, but refuse to pay. They have to get free tickets or a picture pass by rights, otherwise they bad talk the organization till thy kingdom come.

“Pan Trinbago does get plenty money, what they does with it. The officers thieving it out.” Yet not one of these so accused officers owns a private jet plane a luxury yacht or a house down the Islands. Like they only thieving crumbs?

One man sing a rum song and get $2,000,000.00… nothing wrong with that. But, what are the pannists getting for all their hard work and sacrifice to attract the tourist here to share and enjoy the greatest show on earth? One thousand dollars ($1000.00) and if the band wins the Panorama, a little extra after expenses.

For them, it is still a labour of LOVE. Who cares about the contribution of Pan Trinbago in keeping so many young people of the different communities off the streets and occupied in meaningful pursuits, thereby contributing to the social stability of our society. Pan in D Country side, is a perfect example of the kind of part time Pan Lovers we have here, who only know how to criticize and pull down. You don’t see them supporting any Steelband program outside of Carnival even if it is free.

Take a look at the Soca and Chutney Monarch Competitions. Have any of these talkers ever noticed the many sponsors that fizz to the rescue of these private promoters, including the many Government Ministries? If all those state and private enterprises take care of all the expenses and prize monies of those privately run shows, has anyone every considered where are all the profits going? To what end is the benefit to youth development in this country?

But, target Pan Trinbago! For some reason, they seem to be an all year Good Friday bobolee. Where are all these talkers when nearly every pannist (young and old) who would fall ill or die from time to time, and their families will find Pan Trinbago for assistance with their medical or funeral expenses or both, and the organisation will assist without fanfare. When bands put on programmes in their communities, the organisation would assist in one way or another. Where must this money come from outside of the 10% of operation funding contributed by the steel bands?

However, when Pan Trinbago makes attempts to become self-sufficient, there is opposition and criticism. When they call on Government to live up to their social responsibility, they are said to be begging cap in hand and doing nothing to help or uplift themselves. Seems like a case of damn if you do damn if you don’t.

The Northern Greens have never interrupted the Panorama more than the North Stand ever did. And, all these so-called problems have a solution. The last time it caused an interruption, a solution was found. Truth be told is there are some people who believe that little black boys and girls should not be in control of real money. So if the Northern Greens are really making a profit for Pan Trinbago, soon the little black hen chickens will get too big for their shoes.

They must not become financially independent, so these detractors have their agents of discontent and confusion strategically placed to create the necessary distractions. If a pool is added to the Northern Greens, what difference does it make? The people in the Greens did not come to Panorama in the first place. They came for a lime, and if they are willing to pay for a good lime within the Panorama environment, it will be stupid of Pan Trinbago to not grasp at the opportunity of providing them with a good lime in its space at a cost. All to the benefit of the organisation. Since the introduction of the Greens, Panorama continued to entertain true Steel pan lovers and produce winners.

When we start showing support for the National Instrument, as we do for all other local and Foreign Acts, then we can criticize and question. Until then, let Pan Trinbago see how they could make some money. The more money they get, the more the Steelband and the pannist will benefit. In the meantime, leave Pan Trinbago’s business to its membership.

Michael "Bro. Scobie" Joseph
Regional Chairman