Mar 1, 2010

Do Something for Pan


I saw this article in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper today and immediately thought, "don't we have enough stadiums in Trinidad? Now I can understand plans to add community playgrounds with at least one small stand. However, the article stated that the plan is for "three world-class stadiums and three community sports centers". Are these politicians serious? Apparently they are going to construct a national cycling velodrome ( I guess the Arima velodrome will now be used for parties), a national aquatic centre, a national tennis centre and three youth indoor facilities.
Now what will be the true cost of these facilities is really up in the air. Why? Simply because the Tarouba stadium (still under construction) went from $275 million to $725 million and counting. We really don't have the ability (or it is a convenience that pads someones pocket) to control costs. I am very upset about these projects... Why?
OK here is my reasoning.. What have we done (I mean the government) for culture? I don't don't want to hear about the National Academy for the Performing Arts - that is a monument thus far and has not served any useful purpose to date (re the stakeholders... the people of Trinidad and Tobago. So what needs to be done? Read on...
Do Something For Pan!
I believe that it is time we do something for the many steel pan yards in the country. Every steel orchestra should have a professionally constructed building that would serve as a place for the players to store their instruments, educate the players to read and write music and be a place that would be an attraction for tourists visiting our country. We need to pay respect to that which we call  our very own and boast about so much. This would be an incentive for these venues to become national libraries for the steelpan. Computers should be in place and the steel orchestra managements should be trained to manage these sites.
 Every "pan yard" should have the history of the steel pan available for visitors and it should be a place that the various communities should be proud of.  In this way the entire steel pan fraternity would be respected and the players themselves will think differently about their worth as a pannist. Isn't it time we put our money where our bragging rights are deposited. Pan and Calypso are the backbone of the Carnival and they bring in millions of dollars for the country... It is time to pay "Pan"  back!
Now that I have stated that which I would like to see done I know many will say there are more important things to take care of  for the sake of the people. Water is a major issue and desalination plants that were promised never came on stream. We can go on and on but is it not time to bring some pride in the pan movement and the communities that they serve? Maybe just maybe this may help some young man to come back to the pan yard to learn something instead of getting caught up with some unsavory group that could possibly lead to a troubled path. Let us do this ... Do something for Pan. 

 
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