Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 2nd 2013 Contents B6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, November 2, 2013
It s that time again for First Trinidad
Sea Scouts (FTSS). The annual fundrais-
er, A Touch of Christmas, takes place
on November 17 at Lions Civic Centre,
Fitzblackman Drive, Port of Spain.
A Touch of Christmas is an afternoon
of food and entertainment between noon
and 6 pm.
A release from the Scouts said part of
the sumptuous menu is prepared by the
parents of FTSS -- including the pastelles
which are already pressed, frozen and
waiting to be cooked.
The traditional Christmas feast also
includes turkey, ham, chicken or fish; side
dishes like pigeon peas and dessert. Veg-
etarian plates will also be available.
The music will be provided by top
bands: Panorama 2010 winners PSC
Nitrogen Silver Stars steelband as well as
former parang champs Los Parranderos
de UWI and Los Alumnos de San Juan.
Soca Elvis is also expected to make an
Tickets cost $250 and are available from
parents of FTSS. Proceeds from this Sun-
day affair will go towards supporting the
troop throughout the year.
For Patrick "Panman Pat"
McNeilly, singing and playing to
musical beats was more appealing
that walking the beat.
After four years on the job as a
Toronto Police Service constable,
McNeilly resigned in 1972 to pursue
a cultural career.
The only steelpan player at the
inaugural Caribbean Carnival in
the city five years earlier, he intro-
duced the steelpan as a formal high
school music credit in the Toronto
District School Board, published
Hands on Steelpan: Teachers Guide
and Student Companion to the
Art of Playing Steelpan, and adju-
dicated several Toronto District
Catholic School Board music fes-
Last week, the 68-year-old cul-
tural artist and educator was hon-
oured for publishing his fourth
book---A Musical Journey---and his
distinguished leadership in sharing
and promoting T&T s music and
culture in Canada for nearly five
"Music is in his blood," said
McNeilly s younger brother, Gerry
McNeilly, who heads the civilian
body that handles public com-
plaints against municipal and
provincial police in Ontario. "He
thinks, eats and sleeps music which
for him is steelpan and calypso."
The holder of a Diploma in Edu-
cation from Queen s University
and an Ontario College of Teachers
member, McNeilly is a two-time
calypso winner and 1991 Juno
award recipient who returned to
the Organisation of Calypso Per-
forming Artists (OCPA) in 2007
after a ten-year absence. He was
the oldest participant that year.
Four-time calypso monarch John
"Jayson" Perez said McNeilly is a
man of many talents who has
made a huge impact on the cultural
scene in Canada.
"Pat is also one of the most
unselfish human beings I have ever
met," said Perez who was the leader
of musical ensemble, The Legends,
which folded in 1983 after 13 years.
"He s always willing to share his
time and passion for music."
Retired librarian and raconteur
Rita Cox recalled her early meetings
with McNeilly and late lawyer and
activist Charles Roach who was a
musician and bandleader in the
city in the late 1950s and early
1960s. "As a young person coming
from T&T, I went to Charlie s
home on Selby Street and to the
now-defunct Club Trinidad which
were havens for new immigrants
from the Caribbean and being
entertained by Pat and Charlie who
played the guitar and sang togeth-
er," recounted Cox who was
appointed to the Order of Canada
"A year ago, Pat and I went to
see Charlie who was very ill. Even
though he was extremely sick and
weak, Charlie still found the
strength to pick up his guitar and
he and Pat started strumming
away. That was such a beautiful
memory...Pat has helped to tell
our stories in so many ways."
McNeilly played an integral part
in helping the Naparima Alumni
Association of Canada (NAAC)
establish a steelband, Panache.
"Pat is committed, caring, creative,
dedicated, funny and resourceful,"
said former NAAC president,
Rustin Oree. "The history and
development of our steelband pro-
vide many examples of these qual-
ities. He s committed to keeping
the culture alive and sharing it with
T&T consul general Dr Vidhya
Gyan Tota-Maharaj and pannist
Earl Pierre also paid tribute to
McNeilly who migrated to Canada
in 1966. He spent nine years in
T&T promoting steelpan music in
school and singing in calypso tents
before returning to Toronto in
2004. Five years ago, he was diag-
nosed with chronic glaucoma
which is the leading cause of blind-
ness among adults in Canada and
is particularly dangerous because
it can gradually progress and go
unnoticed for many years.
Though he carries a Canadian
National Institute for the Blind
identification card instituted in
June 2011 for Ontarians who are
blind or partially sighted, McNeilly
has not slowed down. He performs
regularly at community events and
finished fourth in this year s OCPA
competition even though he
walked off the stage midway
through his second presentation,
Get off the Fence. He claims an
audible feedback from the drum
machine was too distracting for
him to continue.
Written by Ron Fanfair, colum-
nist Share Newspaper, Toronto.
Contact Panman Pat at 416 358
8621, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Former policeman Patrick
"Panman Pat" McNeilly was
honoured for his contribution to
Caribbean culture in Toronto.
PHOTO COURTESY SHARE
Panman Pat celebrated at T&T consulate
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