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A Carnival Monday night pan event got the
thumbs-down from several steelband leaders yes-
In an effort to re-introduce steelbands into Car-
nival, Pan Trinbago organised two events for bands
to display their musical skills on Carnival Monday
One was the second edition of the Groovy Soca
Steelband Competition in all of its regions, and the
other a Health & Fitness Chip, an initiative under
the aegis of the Ministry of Health, through its
Fight the Fat Campaign, for Carnival 2014.
This non-competitive event took the form of a
steelband parade from Tragarete Road, Newtown
to Adam Smith Square on Ariapita Avenue in Wood-
But steelband leaders were not impressed by the
new initiative. Some said their bands brought out
presentations on Carnival Monday so experienced
great difficulty in finding the energy needed to par-
ticipate in the event, despite the lure of a $12,000
Manager of Freedom Steel Orchestra Joseph Don-
awa said the organisation of the parade left much
to be desired, as the steel orchestras had to contend
with music coming from several large music trucks
on Ariapita Avenue.
In addition, accessing the venue was challenging
as several streets in Woodbrook were blocked off
to accommodate the earlier Parade of Bands.
"My band did not get out of Woodbrook until
1.30 am Tuesday," he said.
"There were some 20-plus bands listed to par-
ticipate, but some were still on the stage in the
Queen s Park Savannah between 8 and 9 o clock
Monday night, so they arrived at the venue very
late, adding to the congestion.
"I do not think Carnival Monday night was the
best time to hold this initiative."
Vice president of Pan Trinbago Bryon Serrette
promised to send a statement from the organisation
but none had been received by press time.
PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars during their performance at Adam Smith Square, Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain on Carnival Monday night.
PHOTO: ROBERTO CODALLO
for pan initiative
'PAN NEEDS A BIG IDEA'
"It started reasonably well,"
said Christopher Abraham. "I was
standing at Colville Street and
Tragarete Road corner from 6
pm. The first steelband was
there very early (Pan Elders) and
they assembled by 5.55 and got
"Cordettes, Arima Golden
Symphony and Invaders
followed, then there were scanty
arrivals, with some not having
the full complement of players. I
left at 8 pm so, hopefully, it
would have picked up and run
Pan enthusiast and marketing
specialist Dennis Ramdeen said:
"Pan on the Avenue on Carnival
Monday night was painful for
me. Steel orchestras spend so
much time on eight minutes of
music that they can't learn
"One or two bands have to
break out of the pack and take
another road. The current road is
a dead end, and I fear we are
coming close to the end.
"Pan needs some innovation
and oxygen and no one else but
pan people will figure this out.
Pan needs new arrangements---
and I'm not talking about the
Asked for his thoughts on the
impact pan had on the Carnival
responded: "The steelband's
impact on Carnival 2014 has
been consistent with its
downward trajectory of the past
"Pan therefore needs a new
vision. Pan needs a big idea, like
when Peter Ueberroth made the
1984 Olympics the TV games,
raising close to a billion US
dollars from broadcast rights.
Previous to 1984, others focused
on stadium seats to be the main
supply of revenue.
"Ueberroth changed the
product distribution from the
stadium seat to the living room
couch. We are still relying on
selling physical seats in one
"For example, what if we went
on a massive pay-per-view and
YouTube thrust where we put
steelbands in worldview and
simultaneously start a
conversation with the world?
Blogging and building
communities interested in
tuning, arranging, organising,
studying teamwork dynamics
and all the other great stuff that
pan people are so good at?
"This will mean pan people
learning some new skills. Skills
that are no harder than what
they do now.
"Pan must find other markets
if it is to grow."
Nine members of Lev Tahor, an ultra-Orthodox
Jewish sect from Quebec in Canada, who were
detained on Monday at Piarco Airport were expected
to be deported back to Canada.
Last November the members fled to a town near
Windsor, Ontario, Montreal s CBC news reported.
The report said two families were scheduled to
appear in a Chatham-Kent, Ontario court yesterday
to learn the results of their appeal of an earlier court
judgment that 14 children from the sect must be
returned to Quebec and placed in foster care.
Last month, an Ontario judge upheld a Quebec
ruling ordering the children in the Lev Tahor sect to
be surrendered to child welfare authorities. After
being denied an appeal by a Quebec court, the group
requested an appeal to an Ontario court.
This came after the Quebec and Ontario provincial
police forces raided the Lev Tahor homes in Chatham,
it was reported. Quebec s Youth Protection Services
alleged that the children living in the sect were med-
icated with melatonin to control their behaviour,
could not do basic maths and were married off as
young as 14. A report in the Toronto Sun said the
group---three adults and six children---were intercepted
and detained in T&T while trying to catch a flight
An immigration official was quoted as saying the
group ended up in T&T because they had missed
their connecting flight. The official said it was by
coincidence they were detained, because local immi-
gration authorities were unaware of what was going
on in Canada. In a press release issued from the
National Security Ministry last night it said the group
came to T&T via a West Jet flight and was interviewed
by immigration authorities who discovered incon-
sistencies in their responses.
They were then told by immigration officers that
they could not to travel on to Guatemala.
"The group subsequently employed the services
of a local attorney, Mr Farah Masai, who began advo-
cating their concerns with the airline and immigration
"All measures of attempts to accommodate the
group at a hotel of their choice and to also ensure
that they were properly attended to were refused by
the religious group," the release added.
blocked at Piarco
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