Pan Trinbago boss knocks police as traffic flows through pan event

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

West Side Steel Symphony during at the Rhythm, Steel & Powder on Friday night, at Milford Road, Scarborough, Tobago. – Photo by Jeff K. Mayers

PAN TRINBAGO president Beverly Ramsey-Moore has accused Tobago police of disrespect for not closing off Milford Road to vehicular traffic during the early portion of the organisation’s Rhythm, Steel & Powder event in Scarborough on Friday evening.

The event, which began near the Coast Guard base and ended on the Esplanade, featured performances from some 12 steel bands, including several of Tobago’s leading outfits.

But during the performances, players, spectators and media personnel, had to constantly dodge vehicles.

A visibly upset Ramsey-Moore said, “The event is happening and we are seeing traffic passing through. I am deeply disturbed about that disrespect. And from what I am gathering it is all about payment to police. Your culture first, your country first. The government will always pay and is government to government.”

She added, “I am extremely disappointed that as president of a very important organisation in Trinidad and Tobago, that we are having this event and traffic is just passing through that could injure somebody from the bands. That is total disrespect and I take serious umbrage to something like that.”

Ramsey-Moore said she spoke to Tobago carnival gold commander ACP Collis Hazel about the issue

“I had cause to call the gold commander and although he tried to explain to me. I am not satisfied about that at all. Any time you disrespect the culture, you coming up my lane to hear my mouth and I am highly disturbed.”

Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore sprinkles powder in the air during the Rhythm, Steel and Powder along Milford Road, Scarborough on Friday night. – Photo by Jeff K. Mayers

Saying Pan Trinbago had an officer at the planning meeting, Ramsey-Moore said she also spoke to THA Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Tashia Burris about the issue.

“So it seems as though Tobago police prefer to go and police Voice (Aaron St Louis) than to police the people thing. They prefer to police Voice because the money in their pockets already.

“But the THA eh pay yet so let the community, let the ordinary people, let the man from behind the bridge, who come out here to entertain the people, let them suffer because they prefer to police Voice.

Voice was the headline act at show in the Shaw Park Cultural Complex that same evening.

Ramsey-Moore said Pan Trinbago had partnered with the THA to bring the culture to the people.

“Pan and powder in Trinidad is really a big event and so this year we decided to do rhythm, steel and powder, all part of the celebration of the Tobago carnival.”

Buccooneers Steel Orchestra at the Rhythm, Steel & Powder on Friday night at Milford Road, Scarborough, Tobago. – Photo by Jeff K. Mayers

She added she was extremely proud of the work being done in the Tobago region.

“There is a rejuvenation in the steelpan in Tobago…I don’t know what is happening. There is something that is happening in Trinidad and Tobago re the steelpan and I believe and I could give myself some kudos for that.

“It is because of the dynamic leadership that we bring to the table where we talk about pan being the community’s soul, where we talk about pan being that voice of peace and love in Trinidad and Tobago. And so there is this embracing of the culture.”