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Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda speaks on the Moods of Pan 2008 Steelpan Music Festival
- and on Barack Obama

Interview/Article  - C. Phillips

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Moods of Pan 2008 

“We need to look at the marketing of Moods of Pan - to expand it and to see how we can make it a ‘must see, must attend’ affair... you get incredible performances, artists from all over world, excellent atmosphere... we are pushing the idea of making Antigua and Barbuda the ‘Events Capital’ of the Eastern Caribbean...” - The Honourable Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Baldwin Spencer
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, the Honourable Baldwin Spencer

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - He is deep intellectually, articulate, forward thinking, charismatic, pragmatic and nationalistic. He is a man of many skills and talents. He is equally at home in the panyard as he is in a room filled with the world’s Heads of state. He is a lover of the steelpan instrument, and ‘panman’ himself. He is the current Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, on the morning immediately following the close of the Moods of Pan 2008 festival, the Honourable Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer shares his thoughts about the three-day Pan fest, and US President-elect Barack Obama.
 

The higher of these two peaks - pictured - is Boggy Peak, Antigua’s highest mountain, as viewed from the Heritage Hotel in St. John’s.  Boggy Peak is on track to be renamed Mount Obama
The higher of these two peaks - above - is Boggy Peak, Antigua’s highest mountain, as viewed from the Heritage Hotel in St. John’s. Boggy Peak is on track to be renamed Mount Obama

Prime Minister Spencer said he was ‘extremely excited and intrigued by Obama’s campaign for the presidency’ of the United States of America. As he watched the Obama campaign grow literally from ‘insignificance’ to ‘significance,’ he came to the conclusion that Obama was “going to create history in this world.” He says be began to feel that Barrack was coming with something new, something exciting, something the world was looking forward to in a president of the United States ‘as one of the most powerful countries on earth.’
 

Spencer goes on further to say that he was really taken in by the success of the campaign because he felt it represented a giant leap in “world affairs, relations, diplomacy... ” Moreover he was frankly “inspired by the fact that a man of color could rise to the presidency of the United States of America...” The Prime Minister admits that he shed a few tears as he watched the results come in. He then asked himself the question “What could I do to identify fully with this epic historic development?....this is sending something to the young people - that they, too, can rise to the highest heights....if they are prepared to work hard....” Spencer decided to honor this historic moment by renaming ‘Boggy Peak’ the highest peak in Antigua, to ‘Mount Obama.’
 

 

On the Moods of Pan Festival 2008 the Prime Minister felt the performances were very good, and he totally enjoyed them.  He complimented the organizers, Gemonites Steel Orchestra, for once again putting on a successful show - now in its tenth year.  “It’s a wonderful experience, and a good idea - what they are doing with Moods of Pan” according to Spencer.  He says he looks forward to working closely with the promoters to make the festival a real calendar event.  In addition he wants to expand Moods of Pan to make it a ‘must see, must attend affair.’  Prime Minister Spencer believes that the festival is something Antigua and Barbuda can build on as part of their push in making Antigua and Barbuda the events capital of the Eastern Caribbean.  And in this regard, his government is already moving on packaging and marketing the festival regionally and globally for 2009.

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