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Pamberi Steel Orchestra Celebrates its Community Champions

One of the honorees receiving his plaque at Pamberi’s Dinner
One of the honorees receiving his plaque at the Dinner

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Pamberi Steel Orchestra is a steelband located in the San Juan community of east Trinidad where the majority of the members were born and reside. Last year, 2016, there were National Champions emerging from within our community. The band decided to honour these victorious efforts with a Dinner dedicated to the Champions. They are as follows.

Aaron “Voice” St. Louis was crowned Soca Monarch during Carnival 2016. He lives in the San Juan community and attended St. George’s College in Barataria. He is presently reading for his degree in Music at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Malick Folk Performers won the Best Village Competition 2016. This folk arts group has been rehearsing at the Pamberi Panyard Facilities for several years. Here they develop and practice their skills in the various art forms and carry out Youth Programmes in Drumming and Dance.

San Juan North Secondary won the National Intercol Football Competition in 2016. Since 1981 the band has played a role in introducing and developing Steelband in this school, then known as San Juan Senior Comprehensive. Many of the players of Pamberi are former students of this school.

On Thursday 22nd December 2016 Pamberi hosted a “Dinner with The Champions” and presented a plaque to each champion. This was the band’s way of showing appreciation for the positive messages emanating from the success stories of the champions. We thought it is important to promote and highlight these groups and individuals of our community that impacted positively on the National Community.

Senior members of the San Juan community were present at this function and these included the following:

Ewart Williams, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago; Roy Augustus, Former President of Pan Trinbago and a School Principal; Senior Superintendent Curtis Paul, Head of the Police Youth Club Programme; Mr. Gadsby, the father of the Minister of Culture (Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly); Cecil Paul, Former Trade Unionist; Michael Bynoe, Architect; Andre Moses, Founding Member of Pamberi and a former Teacher. All these persons lived or live in the San Juan community and were happy to identify with this event. Brian Villafana, Music Director of Pamberi, along with members of Pamberi Stage-Side and Road-Side steel orchestras were also present.

The Laventille Road Police Youth Club Steelband also participated in the dinner and performed a repertoire of music for the guests. This included music for the Christmas Season, well-executed by this group of young panists, under the direction of Damian Holder of Pamberi. The guests were invited downstairs from the multi-purpose hall after the dinner, to the Pamberi Pan Theatre where this group has been rehearsing for several months. The instruments were blended by Jason Holder and Desmond “Mappo” Richardson, two tuners from the San Juan community.

There was a presentation of the plaques to the Guests of Honour who included:

Mr. Fraser – Teacher in Charge; Richard DeCoteau - Assistant Coach; Team Captain and Players of the San Juan North Secondary Football Team.

Norvan Fullerton and other members of Malick Folk Performers.

Mr. Aaron “Voice” St. Louis was out of the country and there was recognition of his achievement in his absence. His plaque will be presented on another date when he returns to Trinidad.

When he presented the plaque to the Captain of the San Juan North Secondary Team, Mr. Ewart Williams congratulated the team and encouraged them to excel in other areas of their development as citizens of San Juan and Trinidad and Tobago.

The representative of Malick Folk Performers who collected their plaque acknowledged the role Pamberi plays in their existence as a Folk Arts group by allowing them a space to rehearse and function year-round. She recalled when, several years ago, the group needed a place to function, the band agreed to allow them.

The dinner was prepared by “Patrick and Mala – Sweet Hand Delight” of Saddle Road, San Juan. The menu was professionally prepared and presented to the guests in buffet-style. Most people attending will agree with the statement... “It went down real nice” ...both the food and the event itself.

From the News Desk of:
  Pamberi Steel Orchestra

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