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Pan Trinbago, From One Crisis to the Next

by Michael L. Joseph - Pan Trinbago

Michael Joseph - PRO of Pan Trinbago

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - From October 2015, soon after Pan Trinbago's Central Executive Elections, it became clear to us that our organization was operating from one crisis to another. There were allegations left, right and center as to the cause of this instability. But our focus was on getting on with the business of Steelpan, and getting a clearer picture of the new territory we would have to navigate in order to accomplish the task at hand, in light of all the allegations being made by members of the previous executive against the president prior to the 2015 elections.

Before this new executive could settle down to the task ahead, it became obvious of an ugly and bitter conflict between the president and the vice president, which might have been brewing for some time, and escalated into an open all out war that started to distract our focus, with both combatants looking for support from the sitting executive. My position was to be neutral given the fact that I was not clear on all the facts involved at that time. Things had gotten to the stage where, at one executive meeting, I had cause to remind fellow officers that it was two of them and eight of us, lets evict them so we could be about the business of Steelpan.

Our meetings continued to be held in an atmosphere of tension, which proved to be very unproductive, until the V P decide to resign, and was followed shortly by two other officers who took his side in the conflict. My position, and that of the other executive members, remained on the side of Pan Trinbago, to which we were all are elected to defend until such time. The VP and his followers embarked on a campaign to bring down the president. They insist that he was an obstacle to the progress of Pan and must be removed by any means necessary. After awhile, the cry was extended to the whole executive. Not finding success and satisfaction, they extended it to the whole organization. The mantra was, let us mash it up, and form something new. But we stood our grounds in defense of Pan Trinbago. Even seeking judicial review when the attacks gained momentum and went viral, as is seen by the court's judgement in favor of Pan Trinbago.

By this time, a very disturbing trend was becoming visible within, where it became very obvious, that a cabal was making decisions for the executive to rubber stamp. The president was taking erroneous advise that have him believing that an executive of mature intelligent people, were elected to serve his purpose, and not that of the organization. It went as far as him leaving the country on more than one occasion and not informing the executive, or leaving anyone to act in case of emergency. This dictatorial attitude is being resisted, and was brought to his attention on many occasion to no avail. Now it seems to be bringing out the most despicable qualities in some individuals who are now exposing themselves as the players involved in a deceptive web of corruption embedded in the fabric of our organization. If this is not fully understood, and the players clearly identified and dealt with in a most effective manner, no new member will escape the influence of this quasi mafia operatives, and their intricate web of deceit and crooked practices.

It became clearer, when the executive insisted on having the National Lotteries Control Board, handle all printing and sales of tickets for Panorama 2018, as was recommended for 2017. The cabal went into a tailspin because, their hustle was stymied. So, from that time to now, the president keep acting like a runaway horse, treating the elected executive with disrespect and total contempt. He went so far as to say openly, that NLCB would not be printing his tickets for Champs In Steel Plus, his tickets. So he made it a project of his Cabal. A committee was setup, under the events manager to produce the show, but all ticketing arrangement, printing and sales that is, came under the control of the president and his Cabal, for which no financial report is presented to the executive to presently.

There are powerful players within, who choose to keep our organization in crisis mode over the years, so as to make themselves relevant, while they skillfully manipulate the organization's structure to their own ends. So, president come president go, the actors will continue to wheel and deal unabated, if not clearly identified and weeded out. What is saddening, maddening and frightening is the fact that some of the people who over the years, and others who quite recently, recognized that the president is suffering from some form of malady, and choose to rejected and resist his disrespectful dictatorial manner in dealing with the executive and the organization affairs, are now seeing him as a knight in shining armor. Some of the same people who came to general meetings and express their desire to see him out asap, are now saying that the executive who stood up to defend the integrity of Pan Trinbago are the villains, and the president and his dishonest and manipulative cabal are the victims.

What kind of shameful behavior is being displayed by some who aspire for leadership roles in our organization? This says a lot to the character of these individuals, that are running with the hounds and feeding with the hares. What has brought about their sudden change of attitude? These operatives show clearly, that they were only interested in personal gains, to which promises were made to their satisfaction. It would be a sad day for our organization if these self seekers have their way. Some of these aspirant leaders are showing clearly, that they lack integrity, and will sell out this organization in no time, once the price is right for them.

As long as this president continue to see Pan Trinbago as his private domain, and is refusing to observe organization protocols in treating with the duly elected officers, and a quorum exist, it is our duty to carry on the business of the organization until the next executive elections. Over the years, the week willed executive members left the organization to the president and his cabal, but we choose to stay and defend our rights and the constitution of Pan Trinbago from within.Today, those same so Concern Individuals for Power, are teaming up with the very president they just recently despised, to get rid of the present defenders of Pan Trinbago, so they can take office through the back door. Why are they so afraid of the voting process that the constitution of Pan Trinbago allows? They prove that they are so hungry and desperate for the power of office by any means necessary, but, the things you do will live after you, and history will not be kind to all those who would choose to swallow and stifle a guilty conscience like Judas for personal gains.

Leaders or aspirants must never be seen as being deceptive. I know that we are caught between the dangers that threaten us and the opportunities that beckon us. But we must always do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, least it comes around to haunt us some day. This president could not work with members of his first executive. He cannot work with this executive, yet you suddenly see him as the good guy, and are now teaming up with him to spread his lies and propaganda to discredit who? Those who choose to stay and defend? Politics really make strange bed fellows, and power is a very intoxicating portion. However, if members don't see and examine the whole picture, and see some of you for the opportunist that you are, nothing will change.

To the president, and that wizard of yours, who believe that he is king maker while sucking the blood of Pan people over the years, must ever again will he be allowed to mash up another Steel band organization in Trinidad and Tobago, as has happened in the pass. Pannist must know the true history of the Steelpan movement to bring about right change. The real Steelpan lovers must come forward to defend our organization from these carpetbaggers.

Long live Pan Trinbago. May the spirit of the ancestors continue to guide and defend this organization as we struggle on. Forward ever, backward never.


Michael L. Joseph
PUBLIC Relations Officer
Pan Trinbago Inc. T.C.

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