The Late George Goddard - Pan Leader & former Steelbands Association President - UpClose!

He was the blueprint for successful steelband leadership. George Goddard, one of the early leaders of the Steelbands Association, was awarded the Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Gold posthumously for his contribution to the development of the steelband.  In an exclusive 1982 interview with producer, journalist, author and noted on-air broadcaster Von Martin - Pan leader and former Steelbands Association president George Goddard spoke on his involvement, memories and expectations in the steelband movement of Trinidad and Tobago...

Provided by, and published with, the expressed permission of: Von Martin

A When Steel Talks Exclusive

When Steel Talks Exclusive icon

Producer, author and noted on-air broadcaster Von Martin shares another important documentary on the pan from his archives. This time we meet the iconic Pan administrator and former President of the Steelbands Association, the late George Goddard.

Head of Caribbeana Communications Inc. Von Martin shares one of his many interviews amassed throughout the years, on the history of the steelpan instrument. The one featured here is from the early 1980s and showcases George Goddard, of whom Martin says “Re-listening to this discourse, it just blew my mind as he chronicled in a timely exposé fashion, his role and activities with steel band men and [the] association. It is mind-boggling, I did this interview several years ago before he died, somewhere around the 1980s.”

George Goddard
George Goddard

During this 1980s interview the late George Goddard aka George “Sonny” Goddard, who was one of the most significant and influential figures in the history of pan, shared on his many breakthrough accomplishments, the establishment of Panorama and the Festival, among others.

Furthermore, he spoke on the various roles and strategies he adopted in order to successfully manage and govern the steelbands as President of the Steelbands Association, the documentation of the evolution of Pan, and the requirements a leader in Pan must embody.

On dealing with steelbandsmen of his day, Goddard says, “I can’t complain about steelbandsmen at all; if I had my life to live over I would live it the same way again between steelbandsmen. Every decision I took in the past, if I had to do it, I'd take the same decisions again...”

Von Martin
Von Martin

As for taking steelband matters before the high court, Goddard says in this interview  “...there is no need to reach before the high court on a matter like that. It could have been settled outside of the high court.  I don’t see why we  should we think in terms of settling any matter in which steelbands are involved in this day and age - why we should depend on a high court to settle it, especially when the steelbands have an organization such as Pan Trinbago and so on, who should be representing the interest of the steelbands...”

Interviewer Von Martin’s book “Voices of Pan Pioneers of Trinidad & Tobago” was recently published; he may be reached at  He can also be heard every Saturday from 6:00—9:00 p.m. on

Listen to the late Pan pioneer George Goddard in his own words, UpClose!


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