Pan Trinbago's Interfaith Service
Story from Trinidad and Tobago Newsday by Shane Superville
Pan Trinbago President, Keith Diaz, called on members of the steelpan fraternity, and the entire nation by extension, to engage in prayer and to use the steelpan as a medium for peace in these troubled times. Diaz made the remarks yesterday during his welcome address at an Interfaith service, commemorating the 24th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Steelpan as the National Instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.
“I hope that today’s message will reach out, not only to members of the steelpan community, but to the entire nation,” Diaz said.
He briefly recalled the evolution of the steelpan and praised youths for their continued support as part of the steelpan movement.
“When you look back at the steelpan movement, it’s beginnings and some of the words used to describe panmen, words like bad John, lowlife and vagabond, you really have to appreciate the journey that we made to get here. The steelpan came from poor people in impoverished areas and to see how far we have come is really something to think about.” The service, which featured various religious leaders from the Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Orisha faiths, took place at the Murchison Brown Auditorium at the Port-of-Spain City Hall and drew a modest crowd of supporters. The steelpan was declared as the National Musical Instrument of Trinidad and Tobago in 1992 by former Prime Minister, the late Patrick Manning.