|Petrotrin puts $2m into pan this year|
Petrotrin puts $2m into pan this year.
State-owned Petrotrin has made an investment of over $2 million in pan this year. The company has come on board as the official sponsors of the National Small and Medium Bands preliminaries and the finals of the National Small and Single Pan Bands, which are to be permanent fixtures in San Fernando. They are also providing full sponsorship to three bands— medium band Hatters Steel Orchestra, of San Fernando, and large bands Phase II Pan Groove, of Woodbrook, and Siparia Deltones. The company also is providing financial support for 13 others, including four from Tobago. The announcement was made at Soong’s Great Wall Restaurant, San Fernando, yesterday. Representatives from five of the bands—Jah Roots, Self Help Marines and Tornadoes, all of Point Fortin; Southern Marines and La Brea Nightingales—were on hand to receive cheques from Petrotrin’s vice president, planning and technology, Khalid Hassanali.
Gillian Friday, manager, corporate communications, said: “In monetary terms, this translates to well over TT$2 million during Panorama and the coming months.” Noting that 85 per cent of the players in the major bands were between the ages ten to 18, Friday said, encouraging young people to reach their fullest potential as part of their thrust towards national development. Chairman of Pan Trinbago South/Central Zone, Elton Bain, said without female and youth involvement, there may not be a Panorama. He admitted that Petrotrin’s involvement in pan and culture was a well kept secret and commended it for its investment in the pan and the youth. Pan Trinbago president, Keith Diaz, who was on hand when the official announcement was made, also thanked the company for its support. He noted that last year T&T made a profit of $1 billion from Carnival and said he expected that a percentage of that would have been invested in the steelband. Commenting on the age and gender of the players, Diaz said by supporting pan, they were keeping young people engaged in meaningful activity and out of crime.
He added: “There is no crime in the panyard.” He said in the panyard they were learning music, discipline, etiquette and other skills for life. He said last year the Prime Minister of St Lucia requested help from the pan fraternity to assist children in that country. “This little oil drum has gone out to 38 countries around the world, South Africa, Nigeria, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.” he added. Diaz noted there are 285 steelbands in the country, out of which 167 were in the this year’s Panorama. He said overall, there were 8,500 steelband players and if the junior steelbands and pan ensembles were added that could amass to 12,000, in addition to tuners and arrangers. Diaz also gave a commitment that the Small and Single Pan finals will remain a permanent fixture at Skinner Park as long as he was in the chair. He said while people were moving out of Skinner Park, they were moving in, in reference to the relocation of the Chutney/Soca Monarch Competition to Port-of-Spain.