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October 20, 2009 - Volume 1, No. 16

What World Body?

As Pantrinbago gets ready for its convention on October 25, 2009 its election for officers will take place too. As Pantrinbago meet this weekend, it is important that Pantrinbago take into consideration its place in steelband’s history. It professes to be the ‘world governing body’ for steelband. That is a worthy claim to make for any organization. But, what does ‘world body’ mean?

Does Pantrinbago represent all steelbands throughout the world? Does that mean that if a steelband in Sweden has a problem it can call up Pantrinbago? What about South Africa? Does a steelband in South Africa have Pantrinbago at its back, if there is trouble? Again, one could ask, who elected Pantrinbago to be a ‘world body’ organization? Was the votes a majority or a consensus? I mean, what does it really mean? What are the expectations of members of this ‘world body’? Is it because Trinbago is the land of the steelband? Does the land give birth to a world body?

On October 25, 2009 I wonder if anyone will ask those questions. Who appoints a ‘world body’? And, what does a ‘world body’ do? Let me guess. First, a world body is a large organization that is open to the world and takes care of all its members. Second, the world members participate in this world body to formulate its agenda, vision, objectives and promotions. Third, the world members meet once or twice a year to work out solutions to the many problems of this world body. There has to be some financial requirements from this world membership to run this world body. Fourth, this world body must have the power to discipline its world members. For example, if a world member violates this world body’s rules and regulations, the world body can exercise a punishment to this undeserving world member.

One note worthy world organization is the United Nations, housed in New York. Its members consist of countries all over the world. This world body can introduce sanctions for violating members. Sanctions can be economic or military. It can demand that other world members boycott that violating member. It can punish world members who refuse to follow said sanctions. Is Pantrinbago claiming to have such power? Are steelbands in New York, London or Canada members of Pantrinbago? Does Pantrinbago participate in world members affairs? Does Pantrinbago set an agenda for world members?

The seriousness of my questions must be seen in the light of the future of the steelband movement. After over 60 years, the steelband movement is at a cross road. As I write this commentary, Pantrinbago does not have a permanent headquarters, museum or steelband library. The steelbands do not have a permanent concert hall to hold their grand festival, panorama. What is the vision for steelbands in the next cycle of Pantrinbago leadership? What should steelbands expect? Are the steelbands, by their silence, telling us that they are satisfied with Pantrinbago’s representation? What do the steelbands want? Is the world membership satisfied with their world representative Pantrinbago? Is there sufficient or any transparency with Pantrinbago? Will it be business as usual after elections on October 25, 2009? And, if there is a new leadership, what can panjumbies and steelbands expect from the new leadership? By what measures can we evaluate Pantrinbago’s next term of office? What are the goals for steelbands in the next term?

Will Pantrinbago open up Panorama to world steelbands? I mean, will world steelbands from Canada, America, England, France, Japan, Switzerland etc. be able to compete in the Panorama organized by the world body?

The last time I saw Khalick was on the bridge on Duke Street liming and engaged with some panjumbies arguing about pan.

Stay blogged,


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