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
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
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.