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Steelbands should take leadership in the community

Friday, March 2, 2018

It strikes me, that with the call for leadership in our nation, our steelbands should all be taking stock of what they can do to promote unity in their districts.

Why is it that we only hear from them at Carnival? Surely their sponsors can demand that they take a more positive role in guiding the young men and girls in their communities.

For example, the panyards could be designated community centres, with various activities other than learning to play pan. Basketball, table tennis, chess etc—being all part of a united effort to hold the area together.

The pan players themselves could arrange to be available any time a cruise ship was in town while local artistes could display their paintings, carvings etc. They could also be playing year-round at hotels, functions etc.

Football and cricket teams can represent the community centre, making everyone in the district proud to be associated with them.

When I grew up, Colts (the Boys in Blue) in football, Casablanca (talk about pan), Leo’s Grill, (open all hours for a snack), were all leaders. Not forgetting the various families that made all and sundry proud to be a Belmont boy or girl. The same could be said of Woodbrook or Maraval, not leaving out San Fernando, Palo Seco and Point Fortin who all had their favourites and their support.

That was what “community” was all about and that is where our past leaders came from. We can create that sense of belonging again if we only slow down and listen.



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