|Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism|
PanTrinbago Awards Ceremony 2014
Tuesday 26th August, 2014
Mr Maurice Suite
Permanent Secretary of
The Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism
- Mr. Keith Diaz, President of Pantrinbago
- Members of the Executive of Pantrinbago
- Honoured Awardees of the Steelpan Fraternity
- Other Specially Invited Guests
- Members of the Media
- Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a pleasure to be here to represent and bring greetings on behalf of the Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism, Dr the honourable H. Lincoln Douglas who is currently overseas.
The Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism remains committed to initiatives that celebrate our national instrument and promote our national identity.
For well over fifty (50) years Trinidad and Tobago has given the world the beautiful, pulsating music of the steelpan. Audiences from as far as Yokohama to South Africa to London and Miami have all been left spellbound and amazed by the wonderful sounds emanating from discarded oil drums.
Indeed, over the past few decades, the steelpan movement has grown from strength to strength, literally migrating from the relatively poor depressed areas of society to some of the most acclaimed halls around the world.
Tonight’s gathering includes over sixty (60) individuals and organisational representatives who have proven to be the cream of the crop in the steelpan world. It is most fitting that this special occasion is held during Pan Month.
We acknowledge the winners of the National Panorama and the Trinidad and Tobago National Steelband Music Festival – Pan is Beautiful XII (Twelve).
The Special Awards that will be given out tonight, - The Bertie Marshall and Anthony Williams Award, the Syndey Gollop Award and the Marjorie Padmore Award - pay tribute to the icons after whom these awards are named. They have made priceless contributions to the creative and cultural sector of Trinidad and Tobago.
In 1992, Bertie Marshall was awarded the Chaconia Gold Medal, for “Outstanding Service to the Country” because of his exceptional work in the advancement of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Instrument. That was the first time the award was given in the field of music. In 2008, he was awarded the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Sydney Gollop was respected and esteemed for his extraordinary contribution to the steelband movement. He formed the pioneering Steelbands Association of Trinidad and Tobago. When the Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) was billed to represent this country in 1951, Sydney Gollop took the lead in raising funds and in ensuring that the administrative arrangements were in place.
One cannot exclude Anthony "Tony" Williams, master inventor, pioneer and steelpan musician. He received the Order of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago in 2008.His "spider-web" pattern of placement of notes vastly improved the tonal quality of the steelpan.Out of his work came the "fourths and fifths" Tenor Pan, which is now the international standard for the tenor.
Marjorie Padmore received the Humming Bird Medal for her contribution to the Nation. She composed the National Independence Pledge as well as the national song "God Bless Our Nation". She was the first woman to head the Broadcasting Unit and gave over thirty years’ service to the Anglican church.
Needless to say, those of you who receive these Special Awards tonight stand on the shoulders of giants within the creative and cultural arena. These awards reflect the lifelong commitment and passion that defined these icons. I hope that all of us continue to serve Trinidad and Tobago with such dedication and enthusiasm.
In conclusion, I offer congratulations to all of tonight’s awardees and to all a good night.