The Grenada Steel Band Association (GSBA) has elected Jason Skeete as its new President.
Skeete was elected to the post on Saturday at a meeting of the association held at the Conference Room of the Coyaba Beach Resort in Grand Anse, St. George’s.
“It is not time for talk…it is time for work, we need to look inward and make significant changes and then our request from those on the outside will be granted”, said the newly installed President in his first public comment.
“Being president means that I have a responsibility to ensure the movement grows beyond expectations”, he added.
In recent years the association has been running under an interim executive leadership with an acting President, David “Peck” Edwards.
Skeete, who has been involved in the steel band movement for over 30 years, said it was “a humbling experience” for him to take over the leadership of the island’s pan movement at this point in time.
He gave a commitment that the new Executive under his leadership will meet with the Executive bodies of all 10 steel bands in the country before the end of December.
He pointed out that there are significant changes to be made, and that embracing many of these changes will see growth and a more prosperous and financially sound steel band community and movement.
“I have been involved in the steel band movement since 1985 as a child and when I thought it was time to step away God made other plans”, he said.
“I have embraced this opportunity with all my heart and with the purest of intentions. Nothing can be more satisfying at this stage than seeing the confidence and congratulations that have been expressed to me by so many…”, he added.
Skeete went on: “I know for a fact that every member of the executive committee has similar passion and determination for this wonderful and noble instrument.
“Growth, prosperity, love, and most of all commitment are the driving forces behind us as we put culture first. The past has had its history made; now it is time to shape a new history and leave something that those after us can build upon.
This is our leg and we will run it with honor and dignity. We welcome the support of everyone, we need you to help us because alone we will fail”.
The meeting took a decision to adopt a new constitution and members of the new executive gave a commitment to the development, love, and passion for the artform.
The Membership also instituted some new policies which included that no band will have more than one representative on the Executive Body and that No Active Arranger or Manager of any band will be allowed to serve on the executive.
A release from the pannists said that these measures were put in place to foster greater accountability and transparency.
Former Acting President, David “Peck” Edwards, was very elated about the election of the new Executive and pledged his continued support to the new executive.
The Membership was also high in praise and profoundly grateful to President of the Grenada Football Association (GFA), Cheney Joseph for his support in facilitating the constitution adoption and electoral process.
“The Grenada Steel Band Association is ready to make a difference and take things to a new level”, said the new leadership team in a press release issued.
Nine of the nation’s 10 steel bands were present at the meeting.
Apart from Steele, the other persons elected to serve on the GSBA executive are:
Vice President – Miguel Fortune, who previously served as interim president
Public Relations Officer – Brian Lindsay Campbell.
Treasurer – Alister James
Secretary – Kaycee Frederick
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer – Stephen Greenidge
Trustees – Shamella Lee and Victor Phillip