Steelband woes in the Spice Isle

“Selfishness, greed, and maliciousness”.

Those were the words used by the Grenada Steelbands Association (GSA) in launching a broadside against a rival faction that has moved to unseat the incumbent President, Jason Skeete.

Jason Skeete – facing a revolt from the large bands

The GSA sent a stinging letter to Culture Minister, Senator Nolan Cox in which it described the breakaway faction as engaging in unethical, unprofessional, deceitful, and immoral acts against the steelband body.

An attempt was made last year to unseat Skeete in a vote of no-confidence brought by several members of the large bands in the country like Republic Bank Angel Harps, and Commancheros.

Skeete is known to get support from a majority of the small bands and one of the large bands – New Dimensions.

The letter, dated March 1, warned the senior government minister that there would be serious repercussions if any official recognition is given to members of the breakaway faction.

As a public service, THE NEW TODAY has decided to reproduce the letter sent to Sen. Cox:

Sen. Hon. Norland Cox

Minister for Youth Development,

Sports, Culture and the Arts

Level 3

Ministerial Complex

Botanical Gardens

ST. GEORGE’S

Dear Sen. Cox

Re: letter from the undersigned members of the Grenada Steel Band Association.

This letter comes to you by way of instructions handed down to me as President of the Grenada Steel Band Association, from duly registered members of the association.

A few months ago, a notice was sent to all members of the association, informing of the completion of the relevant documentation to have the Grenada Steel Band Association registered as a “Non-Profit Organisation”, and an “Incorporated Company”.

These instructions were given to the Executive Committee, at a General Council meeting of the Association. Additionally, it was also instructed to the President Mr. Jason Skeete, by the then, Acting Chief Cultural Officer, Ms. Jones, to have the association properly registered.

Subsequent to those meetings, documents were prepared with the assistance of a lawyer, and signed by five authorised and duly elected executive members, namely: Mr. Jason Skeete – President, Mr. Victor Philip – Vice President (Ag), Mr. Alister James – Treasurer, Mr. Brian Lindsay Campbell – PRO, and Ms. Shermella Lee – Trustee.

A name reservation was also done at the Intellectual Property Office.

Stephen Greenidge – identified as one of the so-called rebels

In the wake of the attempted hijacking, by some members, this process was halted for a few weeks, with the efforts of returning the Association back to a state of normalcy.

Before the documents were filled to complete the process, a group of members, acted without the knowledge of the Executive Committee, unknown to the General membership, and without any authority whatsoever, and registered the organisation with separate documentation.

The names registered on this document as was given to us by the Intellectual property Office are:

* Mr. Brian Sylvester, Manager of Republic Bank Angel Harps

* Mr. Stephen Greenidge – Executive Member of Flow Commancheros

* Mr. Michael Robertson – of Food Fair/ Suzuki River Road Pan Wizards

What is striking to us was, apart from the fact that they were not authorised to act in this manner on behalf of the Association, these folks make up a list of the most recent Past Executive Committee of the Association, who have been leading the Association for years, and even though during their period they were instructed to have the association duly registered, nothing was ever done.

We view this action as unethical, unprofessional, deceitful, and immoral.

Members were also contacted and instructed to resign and walk away from the association as we would have known it for the past Thirty years and to come over to join “their Association”. This was categorically refused by those contacted, and as such we saw the further need to construct this letter.

This disruptive group has continued to constantly disrupt the flow of the organisation, and it has become unbearable to us now. It is against this backdrop we have decided to collectively take the following uncompromising positions;

(1).     We will NOT walk away from the Association as we know it for the past Thirty years,

(2).     We continue to recognise Mr. Jason Skeete as the President, and the duly elected members of the Executive Committee, as our constitution dictates.

(3).     We will not engage in any activity that will go against the directive and dictatorship of our constitution.

(4).     We have not, and will not be part of, and support in any way, any other competing and or rival organisation(s) to the Association as we would have known it for the past Three decades.

(5).     We are prepared to take full legal actions, against those members and anyone else associated with any further attempts to disrupt the Association in any way whatsoever.

(6).     If this rival group is recognised in anyway, by any arm of the Government or the Ministry of Culture, we are prepared to refrain from any further activity, hosted by, and or endorsed by any such body or organisation.

In closing, we will like to state that for decades we have tried to put the Grenada Steel Band Association in order and to have fair, competent, and professional leadership. What we have seen in the past year from Mr. Skeete and his executive is a testimony to that which we have been longing for.

Our entire 2018 in pan was a resounding success, we had an executive committee that was present, professional, potent, and they delivered. We are not prepared to have this eroded any further, because of selfishness, greed, and maliciousness.

We will also like to say a very special thank you for your support and commitment to Pan, and we look forward to more of what we achieved in 2018.

Yours respectfully,

The Undersigned bands

 

Mr. Lester Prime

Manager, Melody Warriors

 

Mr. Mathew Joseph

Manager, Florida All Stars

 

Mr. Robert Cadet

Manager, Pan Ossia                                                                                      

 

Mrs. Sandra Patterson

Manager, Grand Roy Pan Angels

 

Ms. Lisa Chase

Manager, New Dimension                                                                                                                                                  

 

Mr. Nigel Gibbs

Manager, Melodic Symphony

 

Mr. Ignatius Bayne

Manager. Pan Lovers

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