TT – Five-time medium band champion Pan Elders’ quest to successfully defend its title for 2019 is in jeopardy.
Bandleader Hollister Smith told Sunday Newsday that as of yesterday he did not even have 40 players in his band, “because everybody want money.” Preliminary judging for the band from Carib Street, San Fernando is February 10.
Pan Trinbago’s decision to withhold players’ stipend for the next two years as well as the drying up of assistance from the successor companies of former state-owned oil company Petrotrin, once a major sponsor, has adversely affected Pan Elders’ ability to attract players. A medium band can have up to 75 players for the preliminaries and semi-finals and a maximum of 90 players in the finals.
As an unsponsored band, Smith said the inability of Trinidad Petroleum companies to continue the role as a benefactor would adversely affect the band this year and beyond.
“It is going to affect me extremely, extremely bad. Normally they provided us with jerseys and banners and as a five-time champion band they would have been a little more generous with us. But if the bands which carried their names are no longer in line for sponsorship, what is left for me?” he asked.