T & T steelpan stalwart Patrick Arnold  dies at 84

Patrick Arnold

Former Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold  who died in Tobago on May 9 last, is being remembered as a man who changed the face and fate of pan and its players.

Pan Trinbago’s vice president Keith Simpson said: “He was a good and honest man who changed the face of the movement by ensuring respect and financial rewards for its members.

“He is the one responsible for securing remittances for pan players and raising the prize money up to $1 million.”

Under Arnold’s leadership, Simpson said,” he introduced Pan in the 21st Century and Pan Down Memory Lane.

” He also sought to separate the bands into small, medium and large categories, as the smaller and medium bands did not stand a chance competing against big bands like Renegades, All Stars and Desperados.

“For his contribution to the steelband movement, he must be revered and remembered,” Simpson noted.

Echoing Simpson’s statements, Pan Trinbago president Beverely Ramsey-Moore said “Arnold was also responsible for pan yard judging.

“He made a contribution to the community and the instrument itself, as he was a builder and a pan tuner.”

In addition to serving as president of Pan Trinbago from 1996 to 2009, Arnold also served as chair of the National Carnival Commission (NCC) under the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration.

A former Senator, he was also the founder and manager of Our Boys conventional steelband.

In a statement, the Tourism Ministry said 84-year old Arnold was a great leader, visionary, cultural ambassador and local icon.

“Patrick Arnold was a stalwart in the steelpan movement and a valiant contributor to the Tobago Steelband community,” the statement said.

Describing Arnold as an ambassador of culture, nationally and internationally, the UNC recalled that under the Basdeo Panday administration, Arnold received the deed to lands at Trincity for the construction a national home for pan.

” He had a lasting effect on the organisation and management of the steelpan movement. My he rest in eternal peace.” the UNC said.

The NCC said Arnold always displayed a fierce determination and vision in whatever field he served.

“In many instances, he was instrumental in redefining the scope and shape of several aspects of our annual carnival traditions that we celebrate to this day,” it noted.