Why no doctorate for our pan pioneers?
I THANK the University of East London for conferring on Michael Holding an award for his contribution to the game of cricket. Among Michael’s many exploits was arguably the most memorable over bowled by any fast bowler in modern Test cricket, one in which he bemused, bewitched, bothered, bewildered and bowled the famous English batsman Sir Geoffrey Boycott.
A foreign university recognised and acknowledged his contribution.
Pan, on the other hand was invented and developed by Trinidadians who were persecuted throughout its development. After many years of toil, inhaling toxic fumes from burning drums containing unknown substances, applying scientific principles and innovation. This nation boasts of giving to the world its only acoustic musical invention of the 20th century.
We conveniently showcase the instrument to world presidents, vice-presidents, kings, queens and commoners yet our local universities cannot find one person who contributed to its development to honour with an honorary doctorate.
You mean to tell us there is nothing in the contributions of tuners like Neville Jules, Bertie Marshall, Anthony Williams, Pops Roseman, Bertram Kellman, Herman Guppy Brown, Denzil Hernandez, Wallace Austin, Clifford Alexis to name a few that are worthy of such an award from our universities?
Pan gone but the pan man stays.