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South East Development Inc. shares its story

South East Development Inc. shares its story

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The South East Development Inc (SEDI) was established in 2008, to serve the villages on the South Eastern end of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

There are twelve villages involved: Calder, Stubbs, Diamond, Biabou, Brighton, Enhams, Bonhomme, Mt.Pleasant, Carapan, Victoria Village, Argyle and Belmont.  The organisation was set up primarily to reintroduce pan in the Stubbs community.

Through the initiative of the Social Investment Fund, in collaboration with the Pan Against Crime Committee, South East Development Inc. received a set of pans. The idea was that the organisation would use the instruments to promote activities in the villages mentioned above with a view to curtailing crime and violence within the community.

The current executive includes: President: Yoland London. Vice President: Albert Harry. Treasurer: Ada Francois. Secretary: Cheryl Byron. Assistant Secretary: Donna Lewis. PRO: Dave Scipio. Committee Members: Claire Harry, Derrel Joe, Marsha John and Bernard Sayers. Immediate Past President: Rosita Snagg.

The organisation operates under the motto: Promoting development through sports, education & culture.

Within the organisational structure, the constitution mandates the establishment of committees to better serve its membership.

These committees include:

Sports Committee: engaged in football, cricket and netball

Education Committee: involved in awareness campaigns which mainly take the form of cultural wakes on social issues.

Culture Committee: involved in the promotion of various past times, with our flagship event being Nine Mornings.

The Pan Management Committee (PMC) is a subcommittee of the Culture Committee and is directly involved in the management of the steel orchestra. The activities of all committees are supported and promoted by the steel orchestra as SEDI’s mandate is to promote sports, education and culture using the steel orchestra. This mandate was agreed to, through the signing of an MOU with the Social Investment Fund.

SEDI’s constitution (section J sub-section 3) clearly outlines the duties of the PMC. The constitution provides as follows:

The Steel Orchestra shall be called the South East Steel Orchestra (SESO)When necessary and applicable the name may be adjusted to reflect the brand of the sponsor(s).

There shall be a sub-committee under the Culture Committee referred to as the Pan Management Committee to oversee the functioning of the band and shall be responsible for the following:

Coordinate the work of the steel orchestra.

Elect the following: Captain, Vice-Captain and section leaders.

Keep a register of all members of the committee and organisation.

Be the representative of the organisation on local, regional or international fora.

Hold monthly meetings with players of the band.

Develop programmes or incentive packages for members of the orchestra.

Submit quarterly reports to the executive as to the work of the band.

Work with the PRO to promote the band.

Encourage the development of individuals in the band.

With the permission of the executive, seek/develop contractual arrangements with sponsors.

Develop some basic rules of engagement to govern the band.

Ensure the proper care and development of the properties of the band, building, instrument etc.

Develop contractual arrangements on an annual basis for the following: A Music Director, A Music Arranger, A Pan Tuner, A Site/facility manager.

For the past two years, the relationship between the executive and the PMC has become estranged. Several meetings were held between the executive and the PMC to resolve the issues regarding, what was considered, a blatant disregard for the constitution of the organisation. To simplify matters, the executive agreed to formulate some operational guide lines. These too were disregarded.

In January 2018, the organisation was struck off the Company Register and was unable to conduct any new financial transactions. The President and Vice President sought audience with the Registrar of Companies who outlined what needed to be done to have the organisation reinstated. We were advised that the basic function of the organisation can continue but that new financial transactions should be curtailed until all matters are fully resolved. This was communicated to the PMC, which was asked to temporarily halt all operations until the matter was settled.

From December 2017 to April 2018 the PMC continued to involve the orchestra in several gigs and activities without the permission of the executive. On April 17th, 2018, the President wrote to the chairman of the PMC, Mr. Cecil Ryan, informing him of these violations. In response, Mr. Ryan contended that SEDI is merely the custodian of the pans and that no one could prevent the Winfresh South East Steel Orchestra from taking part in the 2018 Panorama. He also confirmed WINFRESH’s commitment to the orchestra going forward and its full sponsorship for the band’s participation in the 2018 National Panorama competition. He further advised that as a government programme, the Pan Against Crime initiative including WINSESO is beyond the will, rule or wishes of any individual.

The PMC continued its activities as usual despite the directives to halt all activities. Based on Mr. Ryan’s response, it was clear that the PMC was not willing to heed the instructions of the executive. The situation reached to a chronic stage with no end in sight. Consequently, the executive saw it fit to dissolve the PMC and to dismiss the Music Director with immediate effect. Both the chairman and the Music Director were issued with letters of dismissal on the 24th and 30th of April, 2018 respectively.

Following their dismissal, the PMC continued activities, which forced the executive to lock down the band room. A meeting was held between SEDI’s executive and representatives of government, being the Permanent Secretary in The Ministry of National Security, Parliamentary Representative for the South Windward Constituency, Inspector Hall from the Pan Against Crime Committee and a representative from the Ministry of Finance. The government representatives advised the executive to make the necessary preparations for the orchestra to participate in the 2018 panorama and they will ensure that monies are sought to finance the event.

Since then, it has come to the attention of the executive that former members of the old PMC have registered a new entity with CIPO under the name “Southeast Steel Orchestra (SESO)”. This entity has been registered separate and distinct from SEDI without the knowledge and/or permission of the executive of SEDI whatsoever.  Presently, the original SESO, which remains affiliated with SEDI, is operating under a new Music Director and will be participating in the 2018 panorama.

We ask for the cooperation of players past and present and look forward to a successful 2018 panorama presentation.  The executive and the organisation wish to assure the public that it is fully functioning, growing in strength and is committed to the task of serving the community.

We continue to function as the legal custodian of the property of the South East Steel Orchestra and no one and no authority other than the executive of SEDI is authorized to act on behalf of SESO or to solicit funds or transact business on behalf of SESO.

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