By Makeida Antonio
Members of the Panache Steel Orchestra have launched an appeal for help after a person or persons unknown reportedly damaged and stole property from their Sir Sydney Walling Highway pan yard on the weekend.
The captain, Maurisha Potter, disclosed that the members which mostly consist of young people are now fearful and feel unsafe following the incident.
“We feel a bit timid now, going to the pan yard because now we are aware that someone is probably watching us or watching our movements. We have a lot of young people in our band, and I feel uneasy. I don’t want it to be a case where one of these days somebody runs up when the young people are practicing and somebody is in danger,” Potter told Observer yesterday
She recounted the series of events which led to the discovery of the damage and missing items from the band’s compound.
“One of the older members of the band would have gone to the pan yard at around 7:30 [Friday] morning and when he reached, he realised that the bus was completely open — the side door was open, the windows were down and that’s when he realised that someone would have broken into the bus because now that he checked out the bus, he realised the battery was missing.
Potter also explained that a piece of their own equipment was used to commit the theft of their vehicle’s battery, the bus they were using to transport members and equipment.
“One of the double stands that we use for holding up the pan, they broke the center of the double stand to then use it to pry open the bus, pry open the compartment where the battery was, so they did all that between the hours of 1 am and 7 am,” she said.
She added that a neighbouring restaurant seemed to have been targeted during the same time as well. She remains hopeful that Panache Steel Orchestra will get some assistance to make the pan yard safer because while the band usually does not ask for assistance in this manner, safety is a top priority for their pan players.
“We really need help in clearing down a lot of those bushes in the yard. The same neighbour would have offered his backhoe services; he actually started to clear down some of the bushes by the fence, but we need help, we need light. There is no light whatsoever in that vicinity, not even on the main road right there, so when we are not there, it’s pretty dark.
“So, we are hoping to get some assistance securing two or three lampposts or some kind of light so it’s bright enough that you can see what’s going on. We are also hoping that we can get help in terms of securing burglar bars,” she appealed.