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Pans turn full circle

Raw 44-gallon drums in 2009, before their conversion to steelpans.

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Mar 5, 2024

FIFTEEN years ago, shortly after the 2009 Victorian bushfires, a trailer load of 44 gallon drums donated by VIP Packaging was collected in Western Melbourne and headed to Tullamarine Airport to pick up Werner Egger, a Swiss steelpan maker who had volunteered to come to Australia and make a complete set of steelpans for the newly formed Pans on Fire steelband. He stayed for three years and made several sets of pans for the many steelbands that were formed in our district.

Fast forward to 2024, and some of those pans were now in the same trailer taking them back to the airport for a trip to New Zealand. The reason for their trip was that an Auckland based steelband had lost all their pans in late 2023, when fire ripped through their rehearsal rooms, destroying the building and all their pans.

A call went out for help in the Australasian steelband community for replacement pans, and Marysville’s Pans on Fire was only too willing to assist, given all the help they had received in 2009 when they were most in need of help in their recovery process.

 

But while they were happy to donate the pans for free, they soon discovered that the cost of sending 200kg of musical instruments to NZ was ..

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