Portlanders continue to mourn councillor cut down by COVID

Portlanders continue to mourn councillor cut down by COVID

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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SEVERAL residents of Portland are still struggling to come to grips with the death of 61-year-old Councillor Irvin “Louie” Brown from COVID-19-related issues just over a week ago.

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor, who represented the Fellowship Division in the Portland Municipal Corporation, died at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) where he had been admitted after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Last weekend scores of Portlanders continued to pay tribute to Brown, who was well loved in the community of Windsor where he called home.

Among those hailing Brown was Member of Parliament for East Portland Ann Marie Vaz who told the Jamaica Observer she was devastated by his death.

“We shared a close relationship and I had a deep love for Councillor Irvin Brown who was truly committed to improving the lives of the people,” said Vaz.

“He gave sterling service to the people of the Fellowship Division and has left behind a legacy of excellence and dedicated service. I send my deepest condolence to his family, friends and colleagues” added Vaz.

Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Paul Thompson told the Observer that Brown was a very dedicated and responsible councillor, and very dedicated and committed to his division.

“He was a hard worker and he worked on many projects; and those that he undertook, he always saw that they are well done. I remember when he was working on the swinging bridge at Ginger House and he would not stop until it was completed,” said Thompson.

“He had a natural caring attitude. He cared for people to the extent that he would give them all he had and do without. He was always concerned that they were happy. Whenever he advocated for anything for his division it was for the people, and not himself.

“He told me 'Mr Mayor, I don't care if I don't have anything, you know. As long as my people alright I'm good, so I'm going to ask you to help me,' and I always tried to assist him. He was always willing to give and was a very good councillor. He was working on a project for the Windsor Cemetery and was in the process in getting the report done when he became ill. We will miss him,” added Thompson.

As Portland mourned, a resident of the Fellowship Division, Georgene Paul, told the Observer that she was heartbroken.

“We have lost a councillor, a friend, and one who you could talk to about anything and [at] any time. He was too kind and gave everything he had to others. Mr Brown was loved by everyone; it's kind of hard now.

“I knew Mr Brown for a long time now, long before politics, and he would do everything for everybody – no 'Ps' [political leaning]. As long as he had it and you asked him for it, he would try his best to get it to you,” said Paul.

She added: “He had a good relationship with everybody. He did the road here in this area and was working on its completion so that all would get the full benefit. He saw to it that we got street lights and that the road was properly done. It's kind of hard when you grew up with the person and saw him progress and he goes like this.”

In the meantime, head of the Windsor Community Development Council, Sherrod Lee said she had a good relationship with the late councillor.

“He did a lot of work here in Windsor, including the road. He worked on the swinging bridge at Ginger House and was a person who you could get along with easily, one who you could talk to, and a lot of people interacted with him.

“He tried to do good within his own limitations. There are persons who had varying strong opinions in support of him and some who did not support him, but he tried within the context. He tried to get things done within the municipal cooperation, especially for the Windsor Cemetery, but various bureaucracies affected its development and improvement,” said Lee.

It was a similar story from Portlander Stanley Maragh who said Brown was a good man.

“I knew him for a long time and he operated like we are brothers and family. He was very kind and a nice person,” said Maragh.

— Everard Owen

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