Celebrating Heroes: 'Bagga' a true peacemaker and modern-day hero
Quite often, everyday community heroes go unnoticed or celebrated once they pass on.
But Fitzgerald Avenue, located off Maxfield Avenue and Waltham Park Road, do things differently.
Their community hero, Andrew Tomlinson, was celebrated in life, and is still being celebrated even though he passed away on April 10 after a brief illness. He was just 44.
'Bagga' or 'Bagga Voice' as he was affectionately called, may no longer be with the residents but that has no bearing as he still wears their hero crown.
Shane Leslie told THE STAR, "Bagga is a man weh helpful. Is a peacemaker, anytime nuh foolishness gwan, him squash it. A him the youth dem listen to and when him talk dem hear him. A just Bagga dat. Him keep him treat dem every December and football competition almost every holiday."
Our news team was told that respect for Bagga also come from the ranks of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
"Bagga is a man weh all di police dem respect. Dem man deh nuh put up with foolishness. Is a man weh build bridges, him nuh burn dem," another resident shared.
Bagga's sister, Samantha Elliot, agreed with the residents who labelled him a hero.
She said, "He is a peacemaker. They would probably tell you that because he is a peaceful person."
His brother Jermaine Grant, added that Bagga went above and beyond for everyone.
"Yea man, a real thing. Anything weh happen, people go to him for help. He has the connections and him know to make things happen. If a man and a next man have a vibes, Bagga will bring them together and reason it out," he said. "Him keep treat for the kids and elderly. Play football with the youths and keep the vibes. Mother's Day or Father's Day, him mek sure the elderly dem get something."
He was especially pleased with a programme his brother started, which still runs although he is no longer around.
FEEDING THE HOMELESS
Grant said, "He linked with the Red Cross and they bring food to the community Monday to Friday. Even though him gone, the Red Cross still feed the helpless and homeless in the area. They bring the food and drop it off at his (Bagga) shop and the people come and collect there."
Shop operator Sheryl Thompson told our news team that Bagga was an ideal candidate for community hero.
She said, "He is a good man for the community. Him stand up for the youths dem. Anything and everything you can call on him. Children to go to school and don't have lunch money, Bagga would assist. He is a peacemaker, him nuh love bad vibes."
Dwayne Reid summed up Bagga in three words, "a community leader".
Reid said, "Not a don enuh. A man who go round and help out people. Old people want something fix, dem man deh fix it or get it fixed. Bagga say peace at all times, a just dat with him. Bagga is a real modern-day hero."