By Our Deeds We are Known
On Thursday, July 10th I attended the Memorial Service of Mr Dalton Brown, Son of Trewlany, Jamaica. He lead an exemplary life exhibiting the quality of a loving, caring and a honest human being. He came to England with the primary aim of looking after his mother and family. He surpassed this with his tenacious ability to succeed and after running a shop in Jamaica he pursued this interest by firstly working in a shop and later opening his own on the High Street in Tooting Broadway.
One could not be unmoved with the service and the hospitality he offered, a warm welcome with a beaming smile. There was never a deal completed without an engaging word, usually one of humour and personal encouragement. It was always a pleasure spending money with him because I always felt it was going in good hands serving a right cause. It was not surprising
he became successful at this enterprise and he further extended his service to a Caribbean Cook Shop. The cook shop was to cement his endearment in the community as it now a hub for the Caribbean community and lovers of good home cooked Jamaican food in Tooting Broadway. The food was always finger licking with ample amount served, not witnessed anywhere else and it was no surprise the bus drivers discovered the secret and they were regular patrons.
I do not know what ingredients Mr Brown used in his food but of one I am certain was LOVE. He shared this in ample amounts and even though pressed by hungry impatient customers including myself he always kept his cool with his disarming wit and smile. From what I have heard and I have no doubt to disbelieve, no one was turned away without a meal whether you had the full cost because his trusting nature would always oblige. I believe it was also true of the groceries because I could see that The list was still kept in good Jamaican tradition.
The last meal I ate from Mr Brown (as he was popularly called) was served with the prevailing elements of a hungry me, all tables full , few customers milling around waiting for their order, Mrs Brown his equally engaging wife processing the orders. As my wait was inevitable and with not too a demanding stomach , it was yet another opportunity to banter in good a Jamaican way. It was always a certainty that Dalton and myself would engage in some conversation because I would always egg him on to go faster which I knew was impossible because he did it at his speed to deliver the best product. I was fortunate that day seated at the same table was an equally engaging lady and as I enjoyed my meal .the realization was reaching me that there was no space left in my stomach for the food on my plate. I do not believe in wasting food and anything served on my plate I usually consume, (less work in washing up), but this day it was beyond me.I then made the remark, that this was the first time I have bought such a meal at that price and couldn’t finish it, we all laughed. What I had noticed that day there was a new method of ordering and payment and this was the opportunity for Mrs Brown playing a joke on me. I payed via the new assistant and on leaving Mrs Brown asked me for payment again!. As I started explaining , she could withhold her laughter anymore and I knew the joke was on me.
Sometimes in life we look for inspiration and true heroes and they are right amongst us and their days and deeds are to be lauded because they set examples that can help to build the positives in people. We can be successful by doing things the right way. I do believe Mr Brown was a devout christian and if Christianity have lead him to live this life , he has surely followed the right path for him.
Mr Brown died aged 50 a relatively young man, living his dream and touching lives. Jamaica and the world needs a lot more Dalton Browns because people like him are rare in life, they exhibit the human qualities of love, patience , encouragement, and care. His legacy will live in the hearts of those who knew him and try to emulate some of his deeds. The great people of the earth is not only those whose names are in neon lights but those who live respectfully and humbly amongst us doing the right things.