West Kingston weeps following Pappa Eddie's passing
Danae Hyman, Online Reporter
The sadness was palpable in Kingston western this afternoon.
Residents of Tivoli Gardens, the political capital of the constituency, were just setting up for the 89th birthday celebration of their former Member of Parliament, Edward Philip George Seaga, when news broke that the man they called 'Pappa Eddie' had died in a Miami hospital.
Seaga was the longest serving MP in Jamaica and retained the Kingston Western constituency for 43 years.
He had been battling cancer and related complications and residents were preparing for his death, but they could not contain the grief as they sought to come to terms with the reality.
Two disheartened Jamaica Labour Party supporters sang their party song as they stopped to praise their former leader.
Here are some of the reactions from the people of Kingston western:
"A Seaga first mek me get work over library deh so and a him set up dah stall here for me so me can get money and make a life for myself. A him tek me out a my one bedroom and put me inna house with two bedroom and bathroom."
- Beverly Goodall
"Seaga a my boy, that’s my Prime Minister forever. A Seaga make me get my house. Me did live inna one house when Gilbert lean it and a Seaga put me and mi three children inna one house and me did pregnant to at the time. I just hope his soul was right with God.”
- Irene Brown.
"A Seaga clean-up Back-O-Wall so we can have Tivoli Gardens. I was always a supporter for Mr Seaga. My vote always goes for him. Holiday time he always come around with gifts. Easter we getting bun and Christmas we get our little parcel from him and him give you a hug and a kiss. I am feeling sad now but I have to put the Lord in front and say his time has up."
- Jocelyn Brown
"I was looking forward to seeing him get well and come for his birthday today, we feel real bad about it because he is our best friend in West Kingston for years. Him get we football team and get the kids them in the community and so much more, mi love him for that. I wish him a happy birthday and success in his grave."
- Maisie, Denham Town
"Him was a good man, we miss him a lot and all a we feel sad."
- Valorie Morris
A Seaga build that community centre deh give we and wi miss him. He is the greatest leader. I never yet see anyone else like him. Seaga build West Kingston and him love West Kingston, him is a blessed man. I hope he was a Christian so he can make it to heaven."
- Nicky Foster
"Me live here for 48 years now, born Labourite, I feel so hurt about it. My MP just drop out suh. May his soul rest in peace. He is the best Prime Minister, I’m so hurt til my head hurting right now."
- Margaret Dunkley
“Seaga do whole heap a things for Tivoli Gardens people so we love you Seaga. Rest in peace. God love you."
- Marva Williams
"Look how him come dead pon him birthday. A nuff things me get from Seaga, him feed everybody. Every Christmas time mi sure a mi basket. If Seaga was to turn young again and turn back Prime Minister, Jamaica would be better off."
- Jean James