I met Ivor back in 2003 when we both worked as advice and guidance workers in
the Probation Service.
Anyone who knew Ivor would know that Advice and Guidance wasn’t just a job for Ivor. He was a “People’s Person”. He took an interest in people, and beyond that
was someone who really cared. So Ivor, was someone who was popular, respected and held in high regard by work colleagues and work clients alike. Whether you
were freshly released from prison, or a senior probation officer, Ivor was someone who made you feel that you mattered, and you knew that you could trust
and depend upon Ivor to provide any help and support that you needed. So the guys who came Ivor’s way found themselves with somebody who they quickly
realised was interested in them, interested in their story and was committed to inspiring people to see the potential in themselves and make the most of their
If you knew Ivor, you knew that this was what defined him as a person. His interest in life, and people wasn’t just something that he did for work. Ivor was the first person that most of us turned to with an idea, a hope, a worry or a plan or a project. He was that rare friend who genuinely wanted to see the people around him move forward and progress and I mean that in the broadest
sense. He was all about progress, overstanding and enlightenment. He always had a link or a connect to put you together with and never wanted anything in
return. Ivor linked me to journalists, music producers, writers, educators and it was always in the name of supporting the big idea, and never about himself.
There were so many people who loved Ivor. As a Brixtonite of 25 years standing since coming back to England from St Lucia, he was known and loved by so many people in the community who had shared words, ideas, dreams and secrets with him. There was no such thing as a simple walk through Brixton when you walked
with Ivor. You were bound to stop every 5 minutes to talk to the diverse characters who knew him. And this is where Ivor was really special. Ivor was just as comfortable talking to a man who has just come out of prison as he was talking to a TV producer or businessman, and they would all feel equally
respected and appreciated in a conversation with him. Ivor wasn’t driven by status or image. He was about the person. A small man’s hopes and dreams were
even more important to him than a big man’s ambitions.
On my part, what initially drew my admiration for Ivor was his passion. Ivor made his own quiet contribution to Britain’s Windrush stories. The grandson of a
Caribbean educator and linked through family to the Guyanese revolutionaries, who were struggling for upliftment throughout the Caribbean and Africa, he had a quiet pride and great love for where he was coming from and wasn’t selfish with that love. Ivor’s “people” were the community, no matter which island you came
from, no matter whether you were from in Africa, he reasoned with us all, scattered arrivals from Zaire to Zimbabwe, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra
Leone, Jamaica, Guyana, St Lucia, Trinidad..….(I could continue) Whether new arrivals or born here in England, the children of Britain’s immigrant experience, for Ivor we were all in it together, all of our stories mattered,
and as a listener, Ivor was usually the last to speak in a group although his contribution to any conversation was often the most knowing. Ivor wasn’t about
winning an argument, he was about making that contribution.
Ivor’s passion was for Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding. We shared a mutual love for Hip Hop, poetry, politics, culture and Ivor was one of the few people that I knew who could talk with equal authority on the Wu Tang Clan and Walter Rodney the Guyanese revolutionary, Lumumba one of Africa’s brightest hopes or the Medici political dynasty in 15th Century Italy. Ivor’s sense of culture was as deep as it was broad. Ivor admired the success of some of the more recent
African communities in establishing themselves here in London, and learned to love Congolese Music. Being Ivor, enjoying the rhythm and the melodies wasn’t
enough for him. He needed to appreciate the culture that was being represented, so had started to learn the Lingala language so that he could do this. He was
always about the bigger picture and the deeper story.
His journey through London took him through bashment dances, to the Hip Hop scene, and esoteric, wholemeal poetry events to name a few of his stops along
the way. As usual, he was never showy with his gifts. He shared some of his poetry with me, but never felt the need to play to the crowds. I remember Ivor
at a Music Project for young offenders, talking with quiet patience to some of the youth, about the value of their words and watched him them in awe with a
few lines from one of his poems, inspiring them to come back next week with more conscious and considered lyrics. That was the Ivor that I knew.
Like most of you, I can’t believe that we have lost Ivor. A true friend, comrade, son, brother, and uncle to so many of us. I will miss his sharp mind, his sly sense of humour. Plotted up in the Satay Bar with the crew, always ready
with a joke and a drink for whoever came to sit with him.
Ivor taught me the power of dreams. He invested so much in helping others to visualise theirs, that we should all be inspired to count our blessings and give
thanks for those dreams. Ivor taught me the value of love…… his love for things, for people and ideas ran deep and was selfless, and most importantly Ivor stood
We should all proud and honoured to have shared a small part of Ivor’s journey and to have known the light and love that he represented.
You were truly one of a kind.
Sleep peacefully my brother.
We love you.
The Clarks, Coats, Scarfs, Shirts, always in that Hat or another! Your smile, jokes, rhythm n unique style - I Saluté you!
Your passion for creative energy always inspired me. Artwork admired to drawings sketched with your naked hand you had a raw talent & gift.
A gift for seeing the good in others, making them feel so special.
I remember how you lived well, helped others, always in the thick of political or historical debate.
Yes, you loved & laughed with me deeply. Those who knew you couldn't help but be drawn to you!
You touched lives with your charm, wit, old fashioned values yet it was your beautiful 'Love Ethic' that won me over & you got me! A time of intense connections on every level, where you taught me how to love without condition, live with less hibition and simply be free...
Over the years you became more than 'Mr Brown' to me Ivor, you allowed me inside your mind, heart, life, home & inside your beautiful yet strange reality.
And 'Yes' I loved the way you loved me and LOVED you for simply being YOU - an honest, passionate, deeply caring human being who blessed this earth with your presence leaving your works behind. I thank you for loving me & my family.
Yet like all families there was turbulence, uproar & I always came back for more as the good times far outweighed the bad.
Well Mr Brown your journey is over for now and the battle you fought is done.
Till we meet again Ivor my dear, I'll not say goodbye as this isn't the end, a simple goodnight... goodnight!
My dear friend since teenage years.. both dreaming of St Lucia and catching endless jokes.. hanging out and drinking rum, misbehaving.. you always had my back and were always one of my greatest supporters.. there are so many things I will miss about you Brown.. could always recognise you from far by the trademark hats, curved to perfection. Your sense of humour and calm manner.. truly a cool guy.
I was going to offer to bake for your wake.. and I know just what you would say.. "this is what it takes?! This is what it takes for you to bake for me??!!" sleep in perfect peace partner Brown.. until we meet again. Love you, miss you xxxx
Mr Ivor Brown Where do I begin....From world commentary to political banter you always delivered in a clear incisive HUMOUROUS way. Many hours spent shooting the breeze in your company always coherent always witty always FUNNY. Lots of memories but most abiding one was the classic "you asked me if I wanted a dance you didn't say you wanted money" this was the line delivered straight faced to a flexible young lady after Mr Brown spent half an hour in her company in a dubious since closed Brixton night spot. Absolutely Brilliant.... Going to seriously MISS you now you have gone !!! REST IN PEACE BROTHER
May I first send my condolences to the family of the late Ivor
Edson Brown.... May you all continue to be blessed with the strength, love, guidance n faith to get through this sad time....
I was first introduced to Ivor around 15 years ago....... Although we were not in constant contact he was someone when you did see him it was like you were never apart.
I will remember Ivor for being kind, caring, intelligent, for his
infectious smile, debating politics, his quotes..... His love of poetry and hip hop......
He will be deeply missed amongst our little group of friends but eternally remembered.....
May you forever rest in peace Ivor.... Let your memory live on.......
Culture. Knowledge. Music.
Three words that will forever be synonymous with and evocative of my Uncle.
A true intellectual; socially intelligent, engaging and questioning. Always pursuing more information, an avid hunger to understand and contexualise the workings of the world around him...
My Uncle seems to me to have been, and still now, an oil well - a diamond mine - a water source of historical and cultural reference. He was also a supreme, evocative wordsmith and a striking artist.
Creativity is a true binding tie from generation to generation in the Rodway line, and amongst our branch - the Rodway-Browns it was abounding, thriving and overflowing in my Uncle. I can barely conceive how he kept a lid on it day to day.
Music. To immerse himself totally in the songs and sounds he loved, my Uncle phonetically penned and learned lyrics to languages he didn't have a command of just to sing along. Just to be closer to it.
That says everything for me.
I love you, and I hope your talents are with you where you are. They're like a breathtaking treasure trove accompanying a Pharaoh in tomb.
I was 17 and you were 19. Now I'm 43 and you are 45. Twenty seven years, that's a life time of memories from someone very dear to my heart. . Because of your kind caring nature I'm the person I've become today. Thank you for being there for me through my teenage years. You encouraged me to get through college and made me feel safe through the good and tough times. You've always been there for me Ivor when I needed your guidance, advice and inspiration.
I feel blessed to have had a special connection with you which had kept our friendship going for all those years. I feel special and grateful to have known a talented, gentle giant like you. Those beautiful memories I will now cherish forever. My brothers still tease me up to this day: "how's Ike Tina."You had an addictive aura about you, a creative mind with soothing words. " Hey Teen, can I share your red lipstick“. A beautiful mind, body and soul. You are at peace now my dearest.
For my cousin, Ivor
December 1989. That was when I first met my cousin, Ivor. A few days before his 20th birthday. I was 14. My side of the family had just moved to London, and we all lived a large house on Brixton Hill. All of the cousins and aunties together. We were brought together by the death of my father. But as young people, we revelled in each other. We were so happy to have those two or three years growing up together - making up for lost time.
So, Ivor taught me the science of hip hop. He vetted my boyfriends. He debated with me, helping expand my young, growing ideas about the world. He introduced me to the joys of roadside 'groundings' - discussing the issues of day on any street corner, in a bar or just wherever he felt inspired.
Ivor was the one person who helped bring new meaning to me of my parents' politics in Guyana and their affiliation with great thinkers like Walter Rodney, as I manoeuvred my way through a new life in the UK.
His uncompromising and encouraging words inspired my own life choices.
"The revolution is made by ordinary people, not by angels, made by people from all walks of life" - these are words from Walter Rodney. Ivor helped create a revolution within me and probably within many of you here today.
Thank you, Ivor.
You were always there, silent and understanding.
You were my friend for many years always lending a sympathetic ear.
You made me laugh,
You made me feel good about myself.
You never judged me, always seeing the best in me.
You were this calm person with a wonderful brain that churned out such powerful
and insightful words.
You had a passion for cultures which intrigued you or took you back to your
I will miss the person who always fascinated me.
There is an empty space which will not be filled dear friend and you will
forever remain firmly in my thoughts.
You are not gone but have changed residence.
You are in a place where no one can move you but me.
And I will never have a reason to evict you, as you will always have a place in
My Church Street Yard (Ode For Ivah)
A black-thorn rose in meh Church Streetyarden.
Smiles bloom there once, then ruff winds hardened.
Wish time would roll back so
I'd mek my old yard know
It's the one place in the whole, wide world I go
when my days darken.
I got meh Church Street yard, now
fold-up in my heart, though
-ripped, torn and broken.
For my cousin - a man named Ivor.
In 'membrance of our final reasoning 'pon de phone,
gyaffin' clear 'cross de Pond:
"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making
darkness conscious."~ Carl Jung
Rest now, my blood.
I will always remember the earlier years of his life... walking down the Augier
Road... wearing that Vieux-Fort Sec Uniform... speaking with this little English
Accent... sweet and gentle. May you rest in peace Ivor
A Gentle and Funny Soul - Tuesday 11th August 2015
When I received the sad news from Margot a few weeks back on Facebook, I went through a gamut of emotions . First of all, it took me a while to process, because my mind travelled back to the last time I saw and spoke to Ivor - but I digress and I will touch on this later.
After I read Margot's message, I collapsed in a deluge of tears; a tsunami of grieving for a brotha who I had loved so deeply.
I met Ivor in the 90's at, as it was called then, the University of North
London, at the African Caribbean Society. His sardonic and self effacing
sense of humour made the cultural debates and discussions at the ACS even more rewarding and I remember looking forward to attending them on a weekly basis just to hear Ivor's comical and sometimes serious sound bites.
We had some of the same interests of deciphering and dissecting the complex rhymes and lyrics of the Wu Tang Clan, and other rap lyrics and the culture, interspersed with the philosophies of Malcolm X and other
important Black icons. We also shared our poetry with each other. His
writings were phenomenal and I always wondered why he had not published. He also used to accompany me to some of my spoken word events, and completely kept my feet entrenched and rooted on the groundwhen I was usually surrounded by some of those fake, pretentious poets that used to frequent these spaces. The jokes and hilarious parodies I would get from Ivor regarding the burgeoning African Caribbean poetry scene and some of the players within, still makes me smile to myself today.
I would bump into Ivor intermittently over the years and he would always
lift the sides of my mouth with a smile or give me plenty of belly laughs,
where I would literally be crossing my legs to hold the laughter in.
The last time I saw Ivor was in the last month's of 2012. I was preparing
myself to go and live inthe Commonwealth of Dominica with my husband. I heard Ivor call my name as I came out of Brixton tube station. I remember noticing the gentle lilt of his St Lucian accent. I mean, I was used to his accent -it was notso strongto my ears- but I think I may have been more conscious of it because of my darlinghusband's strong Dominican accent and also that I was going to migrateto the Eastern Caribbean region very soon.
I was elated to see him as I hadn't seen him for a few years. After we
caught up over the years and I told him about my recent marriage and
another path in my journey on migrating, I informed him that he was welcome to come and visit us in Dominicaand he added he could even pop over in the ferry to.re visit St Lucia. We laughed some more, as I realised he was still the same Ivor. Still the same Ivor that had me doubled over in
laughter. Still the same Ivor that was enthusiastic about music, lyrics,
writings and life.
My tears have now dried hesitantlyon my cheeks as I write this loving
tribute to my friend, Ivor Brown, I am sending up my smiles and laughter as
he rests peacefully with the ancestors.
I will miss you Ivor, and even though I cannot be there to send you off,
know that I will be there in spirit.
I will miss your humorous presence, but go now so that the ancestors can
share the joy that you ultimately gaveto me and your loved ones.
We are all here to experience each other and life as it is.
Sometimes when we lose someone, we lose sight of what we gained.
EXPERIENCING THEM. I experienced Ivor Brown and will always remember his sense of humor that was always balanced with his sense of duty to be good to others. We always made each other laugh and had a good back and forth.
We always respected each other never met or left each other with bitter
words. We always kept it real with each other and condemned the B.S. that
often surrounded us. The love I have in my heart for Ivor Brown is not born
out of sorrow but existed from the time of our union and will be from my
depart. Brothers are those we recognize by the mother who born us. Mother
Nature made Ivor Brown my brother. I have not cried because it's over but
smiled because it happened. May you rest in everlasting peace Mr Brown.
Safe Journey home Ivor and thank you for being a friend.
My friend, my family, my brother. Three different words I can use to
describe Ivor and how much he meant to me. Over the years that I knew him he was always such a bright, fun and intelligent person that always brought
laughter and joy into any room he was in. The measure of a true friend is
someone who is there when you need them no matter the time or
distance. Someone who you could trust with anything and that's what ...B...
Ivor was, a true friend. I will miss him wholeheartedly and know that God is
watching over him, a bright soul, a brother.
Remember Me (Anonymous)
To the living, I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return.
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore, gazing at a beautiful sea - remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest and its grand majesty - remember me.
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity - remember me.
Remember me in your heart, your thoughts, and your memories of the times we
loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will have never gone.
THOMAS MALCOLM, BERNADETTE THEODORE & TREVOR MALCOLM
Today is a hard day for us all. It often seems so much easier to mourn in
silence as it takes away the worry of not being able to get all your words out or not being able to find the right words to say how you really feel. But silence or not, one thing we can appreciate today is being here all together.
The irony of this is that Ivor was one of those people who had the ability to bring people together and today we can share in each others silence and moments of thoughts for Ivor who we all loved as a friend, a brother, a loved one and a father.
We all have our own special memories of Ivor, and will always remember the marks that he left on our lives. I am sure of one thing thoughandthat is that he would have wanted us all to be here today with our happiest thoughts of our times spent together.
Ivor and I go back a long way, back to St.Lucia where in Secondary school we befriended each other, along with the other members of the English crew ( the children of St.Lucians who had returned to St.Lucia along with their English born children) we shared many days, late afternoons and eveningsof our teenage years in Vieux Fort and at his home in Augier, friendships that would last long into our adult lives.
When we look back those of us in the crew agree that they were the best days of our lives where we shared with Ivor his passion for sketchingfashion, and writing rap and poetry. We Also shared inhis love for music although his singing voice was questionable at the best of times, but he always seemed happy to singout his self penned work with the confidence of a well rehearsed vocal aficionado. Serving as inspiration and motivation for one of the crew who now is a professional singer.
Many conversations were had amongst us about art, poetry and girls, and the lone girl in the group often set Ivor to right about how his dancing prowess ( he was one of the best break dancers and body poppers in the town) and sharp sense of humour would win him more success with the girls than his singing voice, I am not sure he was convinced. But he was witty and funny and his use of sarcasm
was impressive although that dry English humour was often lost on some of our counterparts, we always got it and spent a lot of time laughing at his jokes and with him, thank goodness we were English otherwise all thosehumorous moments would have been lost forever.
Ivor’s ability to debate was remarkable, and although seeming often very confident he was also quite shy, he was modest to a fault, and his humility regardless of his many talents and skills was noted by us all. He did not accept compliments very well, and always played down his skills which was sometimes frustrating particularly when you needed him to show you the latest dance moves so that you could impress the girls.
Like most men, Ivor wore his pride on his sleeve, he never wanted the people in his life to worry about him, even when he got in trouble at school for mimicking our maths teacher and getting caught, he convinced us that he would be fine in another class for a few weeks. This was classic Ivor where as he grew his caring for others, the environment and society as a whole was evident and he always
wanted to do his part to make others lives and the world a better place.
Althoughhe found it hard to ask for help himself he was always willing to give it toothers. He constantly looked out for others while always able to give everyonearound him the impression that everything was ok and manageable for him, even though that wasn’t always the case.
Ivor was such a strong person through and through, from character, personality and presence. We are all here because somewhere somehow, we have all been touched by him, andhe will always be with us.
We were all very lucky to have had Ivor in our lives and as much as he will be missed by us all, he will remain with us all, every day, as long as we can remember.
We love andwill miss you Ivor, your humour, your passion, your caring, your creativity we will miss you and never forget you
Go in peace brother.
Sometimes (by Noreen Stewart)
And sometimes my mind
It runs across you
And I wonder how you’re doing
And how things are for you
Did you ever find a new love
Do you still like to write poetry
Do you still like wearing brown suede shoes
And did you ever think about me
Last time I saw you
I watched you walk down my street
You were Laughing Smoking
Talking Joking with your friends
But you did not notice me
Wished I’d walked right up to you
Held you in a long and warm embrace
Spoken kind words
Smiled and wished you well
Instead I let you walk away
I’m only human
And sometimes I do things
That foolish humans do
And I know you forgive me
As I forgive you
And all the good you did
And time spend with you
Sorrow may follow
But times a healer
But we thank god x3
Yes we do
Cos we love you
Honest and true
The kindness you show to me
We love you
Your friends and you family
We miss you x2
We wont forget
You’ll stay in our hearts and minds
We WONT regret
We’re here to celebrate your life
We’ve come together
We’ll keep your spirit Alive
We love you X3
We thank god for you Yes we do x2
We live we learn, We laugh we cry
We sing with joy cos I got to know ya
I knew Ivor in the early 1990s. He was staying with his sister,
Margot in Falmer, Sussex. He quickly fitted into our simple social scene.
He was gentle, kind, friendly & witty. I will always remember Ivor fondly
and pray for comfort for all those who mourn especially his immediate
family. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Anytime I had the pleasure of seeing you, I joked that you reminded me of
family - you look-like family plus I have relatives with the surname Brown.
You have always been nothing but nice and welcoming anytime I was in your
My last memory of you was about 6/7 years ago at Satay and I introduce you
to Jilly, so much fun and laughter.
Still in shock...
You will be missed
R.I.P MR BROWN x