Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Belmont never forgets Tosh

Published:Friday | October 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry/Gleaner Writer
Peter Tosh's final resting place.
Neville Powell, tour guide and cousin of the late Peter Tosh, showing off some caged parakeet on the grounds of the Peter Tosh Mausoleum.
From left: Bunny Livingston, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh when they just formed The Wailers.
Peter Tosh on his famed unicycle.
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The memory of the late reggae icon, Peter Tosh, is deeply rooted in his community of Belmont in Westmoreland, where people continue to sing his praises more than three decades after his passing.

"His name is as big as Bob Marley, because the songs he sing is reality, and relevant even to this day," said Emmanuel Patterson, who is one of many who knew the entertainer before his rise to stardom.

Patterson recalls the days of Tosh riding his unicycle about the coastal district while working on his music in the background.

"He used to come about Sunday morning time riding his one-wheel bicycle, drinking him fish tea, and him use to be at the club hanging out and working on his music," Patterson recalled.

Those who knew and loved Tosh have nothing but fond memories of the talented musician who helped pioneered reggae music as one of the core members of the band - The Wailers.

His legacy can be seen and felt throughout the community where his final resting place, the Peter Tosh Mausoleum, is erected and paraded as an attraction for local and tourists alike.

"Visitors who fancy reggae visit every chance them get because even up to this morning we had some visitors," tour guide of the mausoleum and Peter Tosh's cousin, Neville Powell, told The Gleaner.

"Peter build reggae and him go through the world. He even teach Bob Marley to play the guitar. So a lot of tourists come here all the time and the community benefits from it. Normally, when them keep the show in his name, everybody in the area come hustle and sell. The show no keep a few years now, but hopefully next year, because Belmont people benefit greatly," he added.

The property on which the mausoleum sits also boasts an orchard, birds and rabbits, as well as the home of the singer's late mother. "This property is coming from his mother's grandfather, who got it from his forefathers. A cemetery is on the property with all his ancestors. The property is doing good these days, but we would do good with a museum of Peter Tosh and a gift shop," said Powell.

"Also, we want know when them a go legalise the weed, because that would a help us bring in more people and generate more attraction. It would help promote Belmont even more," he said.

The community remains eternally grateful for what Peter Tosh's name has done for the district so far. Aside from tourists, schools also takes trips to Belmont to visit the mausoleum, where the artiste's principles are relayed to a younger generation.