Tribute to “Tata” Brian Sawyer by Fr. Hernan Astudillo

4 January 2016 / by CHHA 1610AM
Humble I would like to express a tear of tribute to Tata Brian. In this day when the sky is flourishing some white sparks of snow. It looks like a pure hands of many angels are dancing around the new angel who will enjoy with them, at this Christmas time and a new 2016 start.
Tribute to a Friend of kindness, passion, wisdom, vocation and love:
Tata Brian Sawyer
In September of 2002, I had the opportunity to walk to the CRTC offices at St. Clair Ave  and Yonge St. in Toronto, with Father Ray (a Lutheran  priest, who had lived in Argentina and Chile with the native community).   Our dream was to get a voice for our Latin American community in Toronto.   At that time on the advice of Mr. Wayne Plunkett we had begun to organize the paper process for a radio license application and we needed an introduction to a Radio Broadcasting Engineer advisor.  Meeting Mr. Brian Sawyer at that time was crucial to our application process and with the efforts of a small group of Latin American friends, political support from sympathetic politicians and the holy hands of many mamitas who made the pupusas (Tortillas) (in order to raise $5.000 to apply) this new miracle for the Latin American community in Toronto became a reality.
Tata Brian always walked with his black suitcase, within which he carried his computer and some tools of abundant wisdom.   As an unique human being, he first began by asking: “who do you want to approach with your project?”. He never saw communication projects with the eyes of commerce and dollars, instead his sincerity showed us an enormous path of trust.  We had the privilege to build from a mound of dust a hill, and from the snow, a voice to cross the oceans with Tata Brian.    In Toronto, the Latin American Community wrote another page in their history: a page of integration, moving from diversity towards unity.
Through the years, with our small cup of communication and history manifested at CHHA 1610 AM, we had the opportunity to share the wisdom of Tata Brian Sawyer with many others who wanted to start their own community /ethnic radio stations, such as: Mr. Neety Ray who built 1650 AM, an Indi Voice in Mississauga; Mr. Peter Manatiakos of 1690 AM, a Greek Voice in Scarborough; and finally a voice for Ryerson University. Through our journey at CHHA 1610 AM, Tata Brian became a Master for Mr. Werner Lopez who was a new immigrant in Canada and exploring to work in the broadcasting industry and caring immensely our CHHA 1610 AM in Toronto. We had the opportunity to share many experiences over the years: the same cold; plate of food; flavour; mud; clay; tiredness; and hope, when CHHA 1610 AM was born and grew. We had the opportunity to know Dr. Bingo, another wise man like him from Texas.   Also, through CHHA 1610 AM journey and with the guidance of Tata Brian, he gave us opportunities and experiences we would never have had otherwise.   We had the privilege and opportunity to walk in the a plethora of ways and paths, knocking on the doors of the City of Toronto, the CRTC, Industry of Canada, corporations who build the new types of antenna towers and make along the way we made many friends from the communication perspectives. Through CHHA 1610 AM and Tata Brian, we had the opportunity to know his lovely wife Jinnette, who becomes his chauffeur after his heart problems.  We met his beloved daughter, Nadia who became his administrator, his nephew Ivon who helped to build the first antenna tower at Unwin Ave.
Dear friends, we have had an enormous privilege to know a man of such Kindness, who has the skills to listen to your thoughts and dreams with deep respect and then give such wise advice. A man of Passion, who believes in your dreams when these are in support of people who are disadvantaged and then he encourages us to go on.    A man of Wisdom, who humbly taught us without arrogance or conceit and inspired us to learn how to manage a project with positive solutions. A man of Vocation, who walked from far away, from Montreal to Toronto, in order to care and build a small voice of hope.  A man of immense Creativity and Ingenuity, no problem was impossible to solve, and most solutions were within your reach, you just had to look for them.   A man of Love, who gave everything from his heart.
 We call him Tata Brian, at CHHA 1610 AM Radio Voces Latinas, because he was not only a wise engineer, he was a wonderful human being. His character, smile, kindness, wisdom and love, inspired us to have a friend full of faith and integrity. Today with tears in our hearts and eyes, we want to say Tata Brian see you soon, please keep organizing the next projects in heaven. Probably you are already with some of your colleagues and friends.   As we were speaking at San Lorenzo, probably you have already met Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Remember the Caravan of Hope, a dream make a reality which you support and admire. Dear Tata Brian, I do not want to take your time, with respect and love one time more see you soon.
We love you so much and will remember you always in our alternative voices at CHHA 1610 AM and many other voices build at Canada and other parts of the world.
See you soon.
By Fr. Hernan Astudillo