“He was a compendium of many positive things, a figure that covered many areas and that is impossible to relieve.” This is how the president of the Association of Gypsy Entities of the Catalan Countries (AGIPCAT), José Miguel Jiménez, yesterday defined Antonio Gabarri, better known as Tío Antonio and who died in 2020 after an extensive career developing citizen and solidarity initiatives through of his role as mediator and head of the Associació Gitana Catalana de Sant Josep Obrer.
Many relatives, neighbors, friends and political representatives yesterday approached the plenary hall of the Reus City Council to pay a posthumous tribute to him who was “a benchmark of wisdom and knowing how to be, of great caliber and depth.” “We rested in him,” added Jiménez, who highlighted Gabarri’s ability to “calm things down” and at the same time his determination to “start life up.”
Since the death of Uncle Antonio, “we have no longer found anyone to replace them because there won’t be one” and “now we have to find new ways to give that help, but it has to be done through various areas, entities and shared policies, working team up”.
«In life we are all passing through, but there are people who leave a mark, and the one that Tío Antonio has left is very deep» because «he has been a gypsy who has known how to be gypsy in his things, but he has also had all the affection of those who are not”, detailed Jiménez, who explained that Gabarri “always said that whoever wanted honor had to earn it and he did.” During the act, he gave a plaque to one of his sons.
During the tribute, the mayor of Reus, Carles Pellicer, recalled that “Uncle Antonio was a man of peace, a man of great and good advice that people listened to.” “He knew how to speak, he knew how to say ‘calm down, we’ll fix it'”, he pointed out, and insisted that yesterday’s was “a memory of the city”.
Pellicer went with “the stick that Antonio gave us one day as a sign of friendship” and the spokesmen placed the flag of the gypsy people in “the main place of the plenary hall” with “maximum honors”. For her part, the deputy mayor, Noemí Llauradó, underlined the “negotiating and mediating character” of Gabarri, a “missed” leader.