[Image: A black man looking at the camera, with yellow pillows in the background]

Part 36 of a series of posts honoring the Grenfell Tower victims.

Ernie Vital, from the 16th floor of
Grenfell Tower

Ernie Vital, the son of Marjorie Vital, worked in the catering industry. He was 50 years old, and had lived in Grenfell for almost as long as it had been standing.

His family released a statement after he and his mother became victims of the fire:

“He was a proud, humble, mature and independent man. He was
a loyal son and law-abiding citizen who maintained good relationships with all those he met in society.

He will be remembered as a kind, sensitive and caring person
with a warm-hearted smile. His pursuit of happiness has been abruptly and dramatically stopped by the Grenfell Tower tragedy. His family and friends will miss him dearly.”

At the Grenfell inquiry his brother, who didn’t want to be
named by the media, remembered Ernie as “a very good dancer” who would sit and watch TV with him when they were younger. “We constantly watched TV because we didn’t really go out. It was a safe haven: in 1973, Caribbeans had a tough time, we weren’t particularly accepted by a proportion of the population.”

His body was found with his mother’s, and both sets of ashes
were scattered at sea. “I’ve never seen the water this blue …As I start to
release the ashes …I was breathing in the ashes, it was a magical moment. In a weird kind of way I became closer to them,” his brother said.