[Image: A vertical picture of a black man looking directly at the camera]
Part 32 of a series of posts honoring the Grenfell Tower victims.
Raymond “Moses” Bernard, from the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower
Raymond “Moses” Bernard, aged 63, lost his life while helping his neighbours in Grenfell Tower. He was born in Trinidad, but moved to Britain in 1969 and became an electrician. In 1973 he got married, and three children followed: two daughters and a son. At the time of his death he had lived in Grenfell Tower for 30 years, sharing his flat with his dog, Marley.
The Grenfell inquiry heard that Raymond sheltered people in his top-floor flat as the fire raged. His sister Bernadette said,
“Ray was a kind, gentle, compassionate man, a leader and adviser. He always said life is too short, try and be happy. He had lived on the top floor of Grenfell for over 30 years where he tragically lost his life.
On that fateful night, seven individuals were located in Ray’s flat. These were Deborah Lamprell, Jessica Urbano, a mother Berkti Haftom and her son Biruk Haftom, Hamid Kani and one other. There was no way down, so the only alternative for many was to head up to the top floor. There they met Ray and took refuge in his flat.
The positioning of Deborah, Jessica, Berkti and Biruk were on my brother’s bed with my brother resting beside the bed on the floor. This shows the respect he gave to those who lost their lives that night and we know that he would have given comfort to each of them before they took their last breaths and departed this world.
Ray being a man and the strongest he was probably the last to die. He would have been so alone. We know from the details shared by the coroner that Ray was a hero on that tragic night.“
Raymond loved music and DJing, and was an avid supporter of the West Indies cricket team. His son Julian also attended the inquiry, but was too upset to read his statement himself. It was read for him:
“My dad had a personality that reflected the temperature of his childhood home in Trinidad, which was both warm and affectionate. He was an admirable man, a respected brother, a valued uncle, son, father, grandfather and friend. My dad was a people person. He could be anyone’s best friend because of his kindness and