‘Mod­ern-day Moses’ shel­tered six in Gren­fell Tower

Western Mail - - UK & WORLD NEWS -

A “HERO” grand­fa­ther shel­tered six peo­ple in his top-floor flat in Gren­fell Tower on the night it was de­stroyed by fire, an inquiry has heard.

Ray­mond “Moses” Bernard gave refuge to fam­i­lies try­ing to es­cape the in­ferno as it con­sumed the block, of­fer­ing them his bed while he sat on the floor.

His fam­ily gave a tear­ful trib­ute to the 63-year-old, who died with his dog Mar­ley, dur­ing the fi­nal day of com­mem­o­ra­tion hear­ings at the pub­lic inquiry into the disas­ter.

Mov­ing to Lon­don from Trinidad in 1969, Mr Bernard be­came an electrician and worked at his­toric sites in­clud­ing the Palace of Westminster and Buck­ing­ham Palace.

He had lived in Gren­fell Tower for more than 30 years,

Yes­ter­day, his sis­ter Ber­nadette Bernard, fight­ing back tears, said the bi­b­li­cal con­no­ta­tions of the af­fec­tion­ate nick­name Moses – who led the Is­raelites through the parted Red Sea to safety – was apt.

“My beloved Ray was my mod­ern­day Moses, my hero,” she said. “Ray al­ways had a smile on his face. He knew how to love with­out ex­pect­ing any­thing in re­turn.

“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.”

Mayor of Lon­don Sadiq Khan was among those in the au­di­ence fol­low­ing crit­i­cism that politi­cians had been largely ab­sent from the process. The trib­utes are tak­ing place at the Mil­len­nium Glouces­ter Hotel in South Kens­ing­ton ahead of for­mal ev­i­dence hear­ings next week.

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