Maryse Thiaw-Chu remembers her good friend Saïd Rosunally.
This Black History Month I want to honour my colleague and good friend Saïd Rosunally who sadly passed away last year after catching the coronavirus.
Saïd worked at Euston Station in the booking office, for over 35 years. He joined British Rail, then worked for Virgin Trains and Avanti West Coast Trains.
He was born into an Asian family on the beautiful island of Mauritius but was proud to work on Britain’s railway.
Saïd was always cheerful, always caring for his colleagues and friends and everyone had a lot of respect for him. We used to call him “Boss” as he was our mentor, our work organiser and always made sure that everything would run smoothly in the office. Although he was an RMT member he was dearly loved by members of our TSSA family.
When we first heard of Covid-19, Saïd was really worried about it as he was in the clinically vulnerable category and from a BAME background.
Our workplace was not equipped fast enough with PPE and protective windows, despite the fact that the Union had requested them as soon as we heard of the deadly virus, but nothing was done straight away.
We don’t know if Saïd caught the virus at work, but we feel that if health and safety measures had been taken earlier, he might still be with us today.
His loss came as a huge shock to everyone. We never thought that it would happen to one of us one day, and when it did, we couldn’t cope with the pain and the sad reality of losing a dear colleague we worked with for so many years.
Going to work has not been the same again since Saïd passed away.
This feeling of missing something, of emptiness, of never-ending sorrow, is still very much present at our work place. Some of us find it still hard to accept and get over it. Will we ever? I doubt it.
Every day since the sad news, I wish I could go back to the past and change things so that he would still be alive and with us today. If only I could.
He was a great person, a great colleague and a great friend, always there for us.
He liked to joke but was also a philosopher and had a big heart.
He is profoundly missed.
He is never and will never be forgotten.