Residents queued yesterday to sign a condolence book for the Bermudian-based banker who lost his wife, three children and his mother-in-law in a plane crash in Ethiopia at the weekend.
Paul Njoroge, a banker at Butterfield Bank, lost his wife, Caroline, son, Ryan, 7, daughter, Kerry, 4, seven-month-old daughter, Rubi, and mother-in-law Ann Wangui Karanja in the crash, which killed all 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Nairobi in Kenya.
His family lived in Toronto, Canada, and were en route for a visit home on a connecting flight from Ethiopia when tragedy struck.
Bermudians, many of whom did not know Mr Njoroge, signed the condolence book at the Ghanaian Consulate on Front Street in Hamilton.
Sharon Burgess said: “I just saw the sign while walking by and I just wanted to come and offer my condolences and pay my respects. It is so tragic.”
Anita Bushara added that it was important for the island to show support for Mr Njoroge.
She said: “It touches anyone who experiences loss. His whole family was taken. It touched us all.”
Ms Bushara added that her entire family was saddened by the death of Mr Njoroge’s family even though they did not know him.
Andresa Bashir said: “I am a mother and I am sad. I am just moved by this. I can’t imagine losing my entire family.”
Ms Bashir added: I want him to know the Bermudian people support him in his difficult time.
John Rankin, the Governor, was also among those who signed the condolence book and expressed sympathy for Mr Njoroge.
Mr Rankin said: “This was a dreadful event with people of so many nationalities killed in a plane crash.
“This is a direct impact on colleagues, friends in this country and, of course, on the African community in Bermuda.
“I know the prayers of Bermuda will be with Paul in the coming days and I hope they can give him strength.”
Members of the African Community in Bermuda, which organised the signing of the condolence book, also signed the book.
Nana Otu Turkson of the ACB said Mr Njoroge arrived in Kenya yester day and was with family members.
Dennis Mbelenzi, a close friend of Mr Njoroge, told The Royal Gazette on Monday: “It’s a big loss for him. That was his whole family. He really loved his family. He was always talking about his wife and children.”
A total of 149 passengers and eight crew were killed when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed about six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa.
Among the dead were 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals.