Six staff members of dusitD2 Hotel who were killed by terrorists last week were yesterday garlanded as "modern heroes who paid the ultimate price".
A sombre mood engulfed Assumption Cathedral in Bangkok, Thailand, as Group CEO Suphajee Suthumpun led other staff in remembering their departed colleagues, whose framed photos hang at the front of the church.
“Beatrice, Bernadette, Erickson, Truphosa, Dedricks and Zachary. These are our Dusit heroes and we are honoured that they were part of our Dusit family," said Ms Suphajee as she fought back tears.
She continued: “That we lost them in such tragic circumstances is heart-breaking, though that is the sad reality of the world we live in today. There are those who will stop at nothing to bring chaos to our world, and sometimes they succeed.”
Suphajee said Beatrice Mutua, the director of business development, had "boundless energy and an unmistakable sense of fashion".
“Everyone will tell you she brought the same vibrancy and innovation to her work," she said.
Ms Mutua, Bernadette Kanjalo, Erickson Momanyi and Truphosa Nyaboke were hotel employees while Dedricks Lemisi and Zachary Nyamabwaga were security personnel assigned to the facility.
The CEO announced that the company would financially support the families of the departed, adding that a fund had already been set up within the hotel chain that has branches across the world.
“Every one in Dusit is family. I may not have met all of them but we treat them the same; like brother and sister. Whatever loss they suffer is like my own family loss,” Suphajee said.
The deputy Head of Mission at the Kenyan Embassy in Thailand, Jeniffer Njiru, was also present at the memorial to condole with the families of the Dusit employees and other Kenyans affected by the terror attack.
“The messages of solidarity and support that we have received from the international community remind us of the value of cooperation and support," said Ms Njiru.
Also in attendance were Kenyan staff at the embassy, their friends and employees from Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.