Family, friends and work colleagues gathered to celebrate the life of a much respected director of a multi-disciplinary firm based in Portsmouth.
Noor Elahi Awan from Gosport was Director of Structural Engineering at McAndrew Martin prior to his passing away from an unexpected illness.
Managing Director, Bill McAndrew, told the gathering at Portsmouth Guildhall, that the one word that summed up his friend and colleague was respect.
“We chose to hold this celebration of Noor’s life in the Guildhall because it is a fitting place to reflect his standing in life as a colleague, friend, father and husband,” said Bill, who knew Noor for 35 years.
“My memories of Noor are all about respect.
“I respected Noor for his professional advice and his positive attitude to the business.
“I respected his values, his openness, the feeling of inclusivity he brought to the business and the way he treated younger members of staff.
“I also respected the advice and guidance he offered and the way he was able to listen.”
Abdurahman Sayed, CEO of Al-Manaar The MCHC Trust, travelled from London to lead a prayer in memory of Mr Awan. He told friends, family and colleagues about the two occasions when he had met Mr Awan.
There had been an instant connection when they met, for the first time, at a family wedding and later when Imam Sayed heard Mr Awan was being looked after in a hospice, he felt compelled to visit him.
“You could say that I realised it might be the last time I might meet him but I strongly believe we will meet again in the here after,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of his family, Mr Awan’s niece Tabassum Awan, described him as a ‘beautiful, pure spirit’ and explained his name Noor meant divine light – the one who guides.
“You did not sit on the sidelines, you stood up,” she recalled.
Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, highlighted Mr Awan’s long association with the Portsmouth and Gosport mosques.
“He was such a great man in the community and on behalf of Portsmouth City Council, I would like to send my love and best wishes to Mr Awan’s family and friends,” he said.