Bernie Cameron, one of the founding members of EastendHomes, passed away peacefully on 17 February 2016.
Bernie was a tireless campaigner on housing issues in Tower Hamlets and was particularly well known for this work across estates in the Mile End area.
He was instrumental in helping to establish EastendHomes in 2003 and served as Vice Chair of the EeH Board until his retirement in 2013.
Bernie arrived in the UK as a Jewish refugee from Europe during the Second World War and spent his early years in an orphanage. He subsequently lived in the Whitechapel area for many years before being rehoused with his wife Merna, on the British Street estate in Mile End in the late 1960s. They were amongst the first tenants to move into Berkeley House, a tower block on the estate. Many years later Bernie was at the forefront of a campaign to secure investment for essential repair and improvement works needed to the estate. He was instrumental in ensuring the estate benefitted from such a multi-million pound programme of work following the transfer to EastendHomes.
Bernie’s achievements as a tenant and community activist in Tower Hamlets were recognised nationally in 2010 when he was named National Tenant of the Year by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service.
He was particularly proud of his voluntary work with young people in Mile End and for many years he organised football teams for local youngsters from British Street and other estates in the area. He was also very successful in persuading other organisations to provide grants and other funding to support sporting activities at the British Street Community Centre.
Following the transfer of the Mile End east and other estates to EastendHomes from 2005 onwards, Bernie served as Vice Chair of the EeH Board until 2013. He also chaired the local Mile End estate board for many years. Following his retirement from the Board, and despite his advancing years, he continued to be actively involved with the work of EastendHomes and at the British estate community centre.
More recently, he began to experience increasing ill health and was admitted to the London Hospital with breathing difficulties. Unfortunately his condition worsened and Bernie passed away peacefully in hospital on the morning of 17 February 2016.
Bernie Cameron could be feisty, stubborn, and determined, and not beyond shouting to get his own way, which he said was sometimes the only way to get things done. He was also selfless and an immensely kind and caring man who spent his time trying to help others.
He was much respected and held in the highest regard by all his friends and colleagues in Tower Hamlets and he will be very sadly missed.