MORE than 100 Newport taxis performed a 'drive past' tribute on Thursday evening to pay their respects to brothers Ghulam Abbas and Raza Ghulam, who died beside each other at the Royal Gwent Hospital last month.

Ghulam Abbas, 59, and Raza Ghulam, 53, had both tested positive for Covid-19, and died within hours of each other on Wednesday, April 22 - just three weeks after their father Ghulam Mohammed also died from an unrelated illness.

Ghulam Abbas, who leaves behind his wife and two daughters, was a taxi driver for more than 10 years, while he also ran a news agents in Pill from the early eighties until 2004.

South Wales Argus:

The Ghulam brothers, Raza Ghulam (left) and Ghulam Abbas.

Raza Ghulam, who leaves behind his wife and two sons, was a warehouse manager in Avonmouth.


Such was their standing in the community that a group of more than 100 taxi drivers paid tribute to them by lining the street and beeping their horns outside Ghulam Abbas' house near Priory Drive in Langstone, and then in Chepstow Road, to pay their respects to Raza Ghulam and his family.

The drivers began their journey from Newport Railway Station, and drove on to the Royal Gwent Hospital in time for 'Clap for Carers', to celebrate those who had worked so hard to keep their friends alive.

South Wales Argus:

(Ghulam Abbas' family, including his daughters Rukhsar and Mussarut, watched on and thanked the drivers for their tributes).

Maniver Ali, a work colleague of Ghulam Abbas' and a friend to both men, organised the tribute.

South Wales Argus:

(Maniver Ali)

"Ghulam (Abbas) was like an older brother to me," he said. "We were so close, I haven't slept properly since they passed away. They were golden men, everyone who met them will remember them as lovely blokes who did so much for their communities.

"They are a huge loss to the community, a huge loss to the mosque, and a huge loss to me."

Imran Radat, who laid flowers at the family of Ghulam Abbas' door during the tribute, added: "This is our mourning because we couldn't attend the funeral. They were such popular people for us all. We wanted to have the chance to say goodbye in our own way.

"We are heartbroken that we couldn't all be at the funeral, because if we were allowed to have been, the mosque would have been packed."

The two brothers were both members of the Islamic Mosque Society for Wales, which their father founded.