Special community memorial for Momy
A Memorial Service for former Mayor of Gibraltar the late Momy Levy was held this week at the Nefusot Yehuda Synagogue. A celebration of his life, the service was organised by the Managing Board of the Jewish Community in Gibraltar and was led by his brother Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy and the Rabbi of Gibraltar Rabbi Roni Hassad.
The solemn and dignified service paid tribute to Mr Levy and what he represented. Wherever he went he always left his mark. Not just in this community but in the UK and beyond as well.
The many guests at the service were a reflection of who he was as a person and what he had meant to this community. Respected by all he had friends from all walks of life.
Both Rabbi Levy and Rabbi Hassad spoke of the deep love Mr Levy had for his religion, his family and Gibraltar. How he was rich in character and personality, was very proud of his British Gibraltar and had time for everyone.
His brother told of the day he was at a reception in London and he was introduced to Her Majesty The Queen as being from Gibraltar.
“Are you the brother of Mr Levy who writes those wonderful letters?” came back the reply.
“Even The Queen knew Momy,” he said warmly.
Both Rabbis echoed the strength of admiration felt by many in this community.
Momy's brother James, President of the Jewish Community of Gibraltar and brother Abraham, Emeritus Communal Rabbi in London joined the other mourners as did his wife Sara and family.
The invited guests included Governor Lt. Gen. Edward Davis, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Leader of the Opposition Danny Feetham as well as Ministers and Members of Parliament. There were representatives from all the main religions on the Rock including the Bishop of Gibraltar and The Dean, as well as the Muslim and Hindu Communities.
Other dignitaries included the current Mayor Adolfo Canepa and former Mayors, the Chief Justice, Supreme Court Judges and Justices of the Peace.
Also present were Government Officials, local dignitaries and Consular Corps, the current and past Commanding Officers of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and representatives from local business, workers, cultural, social and political organisations, and the media.
Present from the UK were the Deputy Lieutenant of Manchester and President of AJEX and from Spain the Mayor of La Linea Juan Franco, and former PSOE Senator Jose Carracao, as well as Julio Montesino, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ representative in the Campo de Gibraltar.
Born on October 26, 1936, Momy Levy’s ancestors had settled in Gibraltar in the early 1700s.
One of his great grandfathers, a saintly Religious Judge, is buried in the Upper Rock.
Momy was a Captain in the Gibraltar Regiment's Officers Reserves and for many years was the Gun Commander for Royal Salutes. His involvement with the band and drums of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment was recognised with the production of a special March in his honour.
For thirty years he represented Gibraltar at the annual AJEX Parade at the Cenotaph in London. As Vice Chairman of the Jewish Committee to HM Armed Forces he attended many Armed Forces Jewish weekends. Locally he was the President of the Royal British Legion Gibraltar Branch for many years.
His role as a Charity Commissioner extended to his support for and involvement with many local charities, including blindness, cancer and war veterans.
As the Jewish Community's Representative to other local religions, he was a keen promoter of interfaith activities. His joy was to host non Jewish guest to his Shabbat table. He worked tirelessly for religious tolerance and racial harmony.
At the end of the Service which had seen his grandsons light the memorial candles and the participation of the choir led by Choirmaster Mesod Belilo, Rabbi Roberts read a message from former Governor of Gibraltar, Sir James Dutton, who wrote how “Momy epitomised the steadfast character of Gibraltar, unflinching loyalty to the UK and the Queen, and defence of all things Gibraltarian; yet with an innate kindness and understanding for all, whatever their views - with the possible exception of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”
Marking the end of the Service a solitary bugler from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment sounded The Last Post.
Memorial services are a local Jewish tradition going back many years. The services are held for those members of the community who the managing board consider have contributed exceptional services to Gibraltar.
Previous commemorations have been held for the late Sir Joshua Hassan, former Chief Minister; Sam Benady, former Leader of the Bar; Solomon Seruya local businessman and a former Government Minister and Abraham Beniso Cantor and Director of Music at the Synagogue.