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Memorial held as 'skilled' former Ilford rough sleeper dies age 32

PUBLISHED: 15:00 08 May 2019

A memorial was held for former rough sleeper Dainius Bistrikas who died a heart attack last month. Picture: Anja King

A memorial was held for former rough sleeper Dainius Bistrikas who died a heart attack last month. Picture: Anja King

Archant

The Ilford Salvation Army has held a memorial for a former guest of its winter night shelter for rough sleepers.

Mourners gathered on Thursday at the Army's church, in Clements Road, to pay their respects to Dainius Bistrikas, from Lithuania, who died from heart attack after suffering health issues for some time.

Attendees shared their memories of Dainius during an open mic session and then lit candles in his honour.

Captain Dr John Clifton said: "As well as staying in our night shelter, Dainius volunteered at recycles, our bike refurbishment social enterprise.

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"He was a very good mechanic and skilled in many practical ways.

"He also had a great sense of humour and, although he had many troubles in his life, we will remember his positivity and optimism."

He added: "The tributes at the memorial were very moving - it is amazing how someone touches many peoples lives in ways they probably wouldn't be aware of."

During the service, a video compilation bearing the images of those who have died homeless in recent years was played to the song "Jesus' blood never failed me" by Gavin Bryars.

The minimalist piece is based on a recorded loop of an unkown homeless man singing an improvised stanza.

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