Touching tribute to bus driver murdered in fire attack
THE death of former Ipswich bus driver Manmeet Alisher last month not only shocked the city, but the whole of Australia.
Mr Alisher, 29, died when Anthony O'Donohue allegedly set him on fire while he sat behind the wheel of the bus while picking up and dropping off passengers at a bus stop in Moorooka.
Mr O'Donohue has been charged with murder and is also facing 11 counts of attempted murder in relation to those who fled the burning bus.
Saddened by the tragedy, staff, parents and children from the C and K Inala Community Kindergarten decided to host a dress up fundraiser with all the proceeds from the day being donated to Mr Alisher's family.
Mother Jill Powell came up with the idea because the tragedy struck close to home.
"My husband is a bus driver and so are a few of the other dads from our centre," she said.
"A lot of people who work for the council and drive buses from this area work out of the Sherwood depot, so they all know each other very well.
"The Moorooka route is a very popular one and any one of these dads could have been driving that route that day."
Mr Alisher recently drove school buses throughout the Ipswich region for Westside Bus Company.
The kindergarten hosted a "dress as your favourite occupation" day and some of the kids even came dressed as bus drivers.
The day was a successful one, with the kindergarten raising close to $100 for the family.
"We are a very close community here and we were aghast that this could happen to someone who was just doing their job," Mrs Powell said.
"This was a response from the heart because we were all deeply shocked and saddened by what took place.
"It was a lovely thing for the kids to do, because we appreciate all those community service workers who work hard for their community."
Calls have also gone out for a national bus driver appreciation day following Mr Alisher's tragic death.