People gather for a candlelight vigil outside a Caltex service station in Queanbeyan where 29-year-old Zeeshan Akbar was fatally stabbed. Photo: Sitthixay DitthavongIn theplace where darkness struck the city, the Queanbeyan community brought light.
Alongside the flowers that had been laid outside the Bungendore Street Caltex since news broke of cashierZeeshanAkbar’s murder, mourners brought candles in honour of the 29-year-old.
Worshippers from the Queanbeyan West mosque Mr Akbar attended organised the Saturday night candlelight vigil.
The tribute followed a special prayer vigil at the mosque, where Queanbeyan PalerangRegional Council administrator Tim Overall was invited to speak about the community.
The candles were placed alongside the flowers that hadformed a small mound on the side of the road, upon which sat a portrait of Mr Akbar held upright by an improvised mix of sticks and twigs.
People visited to pay their respects steadily through the night, altering their dog walking routes or parking alongside the petrol station to read the tributes.
29-year-old Zeeshan Akbar was fatally stabbed. Photo: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Others slowed their vehicles while passing the service station, where blue tarps remained over the bowsers and investigators continued to inspect the scene.
The mourners encircled the candles and offered quiet prayers or touched Mr Akbar’s portrait.
Mr Akbar’s co-worker Mohammed Tassawar said his friend was a compassionate, generous man who had never raised his voice at a customer.
He saw Mr Akbar on Wednesday, when he came in to visit the manager.
“Whenever he used to come here, he was very nice to all the staff,” he said.
“We were very friendly and got on well with the customers. The locals are always thinking of us.”
Mr Tassawar said the manager sent himand others a text message encouraging them to attend the candlelight vigil earlier on Saturday.
Other members of the community outside the mosque joined in the vigil.
“Local people are coming continuously here,” he said.
“People are very good here in the community. One of the elderly ladies who often comes in, I saw her yesterday coming and laying flowers here.”
The cricket match Mr Akbar was due to be playing on Saturday was cancelled.
Tributes have been received across social media and from overseas, including Mr Akbar’s native Pakistan.
First appeared on the Canberra Times