Tears flow for Alissa
AT TIMES during yesterday's gathering at Maclean Services Club, the crowd wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry - many did both.
Alissa Jayne Marshall, 23, died on Yamba Rd, Yamba, on Friday after her car crashed into an oncoming truck. The shock has kept many in her home town of Maclean in anguish ever since.
Alissa's sister Kacie told the gathering - which filled the club to bursting point - she could not get used to referring to her elder sibling in the past tense.
She said Alissa would remain an influence on her and, although she didn't often tell her, much of her advice turned out to be spot on.
Bottom Pub owner Bob Freebody said he was privileged to call Alissa his second daughter, having met the Marshalls when he arrived in Maclean in the late '80s.
He said Alissa was a leader in all aspects of hospitality and often told him to go back upstairs and change his shirt.
Stacey MacMillan of Brisbane said the first time she ever met Alissa she was dancing on a tabletop at the Normanby Hotel.
"The boys said to me, 'You've got to meet this girl. She's the bee's knees'," she said.
"So she dove into the crowd and came running up to me saying, 'I've heard all about you. Apparently you're my new best friend'."
Dr Brian Keane, co-ordinator of secondary programs at Southern Cross University, told mourners Alissa had the potential to be an outstanding teacher and her death was a loss to the profession.
Riverview Funerals director Hope Bennett said the Marshalls would look at fundraising to continue support of the Opportunity Cambodia Children's Education Centre in honour of Alissa.