Emotional minute’s silence for bus driver Harry McIvor who died from coronavirus

COLLEAGUES of a Wirral bus driver who died from coronavirus have held an emotional minute's silence in his honour.

Harry McIvor passed away on April 26 after fighting the disease in hospital for three weeks.

The 70-year-old, who worked for Arriva and lived in Birkenhead, was described by family as a "loving husband, dad, and grandad."

Harry had been a driver at Laird Street depot in the town since 1989, and was a familiar sight on the Wirral's bus routes.

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On Thursday past and present colleagues wore football shirts to raise money for Arrowe Park Hospital as a thank you to nursing staff.

The minute's silence in Harry's memory took place at the firm's depot in Laird Street, Birkenhead.

Bus drivers, engineering staff and supervisors wore green, many of them Celtic Football Club tops.

While many staff at A2B buses, Selwyns and Stagecoach worked their shifts in these colours, at Arriva's depot on Laird Street, there was a gathering of more than 250 staff from past and present, to observe a minute's silence.

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Five buses were arranged into a H shape, while one bore the wording 'Rest in Peace Harry McIvor' on its destination display.

Harry's family were present.

After a recording of Amazing Grace was played, Chris Jones, branch secretary of the union at Laird Street, gave a moving speech about the family spirit at the depot, that Harry was part of, and that was very much in evidence by the large number of former staff attending.

This was followed by the minutes silence, which saw many in tears.

Among the friends attending was Harry's one-time colleague Howard White.

He told the Globe: "With current measures against the pandemic in place, this simple but very emotional gathering, was the only way that most of those present would be able to pay their respects to a genuinely loved man.

"We would like to thank management and union at Laird Street for their welcome, and friendship, as part of that unique family spirit that keeps all bus staff on the Wirral united, at all times."

The father of three and grandad of seven was originally from Glasgow. He married Sandy, 71, on September 14, 1974.

Daughter Sharon told the Globe: "They met in Jersey where they were both working and fell in love the moment he set eyes on her."

Paying tribute to the "best dad and best friend" Sharon said last week: "My dad was a family man; he was the very best of us.

"He was a loving husband, the most amazing dad and grandad.

"I would go on holiday with my mum and dad and my son. I would go round to his more often than I would go out with friends.

"He was a mad Celtic fan. It was the team of his heart and a big part of his life.

"He was an amazing person and I can't believe I will never be able to just pick up the phone and call him again.

"It's completely devastating. We feel like we've been robbed of him by this awful virus. He was a happy, active and healthy man."

His family visited to hospital the day before he passed away but due to the threat of the virus, only one family member was able to see him on the ward wearing full protective equipment.

Recalling her last conversation with her father, Sharon added: "My last conversation with my dad was a phone call before he went into a coma. He could hardly speak because he couldn't breath very well.

"I love you was the last thing I ever said to him.

"The day before he died, my mum, me and my two brothers went to the hospital to see him when we were told he had taken a turn for the worse.

"We decided that mum should be the one to go in and see him. She held his hand and told him how much she loved him. It was awful.

"I need people to know how serious this virus is.

"My dad paid the ultimate price for this awful virus. He thought that if he did contract it he would be able to fight it off.

"He was much more concerned about mum catching it."

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