Friends and family members of Zane Mellor have gathered to mourn the 12-year-old after he was killed in the Tasmanian jumping castle tragedy that also claimed the lives of five other children one week ago.
Hundreds of mourners were seen hugging and crying outside of the Mersey Gardens Chapel and Crematorium in Devonport as the procession began on Thursday morning.
A photo of Zane’s bright blue coffin published by News.com.au shows the colourful box covered in drawings and topped with what appears to be a Playstation, a dinosaur figurine, sunflowers and a poster of the video game, Red Dead Redemption II.
After the funeral celebrant thanked the first responders and everyone in the community who had reached out to the family since the freak accident, the 12-year-old’s grieving mum, Georgie Gardam, took to the podium to share some of her favourite memories of the sixth grader.
“My baby, where do I start? I was so young when I had you, only 15. You grew up with me. You held my hand and kissed my face,” Ms Gardam said, according to the publication.
“I spoiled you rotten and I have no regrets. You knew every dinosaur and every time period it came from.
“I spoiled you rotten — Hawaiian pizza, McDonald's Quarter Pounder with no pickles, no mustard, no onion… some of your favourites. Everyone told me to get you off that PlayStation but I let you play until your heart was content and your eyes got sleepy.”
Ms Gardam ended her comments with a tearful declaration of love to her son and vowing they were together forever.
Tributes written by friends, cousins and teachers were also read aloud during the service.
They described Zane as a playful boy who had a lovely smile and loved to draw.
Mum's emotional tribute before funeral
Just hours before her son's farewell, Ms Gardam took to Facebook to share her heartbreak over his death.
"Today will be one of the hardest days of my life," she wrote alongside a picture of Zane.
"What do I weigh up... the day I lost you or the day I put you to rest. I'm not sure.
"Mummy loves you Zane, I know you are with me already. I don't know where I have pulled this strength from but I say it must be from you."
Hospitalised children's conditions improving
Zane’s funeral is the first for the six victims of the jumping castle tragedy that occurred during year-end celebrations at Devonport's Hillcrest Primary School last Thursday.
Jye Sheehan, 12, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12, Peter Dodt, 12, Chace Harrison, 11, and Addison Stewart, 11, also died after suffering severe injuries when a sudden gust of wind sent the jumping castle flying 10 metres into the air.
Three other children were hospitalised with serious injuries, one of which has now returned home.
The two other boys, who are said to have multiple broken bones and internal injuries, are now improving and have been moved out of the intensive care unit, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said, according to News.com.au.
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