Thomas Kelly farewelled by family and friends at former school
Clementine Cuneo and wires
The Daily Telegraph
July 20, 2012 12:44PM
THOMAS Kelly was a determined, courageous young man whose life was cut tragically short, his father has told mourners at a funeral service in Sydney.
Ralph and Kathy Kelly held the hands of their younger two children Stuart and Madeleine, as they walked into The Kings School chapel for the funeral service.
Hundreds of people gathered in and around the chapel to say goodbye to Tom, 18, who was killed in a Kings Cross attack almost a fortnight ago.
Kieran Loveridge, 18, has been charged with murder.
"Thomas was a courageous boy in both his life and his death,'' Mr Kelly told the service.
"The more I knew him the more I was in awe of his sheer determination.''
Mr Kelly also read out his son's final email, sent on July 6, the night before he was fatally attacked.
Thomas wrote that he was going to have an early night on Friday, July 6 because he wanted to save his energy for the next evening.
"Na, I'm not going out tonight,'' the teenager wrote to his father in the email.
"I might be back a little later - just stay for a drink - but want to have an early night and enjoy tomorrow instead.'
Mr Kelly said his son also spoke about what he was going to have for dinner that evening and about sorting out a tax form.
"I will treasure those last written words to me written from my son,'' Ralph Kelly continued.
"Thomas did in fact go out that Friday night, he spent some time with his good friends from Mosman playing pool at The Oaks (pub) in Neutral Bay.
"In hindsight I'm very glad he got to spend some time with his good friends that evening.
"He would have spent his last night happy.'
Mr Kelly said the days since his son's death had been an emotional rollercoaster.
"It's still difficult to believe Thomas will not be coming home again,'' he said.
"I don't think th e reality has yet set in. We still talk about Thomas in the present tense.
"Each night we turn on his bedside lamp and say a prayer.''
The Reverend Stephen Edwards said it wasn't long ago that Thomas Kelly was sitting in the chapel where his funeral was taking place.
"It was was the last thing on our minds that we'd be returning so quickly to farewell one of our own,'' he said.
"Our compassion and our hearts go out to Thomas's family.
"To Ralph and Kathy, to Stuart and to Madeleine.''
Other speakers touched briefly on the violence that led to Thomas's death and the pain it had caused.
His father said today's service is about "remembering our son, and how much he meant to us".
Tom only graduated from the school last year. His brother Stuart is in Year 9.
There was a strong police presence at the service.
The Kelly's requested today be "all about Thomas", not about the horrific circumstances in which he died.
"We want to celebrate his life," Mr Kelly said.
Rev Edwards said Tom had just started to settle into life. He was happy with the world and "blossoming", when he tragically died on June 9.
He said it was a privilege to have Tom's farewell at his old school.
"Only a short while ago Tom sat in this very chapel with his year 12 cohorts...and looked forward to what life had in store," Rev Edwards said.
A brave and strong Mr Kelly told of the pride Tom brought him everyday.
"I frequently told him over the past few months that Kathy and I were so proud to be his parents," he said.
He remembered living in Sydney during the week with Tom, while they both worked there, and listening to his son's alarm go off at 6am every day.
"Despite my protests, he would always ignore it."
But he said it was during those months, he became so much closer to Tom, and they reconnected after Tom's three years at boarding school.
"At night we'd spend time talking about his life and friends," he said.
"He was a tremendously loyal friend...always respectful of others."
"Tom had bundles and bundles of talents. Music, drums and guitar. We frequently had his music fill our house."
He told mourners he got an update this week of the four patients who had recieved his son's organs.
"Thomas lives on in the four recipients of his organs, and the future babies who will receive his heart valves," Mr Kelly said.