The mother of Tasmanian jumping castle victim Zane Mellor has paid a heartwrenching tribute to her 12-year-old son – recalling how she spoilt rotten the autistic boy who loved dinosaurs and gaming.
Zane died along with five of his classmates after falling 10 metres from a jumping castle blown into the air by a freak gust of wind during end-of-year celebrations at Devonport’s Hillcrest Primary School last Thursday.
A week later, hundreds of friends and relatives piled into the pews at local parish Mersey Gardens Chapel to say goodbye to the ‘adventurous’ Year 6 student.
Mourners were told of how the young boy had a fondness for animals and gaming, and was known as ‘Jurassic Zane’ to his online network
His devastated mother Georgie Gardam fought back tears as she read out a tribute to her first born child, standing near his small blue coffin decorated with white-painted gaming controllers.
‘My baby, where do I start,’ she began.
‘I was so young when I had you, only 15, and now I know why. You grew up with me, you held my hand.. You were my man of the house always, my protector, my strength, my gamer.’
‘I spoilt you rotten – Hawaiian pizza, McDonalds… 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.
‘I love you Zane. No matter what the weather, we’re together. I love you Zaney.’
PlayStation equipment and sunflowers adorned the top of the casket, while a poster of his favourite game – Red Dead Redemption II – was draped over the side.
A heartbreaking slideshow of photos collected throughout Zane’s 12 years of life was played during the service, accompanied by Cold Play song ‘O’
Zane’s teacher Mrs Thompson remembered the Year 6 student as a ‘usually a quiet student who loved to draw’ and whose favourite parts of the day were ‘recess and lunch’.
As the ceremony came to an end, family carried Zane’s coffin out of the chapel and placed it into the back of a white hearse.
Loved ones left their seats and flocked outside to watch as the 12-year-old was driven away to his final resting place.
Hours before the memorial, Ms Gardam penned a gut-wrenching post on social media describing how she was struggling to find strength as she braced to say her final goodbye to her son.
‘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.’
Zane and his peers Addison Stewart, 11, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12, Peter Dodt, 12, and Chace Harrison, 11, were celebrating their last day of primary school when their lives were tragically cut short.
Two surviving victims are still fighting for life in hospital with a multitude of injuries, including blunt force trauma, multiple broken bones, and internal injuries.