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One-punch victim Daniel Christie has been remembered as a “gentle giant” who abhorred violence and always acted with “gentleness, compassion and care” towards others.
A public memorial service has been held in Sydney’s northwest for the 18-year-old, who was attacked on New year’s Eve and died in hospital on the weekend.
Shaun McNeil, 25, is accused of murdering Mr Christie by punching him in an unprovoked attack in Kings Cross, the notorious Sydney nightlife precinct.
The public funeral for Mr Christie at the Hillsong Church Convention Centre in Baulkham Hills has heard testimonials from Daniel’s father, mother, his two brothers John and Peter and friends.
Addressing a crowd of around 300 mourners, Daniel’s father Michael Christie, described his son as a “gentle giant”.
“The circumstance surrounding his death is just inexplicable,” Mr Christie said.
“Daniel would want us all to get on with our lives without adding the extra burden of carrying any negative feelings like hate and revenge.
“This is very important because it’s a legacy to us all from Daniel, please do not bear these ill feelings towards others.
“It’s a lesson we all need to be taught from time to time.”
Mr Christie said his son was a “tubby, happy, chappy” as a youngster, and also a boy who loved soccer but “never used his physical size” to hurt others.
“Violent behaviour was abhorrent to him,” he said.
Daniel’s mother, Maureen Christie, said nothing could “express the joy” she had in being Daniel’s mum.
“He was as solid as a rock and tender as a lamb,” she said of the young man who loved to cook “and was good at it”.
“Daniel was generous, courageous and determined. He sought to understand himself, others, and the world he lived in,” a visibly moved Mrs Christie said.
“He was humorous quick witted, and willing to speak his mind.”
Daniel was taken from the world “far too soon” the service’s celebrant, Susan Gavrant, told the congregation, which included Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
“Today is not a day to question why but a day to remember Daniel to celebrate his 18 years of life, and to reflect on the many ways Dan has touched all our lives and our hearts, Ms Gavrant added.
“Daniel was truly a gentle, compassionate and caring young man, he understood what it meant to respect others.”
The memorial service, which was shown two photo montages of Daniel’s life, was to be followed by a private service.