Two 11-year-old Tasmanian jumping castle victims have been farewelled on New Year’s Eve at separate funeral services in the state’s northwest.
The lives of Addison Stewart and Chace Harrison were celebrated in Devonport on Friday. They were among six children who died while enjoying end-of-year celebrations at Hillcrest Primary School on December 16.
Addison has been remembered as a “mother hen” and best friend to her brother and sister, who loved singing and dancing, dogs and food, with her favourite treat Nutella placed prominently on a table at the service.
Her father Nathan also made sure she shared his sporting passions – AFL club Essendon and Supercars team Dick Johnson Racing.
“I was on a mission to turn her into my little tom boy,” said her father, who placed a tiny Bombers AFL guernsey on the lectern.
Her small coffin was in aqua, with mourners also wearing her favourite colour.
“Farewell our beautiful baby Bomber,” her father said.
“Addison I want to let you know that my children’s book that you had some input in, I will try my hardest to get that finished and published to honour your memory.”
Earlier at the same Devonport venue, Chace was farewelled with family and friends encouraged to wear Western Bulldogs or Golden State Warriors colours to celebrate his life.
He passed away in hospital three days after the December 16 tragedy, the last of the children to die after a freak gust of wind picked up the castle and several inflatable zorb balls.
Chace has been remembered in funeral notices as a much-loved big brother and son, with a “cheeky grin” who was often involved in “fun-loving antics”.
“Our hearts are broken. Our world has changed forever. Our love for you will always remain the same,” his parents Teresa and Craig wrote.
Schoolmates Peter Dodt and Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones were farewelled earlier this week, while Jye Sheehan and Zane Mellor’s funerals were held last week, all at the same Devonport venue.
Two children who were badly injured in the incident have been cleared to leave hospital.
Addison’s mother Kylie believed the Hillcrest Primary School community had become a “close knit family” since the tragedy.
“The support we have received from everyone has been unbelievable and we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts as we still come to terms with what has happened to our beautiful baby girl and her fellow classmates,” she wrote in a tribute read at the service.
The coroner is investigating the circumstances around the accident.
More than $1.4 million has been raised for the families via an online fundraising page.
The federal government has also committed $800,000 to counselling and support for the region.
Devonport City Council is collecting the flood of tributes left outside the school to create a permanent memorial.