At a moving service styled as ‘Liam’s Party’, around 400 people gathered to farewell Liam Keegan, the 17-year-old school captain who was electrocuted in his home in a horrific accident on the evening of March 23.
His older sister, Ebony, gave a funny and heartfelt eulogy recalling the Caboolture student’s love of fast food, hatred of vegetables, and terrible fashion sense, as father, Sean and mother, Narelle, watched on at the front, all dressed in brightly coloured shirts.
‘Thank you for the best 17 years, buddy,’ a stoic Ebony told the assembled, before briefly breaking down. ‘Thank you for lighting up every room, thank you for protecting me and looking after me, thank you for being my best mate.
‘Love you, buddy.’
Liam’s sister Ebony (in yellow) with parents Narelle (floral shirt) and Sean (cowboy hat)
Family and friends watch Liam’s casket leave the service outside Tullawong Primary School
Liam’s tinnie carries his casket from the service, covered in silly string sprayed by mourners
Liam’s mother Narelle embraces a cadet from the cohort Liam also belonged to
Liam’s army cadet colleagues from Caboolture formed a guard of honour for his casket
Cowboy hats, country music, fishing gear, Milton Mango brand shirts and hi-viz tradie attire were donned by mourners in tribute to some of the Tullawong State High School student’s well known passions.
A row of Tradie brand boxers were hung on a clothesline at the front of the hall, alongside Liam’s cadet kit, a favourite hat and some other of his possessions.
Some of his regular sayings were also printed in the booklet for the service, which was styled as a ‘ticket’ to Liam’s final party.
‘Places to go, people to annoy,’ ‘No veggies for me, thanks’, and ‘Do what you wish with this knowledge’ featured among the young man’s familiar expressions.
Lee Brice’s ‘Save The Roses’ with its heartstring-pulling lyric, ‘that ain’t me in that box there in front of you’, played as Liam’s casket was brought into the hall, draped in the Milton Mango logo.
A large contingent of Defence Force personnel and fellow army cadets attended, in recognition of Liam’s membership of the 123 Army Cadet Unit in Caboolture.
The ‘ticket’ to the party celebrating Liam’s life at Thursday’s service in Caboolture
Liam’s casket covered in silly string as his sister Ebony and friends blow bubbles
Celebrant Anna Staines does ‘The Git-Up’ dance in front of the procession outside the service
Former Brisbane Broncos Justin Hodges (left) and Scott Prince (right) sent a video condolence
Former Brisbane Broncos players Scott Prince, Matt Gillett and Scott Prince also provided brief video messages as members of Liam’s favourite NRL team.
At the end of the service, Liam’s casket was placed onto his tinnie and driven to the burial site behind his ute, as mourners covered the casket in silly string and blew bubbles. Local soldiers formed a guard of honour.
Some of Liam’s favourite phrases were mentioned throughout the service
Celebrant Anna Staines revealed Liam had hoped for a party atmosphere at this funeral in an earlier text conversation with a friend about how he’d like to be celebrated when he died.
It was also revealed at the service that Liam had been using an electrical fractal burning technique on a tabletop in his ‘beloved back shed’ to go into his sister Ebony’s new house when the fatal incident occurred. His father later warned others against using the technique for ‘decorating’ wood.
On the night of March 23, a neighbour reported ‘distressing screaming’ coming from the family home, while another reported a loud bang, before the Tullawong State High School student was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics after 7pm.
Liam was a regular traveller and loved fishing, cars and tinkering in his back shed
Liam with his sister, Ebony, who gave a moving eulogy at this service on Thursday
Liam was one of four school captains at Tullawong State High School in Caboolture
The circumstances of Liam’s death are still being investigated by WorkSafe Queensland
Close family and friends later gathered at a local sports club where those attending were encouraged to bring silly string, party poppers and learn ‘The Git Up’, a popular Youtube dance, to celebrate his life.
Liam had recently expressed his wishes as school captain to the local Caboolture newspaper.
‘I want to leave a legacy and know when I graduate, I was a part of making even a small change for our students and community by being proactive in establishing a positive culture and a sense of belonging for all students,’ he wrote.
‘I want to be a proactive captain and not just sit back and watch.’
In the aftermath of Liam’s death, Tullawong State High School established a memorial to Liam at which students laid flowers and photos. A day for students to wear tradie or ‘country’ clothes was also held.
A spokesperson for Worksafe Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office told Daily Mail Australia that the investigation into the circumstances of Liam’s death is ongoing.