Hundreds of mourners of all ages said goodbye to eight-year-old Katherine resident Brettson Payne this afternoon at the Low-Level Nature Reserve.
A stream of cars more than a kilometre long followed the casket from Heritage Church down to the picnic area above the fishing and swimming spot on the Katherine river.
Most wore their favourite fishing shirts in tribute to Brettson's strong passion for fishing and hunting at the family's request.
Family friend Phillip Jazyschyn delivered the eulogy on behalf of Brettson's father Brett Payne.
His speech paid tribute to a proud young Indigenous boy with a mischievous spirit, unquenchable passion for fishing and talent for rugby.
Through Mr Jazyschyn, Brettson's parents Brett and Leeann Payne gave the simple message: "Be free, our beautiful son, be free."
Brettson played junior rugby league for the Katherine Bushrangers and was known for dancing on-field while waiting for the ball, as well as his strong tackling in defense.
His favourite fishing spots were out on his Mother's country in the Kakadu National Park, where he showed himself strong enough to bring in a pig-nosed turtle on a rod all on his own.
He was also remembered as having excelled at school, receiving a letter of distinction from Clyde Fenton Primary School for having had his behaviour and performance commended 100 times.
A number of speakers took the opportunity to share memories during the open microphone section of the ceremony, including his former rugby coach for the Bushrangers.
Brettson died on June 14, 2020 after a motor-vehicle incident on Edith Farms Road north of Katherine.
Both traditional Indigenous and Christian beliefs played a role in proceedings, which was administered by Pastor Patrick Bauer.
Many people wore fishing shirts to honour the tragically short life of Brettson Payne at a memorial service in Katherine today.
The service was held at the Low Level Reserve park in memory of Brettson's love of the outdoors.
Eight-year-old Brettson Payne was tragically killed in a road accident two weeks ago.
Brettson fell from a moving caravan while it was being driven on Edith Farms Road on June 14.
Police said in a cautionary warning the incident would have "lasting effects on the family and the Katherine community".
The 31-year-old driver of the vehicle has since been charged with dangerous driving.
There were nine children both in the vehicle and in the caravan aged between five and 14 years old.
Police said the children who were involved "in this terrible tragedy" had been "spoken to" about the trauma they had witnessed and were suffering.
A successful crowdfunding campaign was conducted to raise money for today's funeral.
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