HAWAIIAN shirts might not seem the most appropriate dress code for a funeral.
But it was the perfect clothing to honour a young Brassall man, remembered yesterday for his bright spirit and great sense of humour.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at Centenary Memorial Gardens to farewell a cherished friend and beloved family member, Tom Bond.
The 20-year-old was struck and killed by a train at Bundamba last weekend.
Many at the service chose to wear the bright, floral shirts - a style of clothing favoured by Tom.
But the cheerful outfits did little to offset the grief felt by everyone in the room.
Tom's older sister Sarah-Jane told mourners she would miss her brother's large, loud presence each day.
"I should have been writing his 21st speech in a few months' time, not writing his eulogy," she said.
"He was a smart, handsome man who I was very proud to call my brother.
"When the time comes for me to start my own family, my children will know all about their Uncle Tom."
One of his best mates Alex Norman described Tom as "the type of person who would drop whatever he was doing to help his friends or family".
"It didn't matter what the situation was, just as long as the people he cared for were okay," Alex said.
"I honestly believe the driving force behind most of Tom's decisions was to benefit those around him.
"He also loved to joke around with the boys and enjoy great night outs...there was never a dull moment and he made sure of it."
Tom studied at St Edmund's College before getting a job as a membership consultant at Goodlife Gym.
He moved to Adelaide briefly but moved back to Ipswich to be with his family.
Tom's father Andrew said his eldest son had grown into an "amazing young man".
"As Tom grew, so did his loving and caring nature," he said.
"In the 2011 floods, our street was evacuated and Tom insisted on staying with me to help move as much stuff as possible.
"He also stayed to help an old guy across the road who didn't want to leave his house."
Andrew, 44, said his son was both his rock and his best friend.
"By looking around the room at all who attended his funeral, I can tell Tom would have been that for many others as well."
At the end of the funeral, dozens of balloons were released into the sky - a symbol of people sending their love to Tom.
Thomas Aaron Ian Bond.
Born 17-11-93. Died 5-7-2014
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