Massive funeral for Jack

By Robert Muir

Teenager Jack James was remembered as “a popular gentle giant” and “a gentle, generous and gorgeous kid” at his funeral last Wednesday, at Rowers Park Corowa.

In what was one of Corowa’s largest ever funerals, over 1,000 people paid their respects to Jack who tragically died on Saturday, March 30 as a result of an accident. 

Jack’s parents Jill and Gwyn for were overwhelmed with the massive number of people who loved their 18-year-old son and attended his funeral.

“What an amazing group you are,” Mr James told the massive gathering. “There’s massive love and a great amount of humanity in this world. It’s absolutely amazing.”

Mr James said Jack, who was born at Corowa Hospital on April 26, 2000, touched everyone he met and recalled some parent-teacher interviews and comments at St Mary’s Primary School, including: ‘Some kids think they’re funny but Jack is funny!’ and ‘Jack had a sense of kindness and made a unique addition to our class’.

“His sparkling eyes, dimpled smile, warm laugh and sense of kindness warmed the hearts of all who have met him,” Mr James aid. 

Jack was an adored brother of Rhys, Ella and Aislin. He made so many friends, starting at Corowa ABC Day Centre, Corowa Pre School, Corowa Public School, Edwin Prys Gellilydan in Wales and Galen College Wangaratta.

In 2018 Jack became an apprentice cabinet maker at Corowa Kitchens and Cabinets, which he was really enjoying.

Mr James’s brothers William and Dave spoke, William saying the “fantastic memories will never fade” and Dave adding the possession of “only happy memories”.

Jill’s brother Peter said Jack didn’t just have a physical presence. “He always commanded attention. He was larger than life,” Peter said.

The funeral service was conducted by funeral director Tony Jones of Howard Squires Funeral Services Corowa who described the photograph tribute displayed in respect of Jack as “absolutely fantastic”.

In recognition of the family’s Welsh connection, via Gwynfor, the Welsh and Australian flags were prominent at the service and members of Gwynfor Welsh family sang ‘Calon Lan’ – an inspiring Welsh hymn played before international rugby games.

Following the hour-long service a wake was held at Corowa Rutherglen Football Netball Club; a private cremation took place.

Jack loved a joke and was the life of the party. Jack Tomos James had a heart of gold, has left a wonderful legacy and will be sadly missed, by so many, as evidenced by the largest funeral known by Mr Jones in his 12 years as funeral director.