HEARTBROKEN dad Glen Rae came across a workbook belonging to his apprentice boilermaking son, Lachlan, late last week.
Inside, an entry read: ‘‘I believe society expects me to follow rules, get a job, act like a responsible young man and treat people with the respect that I want to get treated with.’’
Lachlan Rae definitely had that respect.
More than 1000 mourners poured out of St Brigid’s Catholic Church at Branxton yesterday as they paid their respects to the teenager who was killed in a car accident at Muswellbrook last week.
And the cross-section said as much about the first-year apprentice as the number – from relatives and friends to workmates and footy teammates.
The size of the congregation closed the street.
A letter penned by Mr Rae spoke of ‘‘a winner’’, a youngster who hated to lose and tried his hardest in everything he did.
‘‘Lachlan, you were funny, witty and always quick with a comeback no matter how cranky you got me,’’ Mr Rae wrote.
‘‘You reminded me a lot of myself and that was a scary thought.
‘‘Lach, you were very much loved and my heart is breaking.’’
Mother Allison also wrote a letter about her ‘‘beautiful’’ Lachlan.
‘‘Just promise me babe that you will try and enjoy the ride. Don’t be angry, don’t be scared,’’ Mrs Rae said.
‘‘Just flash those pearly whites and let go.
‘‘It is breaking my heart that I can not help you this time, baby.
‘‘I am so sorry.’’
The service heard that Lachlan had started school at Rutherford and began his rugby league career with the East Maitland Red Dogs before the family moved to Branxton and he started playing with the Colts.
He was an intelligent and popular young man who made friends easily, was a loving older brother to Charlie and Max and had a wicked sense of humour.
Lachlan had left school and started at Hunter Trade College this year, working at Muswellbrook firm Bro Built Engineering.