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Father says final farewell to his son: ‘Goodnight Cole’

Tearful goodbye: Steven and Mary-Leigh sprinkle the coffin of their son, 18 year-old one-punch victim Cole Miller during his funeral service in Brisbane, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Cole died in hospital on January 4 from massive brain trauma a day after allegedly being hit in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley. Photo: AAP Image

Tearful goodbye: Steven and Mary-Leigh sprinkle the coffin of their son, 18 year-old one-punch victim Cole Miller during his funeral service in Brisbane, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. Cole died in hospital on January 4 from massive brain trauma a day after allegedly being hit in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. Photo: AAP Image

COLE Miller claimed a regular spot in mum and dad’s bed as a young boy growing up on the Sunshine Coast.

The day Steve Miller knew his son wanted a cuddle from dad stole his heart.

“Cole could hold my heart with his every being, and still does,” Mr Miller said.

The tearful father of Cole Miller, the 18-year-old who died of an alleged unprovoked attack in Fortitude Valley last week, farewelled his son at his funeral today.

“Goodnight Cole,” he said.

With sons Mitch and Billy, Mr Miller said the family would never get used to life without The Water Polo Kid.

“We will never get used to not having Cole around, and we don’t want to get used to not having him around,” he said.

“He’s with us forever.”

The rising water polo star who played for the Brisbane Barracudas found his athletic stride after watching brother Billy at the London Olympics in 2012.

“He was the proudest boy in the world watching older brother Billy at the Olympics, and he even cheered louder than his dad,” Mr Miller said.

“He cherished watching every game.

“His idol Billy helped him go from a boy to a young man, and Cole trained hard alongside his Olympian brother.

“It was now his time to shine.

“Cole was very willing to commit to see his dream eventuate.

“He will always be The Water Polo Kid.”

Cole Miller

Remembered: Cole Miller

The Miller family organised wristbands for family and friends attending the private wake, inscribed with the messages: ‘Rest in peace, Cole’ and ‘Love in Truth and Action’.

Queensland police said two 21-year-old men have had their charges upgraded to unlawful striking causing the death of Mr Miller.

About 3.30am on January 3, Mr Miller was walking with a man on Duncan Street when he was allegedly assaulted.

He suffered serious head injuries and was taken to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead on January 4.

Members of the Sisters of Mercy had organised Mr Miller’s funeral service at the family’s request, led by Toowoomba diocesan priests Fathers Rod and John MacGinley, longtime friends of Mrs Miller.


Strong friendship offers hope to grieving family at son’s farewell.

The MacGinleys and the Cooks held strong bonds for more than 130 years, the strength of which showed on Wednesday, January 13.

Until that fateful day, it had been almost 30 years since the brothers were in the same room as Mrs Miller, who is a nurse for the Sisters of Mercy.

An attack in Fortitude Valley that left Mrs Miller’s son, promising athlete Cole Miller, fatally injured, reunited the family friendship one more time in 130 years.

Five of the MacGinleys, including two Mercy Sisters Sr Joan MacGinley and Sr Patricia MacGinley, and married sister Kathleen O’Rourke, sat inside Brisbane’s St Stephen’s Cathedral to farewell Cole Miller (pictured) at his funeral Mass, with brothers Fr Rod and Fr John leading the emotional liturgy.

Fr Rod had never met the charismatic 18-year-old star from the Brisbane Barracudas Water Polo Club.

It was not the family reunion the priest was expecting.

“No one wants that,” Fr MacGinley said.

Fr MacGinley recalled the story of Cain and Abel at Cole Miller’s funeral today.

“The first murder on earth was between Cain and Abel, and when God asked Cain what had happened to his brother, he said, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’,” Fr MacGinley said.

“In this sense, yes, we are the keepers of our brothers.

“If we neglect to reach out in truthfulness, in justice, in love, we are planting the seeds of violence.

“Whether it’s one punch, or political violence, economic violence, domestic violence, it all dates back to the principal of whether we care for one another.

“As Jesus proclaimed, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’.”

By Emilie Ng

Catholic Church Insurance

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