Melbourne hero buried

Shooting hero, Brendan Keilar, who was killed while attempting to rescue a woman from her attacker in central Melbourne last week, made the "ultimate sacrifice", mourners heard at the slain lawyer's funeral on Friday.

Mr Keilar, 43, of East Hawthorn, was shot in front of stunned commuters in a city street on Monday morning after he came to the aid of Kara Douglas, 24, as she was allegedly dragged from a taxi by her hair by a gunman, the Herald Sun reports.

He was buried after a grim requiem at Hawthorn's Immaculate Conception church, The Age says.

Celebrant Fr Peter Hosking told Keilar's family, widow Alice Edwards, and their three children, (from left) Charlie, 8, Lucy, 4, and Phoebe, 6, and other mourners that it would be "a very hard day".

It was impossible to think that there could be any redemption in it.

But there was some. Between the hymns, rites and silences, a picture emerged for mourners to cherish. The picture showed that there is no such thing as an ordinary life, but that each is extraordinary in its way. It showed that Keilar was a hero to many long before his final, defining heroic act, Age reporter Greg Baum wrote.

Eulogist Gerard Dalbosco, said Keilar had been a devoted husband and father, a warm and generous friend, a successful and respected property lawyer and a capable sportsman, who won University Blacks' best-and-fairest award in 1985 and cricket premierships with University and Balwyn.

Usually the smallest man on the football ground, his distinguishing characteristic was his courage.

"Brendan had many great qualities, and central to them was a moral compass that gave him a strong sense of what was right and what was wrong," Dalbosco said.

"He had a strong intellect, a razor-sharp wit and was well-read. This meant that he had strong opinions on most things, which meant that, in his view, he was rarely, if ever, wrong. In most cases, he wasn't."

He was certain of himself, but endearing with it. "If you weren't quite sure about his sporting prowess, he was happy to talk you through it," Dalbosco said. "He was human. He didn't suffer fools gladly. Occasionally he got a bit grumpy."

According to Fr Hosking, Keilar "died standing up for what he thought was right."

"Love and sacrifice make the world a better place. Brendan died making the world a better place. He leaves a wonderful legacy in the way he lived about how we should live, how we should love, how we should sacrifice."

Earlier, Mr Keilar's parents told the Warrnambool Standard that when he matriculated from St Joseph's Christian Brothers College in 1982 "his marks were so good he could have done anything he wanted, including medicine".

He was dux of CBC in 1982 and excelled outside the classroom playing football and cricket.

The Victorian Government has pledged $250,000 to establish a trust fund for Mr Keilar's family. Premier Steve Bracks said the solicitor had paid a terrible price for his selfless act of heroism.

Celebrating a life and the differences one man made (The Age, 22/6/07)
Shooting hero's 'great' sacrifice (The Age, 22/6/07)
Parents struggle with loss of hero son (News.com.au, 22/6/07)
Loving son and father (The Warrnambool, 19/6/07)
Model's family praises heroes (The Australian, 20/6/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Immaculate Conception, Hawthorn
2007 Melbourne CBD shootings (Wikipedia)

Party over for shooting victim (CathNews, 20/6/07)

25 Jun 2007