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Thousands attend Kilburn funeral of stabbed schoolboy Quamari Barnes

PUBLISHED: 15:55 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:36 28 March 2018

Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes' coffin was brought to the Sacred Heart Church in Kilburn by two white horses

Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes' coffin was brought to the Sacred Heart Church in Kilburn by two white horses

Archant

Thousands of mourners filled a church and spilled out into the street to pay tribute to popular teenager Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes the ‘shining star’ who was stabbed to death outside his school.

Quamari BarnesQuamari Barnes

Crowds erupted into a moving round of applause at the Sacred Heart Church, in Quex Road, as the coffin of 15-year-old Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes arrived, pulled by two white horse, to Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.

The emotional ceremony saw tears and laughter as eulogies were spoken by family and friends mourning the death and celebrating the life of the “wise young man” and “vibrant and loving soul” who was described as exceptionally funny, clever, a great dancer, a shining star.

Quamari died in hospital after being stabbed outside Capital City Academy on January 23, where he was a pupil.

The Ugandan and Jamaican flags of his family heritage from his mother Lillian Serunkuma and father Paul Barnes were placed on his coffin.

Thousands attended the funeral of Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes at the Sacred Heart in KilburnThousands attended the funeral of Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes at the Sacred Heart in Kilburn

On these were placed symbols of his favourite items which included a Bob Marley poster, a painting of Quamari and his own sunglasses, a set of dominoes, a letter, three airline tickets from a family trip to Montego Bay and a box denoting a star which has been named after him.

Father Terry Murray led the tributes saying he had “never seen the church so full”.

He added: “This day, Paul and Lillian, is every parent’s nightmare. Your family has been badly shaken; you will never be the same again. The entire community is in disbelief. The support which you have received from your family, from the Ugandan community, from the Jamaican community, from the academy and from various other schools has been tremendous.

“The crowd here today is testimony that Quamari was loved and will be missed.”

Family members in turn told stories close to their hearts, read poems and sang.

Alex Thomas, headmaster of Capital Academy read out tributes from all the staff who had been touched by their young student.

Two pupils, Shadiya Mohamed and Aisurra Abdulmajid sang Marley’s Redemption Song in tribute to their friend with the hum of the congregation getting louder as they joined in.

The two white horses then led the hearse to Paddington Ceremony, in Willesden Lane, after the ceremony as traffic on Kilburn High Road was brought to a silent standstill.

Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes was a talented actor and dancer. Photo: Quamari's familyQuamari Serunkuma-Barnes was a talented actor and dancer. Photo: Quamari's family

Refreshments and drinks and a celebration of Quamari’s life followed at Capital City Academy, with a further event planned in Abbey Manor, in Park Royal, this evening.

Earlier this week Lillian thanked the community for their support. A Gofundme page, set up by Quamari’s godmother Sasha Mitchell, raised more than £38,000 towards the funeral.

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with murder and he will return to court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on April 25.

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