Family farewells Dr Alister Rodgers
He touched the lives of hundreds of people who this morning joined his wife Linda, son Duncan and daughter Courtney at St Paul's Cathedral in Rockhampton for his funeral service.
A single bouquet of red roses sat on top of Dr Rodgers’ casket next to three candles and a picture of the vet in a light brown wooden frame.
Choking back tears, his brother, David, said he prayed he wouldn’t have to write his brother's eulogy when he heard Alister was sick with Hendra virus.
David told about his brother's dedication to his job and pride in his family.
"Our thoughts and payers at this time are also with the others who have been affected by the Hendra virus," David said.
A crowd of more than 450 attended the William Street service, including Debbie Brown and Adrian Daniels who manage the Cawarral stud property where Dr Rodgers contracted Hendra virus.
Dr Rodgers' old friend David Lemon gave a tribute and used the cathedral as a stage to ask people to donate in support of Hendra research.
“Alister never thought for a moment that he couldn’t be successful,” Mr Lemon said.
“May you rest in peace old mate. Take your boots, your hat, your swag and jeans and I hope you find a peaceful place to rest until we meet again.”
Dean Chris Whittall said family and friends would be angry and bewildered by Dr Rodgers’ death to Hendra virus.
“The simple fact is there is nothing anyone could have done or done differently to prevent what happened,” he said.
“No amount of research will bring healing to your hearts today.”
Dr Rodgers’ daughter Courtney quietly sang with the lyrics, “Remember how we loved you,” of the song playing as the coffin was carried out of the cathedral.
Outside, staff from Rockhampton Vet Clinic formed a guard of honour, embracing each other as the coffin was carried out.
Dr Rodgers was buried at North Rockhampton cemetery.