Hundreds lined up outside and it was standing room only inside St. Kevin's Roman Catholic Church in the Goulds on Thursday morning as mourners tearfully bid farwell to Nevaeh Denine of the Goulds, who died Monday at age 9.
Nevaeh — “heaven” spelled backwards — died after a courageous battle with cancer. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2014.
She was fond of antique cars and motorcycles and big rigs of all sizes, so the funeral procession included well over 100 cars from the Newfoundland Antique & Classic Car Club, several motorcycles, numerous tow trucks with their lights flashing, the St. John’s Regional Fire Department’s Goulds fire station pumper truck and even several City of St. John's big green collection trucks lined up in front of the church sounding their air horns at intervals.
RNC mounted unit members Consts. Kelsie Aboud and George Horan saluted on their mounts Harvey and Dr. Rich, respectively, as a Barrett's Funeral Home hearse made its way onto the church parking lot.
There were thousands of colourful balloons and messages lining the Main Road leading into the Goulds toward St. Kevin's Church, attached to utility poles, homes, businesses and vehicles.
As the procession reached the church, several hundred mourners lined both sides of the street. Young children and adults alike could be seen with tears flowing down over their cheeks as the funeral procession made its way past them.
Among those who attended the funeral were Premier Dwight Ball, Finance Minister Tom Osborne and MHA Keith Hutchings.
Ball said in a tweet the province would honour Nevaeh’s legacy by lighting the Confederation Building yellow on Thursday night.
Some people said the crowd at the funeral reminded them of last summer's 2017 Chase The Ace, at which Nevaeh enjoyed herself and during which Ace patrons supported Neveah's Lemonade Stand.
The Nevaeh’s Lemonade Stand purple and yellow Volkswagon Beetle was parked outside the church. On one of its windows was a decal that read, “Thank You for your Support … Nevaeh.”