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Brisbane loses its ‘Panda’
Kimmorley – or ‘Panda’ as he was affectionately known due to his great adoration of the bears – was reported missing following Brisbane’s Big Gay Day celebrations on Sunday, March 10.
The campaign to track down the missing 26-year-old was launched by close friends on Facebook the next day.
Following a week of pleas for Kimmorley to return home or make contact, family and friends were shocked and saddened to receive the grim news on Saturday morning that he had been found dead.
Tributes flowed on a Facebook page set up to commemorate the memory of the young man.
Good friend and fellow Sportsman Hotel employee Max Duncan, who helped launch the Facebook search for Kimmorley, said he was able to reflect upon the loss and heartache that so many are feeling.
“You have affected countless lives over the years. You have been a friend, confidant, lover, teacher, a boss, a student, a guiding light,” Duncan said.
“You stood up for those who couldn’t do it for themselves, you helped people see the beauty in simple moments. You taught us to laugh through tears… Farewell my friend.”
Kimmorley was a fiercely loyal friend and employee, according to former boss and ex-manager of the Sportsman Hotel, Paul Kratzman.
“He has been a bright shining light like no other. Always greeting everyone with that huge Panda smile and a gleam in his eye,” Kratzman wrote.
“The GLBT community in Brisbane has lost an amazing and wonderful soul. That can never be replaced.”
There will be a celebration of Kimmorley’s life on Thursday evening, March 21 at the Sportsman Hotel in Spring Hill from 6.30pm. Attendees are invited to bring along photos, memories and stories to share. You can find out more about the memorial here and leave your tributes here.
Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14 and the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service can be contacted via 1800 184 527; Melbourne 03 9827 8544; Sydney 02 8594 9596; Brisbane 07 3017 1717.