Family, friends and community members gathered in the sunshine on Boat Harbour Beach to say their farewell to Alby Davis.
The three-year-old boy from Wynyard died tragically on February 26 when he choked on a bouncy ball.
More than a hundred people attended the memorial ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.
Alby’s great aunt Robyn Clinch spoke of his short but “spirited” childhood.
“Alby really lit the world,” she said.
She said he was a cheeky boy with a great imagination, who knew all of the Thomas the Tank Engine characters by heart and had a love of nature.
His birthday wish was to toss rocks in the water with his family.
Ms Clinch thanked those who had sent messages of support to Alby’s parents.
Family members took turns to release butterflies and then guests were invited to place a flower into baskets.
People lined the shore as the baskets were paddled out in a canoe and placed into the water.
Mourners embraced each other and wrote messages of condolence in a book.
Mrs Davis posted on Instagram Tuesday, the day that would have been Alby’s fourth birthday.
“Our arms are yearning for the thousands of cuddles yet to be given, our ears are longing for your laughter to once again resound through the walls of our home, and our hearts are shattered for the millions of memories we’ll never have the chance to create,” she wrote.
Alby is survived by his two older siblings, Sage and Acre. A Gofundme page has raised nearly $260,000 for the family.