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Australians honour Bali bomb victims

Australians turned out in force for yesterday's national day of mourning, honouring the victims of the Bali bomb blasts.

Memorial services were held across the country, while thousands gathered in Sydney's Domain for a ceremony of remembrance and celebration.

People of all faiths and nationalities came together to both mourn and celebrate the lives of those killed in the October 12 attacks.



With flags flying at half mast across the country, in the National Capital Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition leader Simon Crean attended separate community services.

Mr Howard was at the morning service at St Paul's Anglican Church, while Mr Crean went to the nearby Roman Catholic, St Christopher's Church. At both services the prayers were for peace and for the families of those killed.

At St Christopher's Cathedral, Crean said faith enables people to rise above their grief and hurt.

"The importance of today is not just to mourn as a nation, to grieve for those that have been lost, to grieve for their relatives and friends, but to resolve that this can't happen again," he said.

Meanwhile at the city's Anglican Cathedral, Anglican theologian Fr John Moses told the congregation that world religious leaders are to blame for violence inspired by zealotry because they have failed to agree on global ethical standards, allowing fanatics to be tolerated by their own faiths.

Fr Moses, professor of history at the University of New England, quoted theologian Hans Kung, who said "there will be no peace among nations until there is peace among religions".

ABC 'PM'/The Age


At a memorial mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, attended by Premier Steve Bracks, Opposition Leader Robert Doyle and Governor John Landy, the gathering was reminded that the bombing must not be allowed to erode Australians' way of life. Nor should it be used as an excuse to take revenge against Muslims.

The ecumenical mass, which brought together about 800 people, was an elaborately ceremonial affair, lifted by the reverential singing of the cathedral choir.

Fr Dupuche, of the Beaumaris-Black Rock parish, said the violent deaths in Kuta represented an opportunity for church and state to work together, with prayer, diplomacy and policing all having a role in the recovery phase. "And there must be no attacks on mosques or Muslims," he said, even though, for now, "the terrible events are yet to be turned to good".

Sheik Fehmi, Imam of the Preston Mosque, where a service of condolence was held, said members of his community shared the shock and mourning for the lives lost. "Today was peaceful and friendly. People said they understood that we are all Australians and that we wish to live in peace here," he said.

The Dean of St Patrick's, Very Reverend Gerard Dowling, urged those attending the cathedral service to "take away from here the spirit of life, not the spirit of hate".

Among those listening was North Melbourne Football Club defender Mick Martyn, injured in the blast, a bandage still covering a wound on his face. His team-mate Jason McCartney remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Outside, Mr Bracks condemned the bombings and urged people not to allow the attack to undermine Australia's values. "We are a multicultural nation, with the freedom to observe or not observe religions." He stressed that cultural tolerance was something most Australians supported.

The Age


A memorial service for Joshua Deegan, one of three South Australians to die in the Bali bombings, was held in Adelaide.

More than 1000 people packed St Ignatius Catholic Church to farewell 22-year-old Joshua Deegan.

The church was overflowing, with many people standing outside, listening through loudspeakers, to family and friends pay tribute to the young footballer.

Joshua had been in Bali with his teammates from local football club Sturt, they had been celebrating the club's premiership win.

Joshua's father, Brian, spoke of his son's love for football and thanked the club for giving Joshua some of the best days of his short life.

The service included a moving song written and performed by Joshua's brother, Nick.



The thunderous boom of a Buddhist drum echoed through the chambers of Hobart's spiritual home of Catholicism, St Mary's Cathedral, last night.

The spontaneous drumming and rhythmic chanting of 22 members of the city's Buddhist community contributed to a moving interfaith service of prayer and remembrance for the victims and families of the Bali bombings.

More than 500 people packed the cathedral to hear words of comfort from local representatives of the world's great religions brought together by the Archbishop of Hobart, the Most Reverend Adrian Doyle.

They listened attentively to a prayer of world unity offered by the Bahai Council for Tasmania, a mourner's kaddish presented by the Jewish community in ancient Aramaic and the haunting cries of the Imam of the Hobart Mosque offering a Muslim prayer for the victims.

Archbishop Doyle said the service was to give strength from the teachings of various faiths which had a common message that good could overcome evil and that life was stronger than death.

"May the time we spend here together strengthen that conviction and may it be a further precious opportunity to embrace the victims and survivors, their families and their friends and the people of Bali in our prayers and with our love," he said.

Last night's service was attended by a wide cross-section of the Hobart community including civic leaders and politicians.

The Mercury


Townsville showed its multicultural face when more than 1000 people from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds took part in official National Day of Mourning ceremonies to honour the people lost and injured in the Bali bombing.

The congregation was offered small flowers to lay as a symbol of solidarity with people who survived and the families and friends of those who did not.

Catholic Bishop Michael Putney described the gesture as "wonderful".

"The number of people who came shows just how right this is," he said. "I am very grateful that I was part of this.

"In times like this, we come together and ask God to be with us. That's how we deal with terrible things that happen."

The Bishop said he was moved by the speech of an Indonesian national studying in Townsville who had urged Australians to forgive his people.

"His words of forgiveness touched everybody," he said.

Bishop Putney told the gathering that Australia's world was now very different and referred to September 11.

"But this time it was our people, especially our young people, members of our families in one of Australia's favourite holiday destinations," he said.

Townsville Bulletin


Western Australia's two senior representatives of Government have led a moving memorial service for victims of the Bali bombings at Government house in Perth.

The Governor, Lt General John Sanderson, addressed worshippers at St Mary's Cathedral.


21 Oct 2002