700 "waiting" for Andy at Griffith funeral

Members of murdered Griffith teenager Andrew Farrugia's band played their newly composed tribute to their colleague, "Waiting for you", in front of a crowd of over 700 mourners at Sacred Heart Church yesterday.

The funeral for the 17-year-old, who was allegedly bashed by three youths in the early hours of New Year's Day, opened with a version of the haunting ballad Hallelujah and included "Waiting For You (For Andy)", a song written in the hours after his death by one of his bandmates, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"This whole place has gone insane, 24,000 people hit by a train, now nothing will ever be the same," the lyrics of the song said.

According to another report, Andrew and his band, The Mourning After, had just begun playing paid gigs around town, with Andrew, who was the drummer, helping to write a number of the band's songs.

"Andrew made so many people proud. When he left us he was at a high point in his life and this is how we will remember him," Andrew's cousin, Stephanie Williams, said in her eulogy.

Andrew's younger brothers, Christopher and Tom, also read prayers during the 45-minute service.

"We are angry, we are sad and we feel helpless," funeral celebrant, Fr Michael Mikulec said during the service, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Fr Michael Mikulec told the congregation that tragedy had affected the community "so deeply".

"We have to find a way to deal with deep, very very strong emotions," he said.

"We will need some time to heal. We will need time to find meaning in all this."

Two 15-year-old boys were last week charged with Andrew's murder and remain in custody.

Evidence slated to be used against the two Aboriginal boys is that one, from Griffith, headbutted Andrew twice, before the second from Narranderra, attacked from behind.

Griffith mayor Dino Zappacosta is to meet with the NSW Premier's Department and local police on Thursday to discuss how the community can move on from Andrew's death.

"We must show respect for everybody else, we must have every ethnic group showing respect to other groups, irrespective of who they are," he told reporters.

Mr Zappacosta said a plaque designed by Andrew's friends was expected to be placed at the site by the end of next month. Plans also are underway for a concert to help the family with the funeral costs.

Town grieves for schoolboy (The Australian, 10/7/07)
Eulogy for Andrew Farrugia (Sydney Morning Herald, 10/1/07)
Young life snuffed out on a high (Sydney Morning Herald, 9/1/07)
Griffith farewells murdered boy (Daily Telegraph, 9/1/07)
Hundreds expected for Farrugia's funeral (The Age, 8/1/07)
Cops called in as tensions run high in Griffith (News.com.au, 5/1/07)

10 Jan 2007

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