Emotions break at Aussie diplomat funeral

Funerals have been held for several victims of the Yogjakarta air crash in Indonesia including Australian diplomat, Liz O'Neill, who was buried after an emotional service at a packed St Canice's church in Sydney's eastern suburb on Friday.

The Courier-Mail reports that at a packed service Wayne Adams, the grief-stricken husband of Ms O'Neill paid a tearful tribute to his wife and spoke of his devastation that their baby daughter had lost her mum.

Ms O'Neill, who was spokesperson for the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, was among 21 people and five Australians killed in the plane crash.

She had worked at the Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre and in the Jesuit Refugee Service based next to St Canice's church before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

According to the Mail, Mr Adams held back tears as he remembered a caring, intelligent and loving spouse and mother, who was deeply committed to her work, family and friends.

He also remembered how fiercely opinionated Ms O'Neill had been, a quality which had endeared her to friends and government ministers alike.

"The world is a lesser place. The grief and desolation we feel will not soon fade but her memory will live with us forever," he said.

"Most devastating of course is knowing that she won't get to see our darling Lucinda take her first steps, speak her first words and make her own path."

Jesuit Fr Peter Hosking led the requiem Mass, which included eulogies from family and friends.

Mourners included federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is also the local federal MP. Ms O'Neill's flag-draped casket was taken to Waverley Cemetery for burial.

Ms O'Neill was honoured with the Order of Australia for the work she did in the aftermath of the 2002 Bali bombings and was also heavily involved in the aftermath of the 2004 Indonesian Embassy bombing and the Asian tsunami.

A memorial service for Ms O'Neill will be held in Canberra on Thursday.

Another Australian killed in the crash, Allison Sudradjat, was remembered on Thursday at a service held at Parliament House in Canberra.

Services for air victims (Courier-Mail, 17/3/07)
Husband pays tribute to O'Neill (Courier Mail, 16/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Liz O'Neill funeral (Sydney Morning Herald video, 17/3/07)
JRS Australia
Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre
St Canice Parish, Kings Cross
Australian Embassy Indonesia
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Former Jesuit worker among Indonesia crash victims (CathNews, 9/3/07)

19 Mar 2007

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