Call for redemption as executed Australian mourned

2015-05-08 07:57
Supporters of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran participate in a vigil at Martin Place in Sydney. (Saeed Khan, AFP)

Supporters of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran participate in a vigil at Martin Place in Sydney. (Saeed Khan, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - More than 1 000 people mourned executed Australian drug smuggler Andrew Chan at his funeral in Sydney on Friday with his brother saying he should have been given a second chance during an emotional tribute.

Chan, who converted to Christianity and became a pastor during his decade in jail faced an Indonesian firing squad late last month with fellow Australian Myuran Sukumaran and six other prisoners despite pleas for mercy from Canberra saying that they had been rehabilitated.

Both men were sentenced to death in 2006 over their role as ringleaders of a plot to bring heroin into Australia from the Indonesian island of Bali, and their execution has strained bilateral ties.

Chan's older brother Michael told the "celebration service" at an enormous Pentecostal Hillsong Church he had "undeniably touched many people's lives over the last 10 years".

"People make mistakes in life and deserve a second chance," he said, his voice wavering as he fought back tears.

"He showed us all that even when we have such a heavy burden hanging over our head, we can still change into a better human being.

"Andrew, you used to say you look up to me, and now little brother, I look up to you."


The service was also attended by supporters, Chan's parents Ken and Helen, other relatives and Sukumaran's family, who are due to mark his death at a separate funeral in Sydney on Saturday.

Salvation Army minister David Soper, Chan's spiritual adviser, said he was with the 31-year-old in the moments before his death and the young man was prepared for his execution.

"I was overwhelmed by my love of him, and devastated by the tragic loss," Soper said.

"Andrew knew the truth, he was prepared to meet his maker. I saw great courage and strength... I will never, never forget."

Febyanti Herewila, an Indonesian pastor who married Chan in the days before he was killed, was due to read an excerpt from the final letter he wrote to her.

The executions cast a shadow over Australia's relationship with its Southeast Asian neighbour, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott recalling his ambassador to Indonesia in protest.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  australia  |  narcotics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.