Bombing survivor’s family beg for funeral reprieve
The devastated parents of prominent Gold Coast man and Bali Bombing survivor Jake Ryan, who tragically died in Italy two weeks ago, are urging the Chief Health Officer to extend funeral numbers after being offered Metricon Stadium for their son's service - but are unable to have more than 100 mourners.
Jake Ryan, who was also a well-known Australian rules player, died after he was hit and killed by a train while running in Noto, Italy on October 13.
Father Danny Ryan told The Courier-Mail the stadium had been kindly offered by the Suns, given the large number of mourners hoping to attend, however current COVID-19 restrictions limit funerals to just 100 people, irrespective of the size of the venue.
"My wife is absolutely devastated - we've got to go to Allambe (Memorial Park) and then go to another service and we're trying to avoid that … it will absolutely destroy her," he said.
"Its shocking. We've got a perfect venue and we can't get an exemption for it … by the time we get an exemption through it's too late.
"It doesn't seem to make rhyme or reason with what's going on - they had 30,000 at the Gabba, we could have 500 people there.
"We've got that many people that want to come to the funeral … we're getting his body home on Monday."
Mr Ryan said the consulate told the family they had been inundated with calls from all over the world to find out details about the funeral, which is set for November 13.
"If the borders were opened there would be close to a thousand people coming," he said.
"The funeral directors also said they can't believe the amount of people contacting them. That just speaks volumes - he was a lovely man.
"He was an amazing man - a very nice human being.
"We're trying our best but I don't know what to do anymore."
It comes as the State Government is set to announce whether it will open the borders on Friday, however no other restrictions, including funeral and wedding limits, are expected to be lifted.
A Queensland Health spokesman said the state's current restrictions are in place to save lives.
"Our funeral restrictions are consistent no matter the circumstances," a spokesman said.
"Right from the start of the pandemic, all states and territories in Australia deemed funerals to be a high-risk activity for transmission of the virus.
"There have been several clusters traced back to funerals held interstate."
Originally published as Bombing survivor's family beg for funeral reprieve