Mark Bowling, Brisbane – British journalist and filmmaker Max Stahl has been honoured at a funeral Mass in St Stephen's Cathedral in Brisbane – 30 years after he filmed a massacre in East Timor – an action that helped the tiny nation on its path to independence.
The funeral was held on Friday – the 30th anniversary of a massacre at Santa Cruz Cemetery in the capital, Dili, in which 271 youths died.
Stahl risked his own life as he filmed Indonesian troops firing on young protesters.
His brave action brought global attention to the massacre and highlighted the brutality of Indonesian military actions in East Timor.
He dedicated much of his life to promoting human rights and to helping East Timor.
He died in hospital in Brisbane on October 28 after a long struggle with cancer, aged 66.
East Timor's ambassador to Australia, Ines Almeida, extended her deep appreciation to Stahl's wife, Ingrid Bucens and children as well as to the East Timorese community and seasonal workers who took time off work to pay their respects.
She said November 12 and Stahl were forever etched in the history of Timor-Leste (East Timor's official Portuguese name).
The funeral mass was presided by Brisbane's East Timorese community's Fr Martinho da Costa and Deacon Gary Stone, co-founder of the Veterans Care Association.
Fr Costa described Stahl's contribution, sacrifice, and dedication to East Timor's independence: "Today we are here to celebrate the thanks giving for him with what he had shared for the other and us."
Stone described Stahl as a virtuous man and a peacemaker.
"Max inspired us to realise that how one person can change the course of history by having the courage to bring out the truth, bring out the light... He is a peacemaker... His light has shone to inspire us all."
The funeral Mass can be viewed on YouTube including Deacon Stone's homily: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATxh04CwGag&list=PL8-1Dil2Zzb_v-0khKGn5WkAxsRJgEqwE&index=5
[Courtesy The Catholic Leader. Minor edits by The Macau Post Daily.]