At a funeral service in Sydney the father of one-punch victim Daniel Christie has issued a plea for politicians to act on alcohol-fuelled violence
The father of one-punch victim Daniel Christie has used his son’s funeral service to urge politicians to act on alcohol-fuelled violence.
Addressing a crowd of around 300 mourners at a public memorial service in Sydney on Friday, Daniel’s father Michael Christie begged those present not to seek revenge or carry hate for his son’s “inexplicable” death.
“Daniel would want us all to get on with our lives without adding the extra burden of carrying any negative feelings like hate and revenge,” Mr Christie said.
“This is very important because it’s a legacy to us all from Daniel, please do not bear these ill feelings towards others.”
Mr Christie also called on politicians to act on alcohol-fuelled violence.
“It’s up to our elected members to set frameworks and guidelines to stop this insanity,” he said.
“If change is to be, it’s up to each and every one of us.”
The 18-year-old died in hospital last weekend after being punched in Kings Cross on new year’s eve.
Self proclaimed mixed martial arts fighter Shaun McNeil, 25, has been charged with murder.
Recalling his son as a young boy, Mr Christie described Daniel as a “tubby, happy chappy”, and also a boy who loved soccer but “never used his physical size” to hurt others.
“Violent behaviour was abhorrent to him, although in fifth and sixth grade he was bullied, never once using his considerable size advantage to retaliate, he was a gentle giant even then.”
Daniel’s mother, Maureen Christie, said nothing could “express the joy” she had in being Daniel’s mum.
“He was as solid as a rock and tender as a lamb,” she said of the young man who loved to cook “and was good at it”.
“Daniel was generous, courageous and determined. He sought to understand himself, others, and the world he lived in,” a visibly moved Mrs Christie said.
The memorial service was shown hundreds of photos from Daniel’s life in screened montages and the Irish ballad Danny Boy was played before Daniel’s casket was carried out of the church.
In their tribute, John and Peter Christie said their brother’s “happy spirit truly resonated throughout people” and he had been a model for how they lived their own lives.
“Watching Daniel’s unfaltering determination to reach his goals is honestly one of the biggest motivators in our lives.”
They also quoted Daniel’s favourite saying: “If it is to be, it’s up to me”.
Daniel’s best mate, James, remembered Daniel as a “one of a kind” man, with a great laugh.
“At parties I’d often use his laugh to find him,” James said.
“If you didn’t hear it within five minutes you’d know he was no longer on the premises, or he was off discussing deep and meaningful topics with a group of girls,” he quipped to laughter from the crowd at the Hillsong Church Convention Centre in Baulkham Hills.
The service was also attended by Governor-General Quentin Bryce who, outside the church, described Daniel’s death as “devastating and unacceptable”.
The memorial follows weeks of public pressure on the NSW government to act against alcohol-fuelled violence.
In response, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on Thursday announced a suite of new measures to tackle the problem would come before cabinet on Monday.