Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Families remember Bali victims

As Bali commemorates 10 years since twin bombings killed 202 people, relatives of the dead cling to memories of their loved ones - and vow that terrorism will never win. Teuila Fuatai reports.

Ten years ago today, Demelza Gane was celebrating her 25th birthday. At the time, her two big brothers were overseas. The older one, Nathan, was in Germany.

Jared, who was her senior by three years, was en route to meet Nathan but decided to stop in Bali to break up the trip.

Jared was at Paddy's Pub in Kuta on the Indonesian island when terrorist bombs ripped it apart on the night of October 12, 2002.

Jared's father, Alastair, said the local police investigation showed the bomb was close to his son when it detonated.

"At least we know that he died instantly [and] we know he wouldn't have suffered."

Jared, described as the "larrikin" of the Gane family, was one of three New Zealanders killed in the blasts.

Jamie Wellington, 31, a former Rotorua resident who was working in Jakarta as a maths teacher, and Mark Parker, 27, of Timaru, also perished.

Mr Parker was walking in the street with three friends when the bombs went off about 11pm local time.

The second and more lethal bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber in a van parked outside the Sari Club, not far from Paddy's Pub.

In total, 202 people were killed, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 24 Britons.

Today, a memorial service at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Bali was due to be held to mark 10 years since the attacks.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is representing the New Zealand Government at the ceremony.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is also attending and planned to hold a breakfast with victims and relatives of those affected by the bombs before the service.

Demelza Gane turns 35 today. She flew into Bali earlier this week with her mother and aunt for the service to commemorate Jared and the others who lost their lives.

As they live in Australia they are there as part of the Australian delegation.

"The last time I went back this time of the year was the first-year anniversary [in 2003]. I try and get over there [to Bali] every year, if not every second year for a holiday."

Ms Gane said it was important for her to return to the place that meant so much to her and her family.

"I always loved Bali, even before the bombing. All of my family always loved Bali ... and the Balinese people are just beautiful."

Much had changed over the past decade, she said.

The terrorist jihadist group responsible for the 2002 bombings, Jemaah Islamiyah, has diminished and an extensive international manhunt, which went on for almost a decade, captured the last of the Bali bombers in Pakistan last year.

Of the conspirators, nine were killed: three in executions, four in shoot-outs with police and two in the blasts themselves.

Bombmaker Umar Patek and al Qaeda's south-east Asian boss, Hambali, are serving time in prison for their roles.

Ms Ganes said Bali had become a safer place in the past 10 years.

"They have security everywhere now.

"At the doors of the shopping centres, they've got security that actually have scanners that go over all your bags.

"Even when you pull up to your hotel ... they've got mirrors that go under cars," she said.

"They make taxis open their boots ... so they can check."

Despite this, terrorism is still a real threat in the region.

In 2003, the JW Marriott hotel in Jakarta was bombed, killing 12 people. An attack on the Australian Embassy in the city the following year claimed 10 lives and in 2005 26 people were killed in another round of bombings in Bali.

Four years later, the JW Marriott in Jakarta was again targeted along with the Ritz-Carlton. Seven people were killed.

But, Ms Gane says the actions of such groups will not deter her from returning to Bali to honour her brother's memory.

"No matter what happens, I'm not going to let them stop me from going back.

"They've taken my brother and I'm not going to let them stop me from living my life."

She admitted that some things were still too difficult to face.

"My birthday's on the day of the bombing ... and I don't really celebrate it."

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 23 Jul 2014 10:33:03 Processing Time: 702ms