‘Inhumane’: Family denied five more people at funeral

A BRISBANE family says the decision by the state government to refuse an exemption to allow an additional five people to attend the funeral of a grandfather is "cruel beyond all reason for a family grieving their loved one".

John Macpherson, 68, of Sandgate lost his battle with cancer on Thursday.

His sister-in-law Anne Ovington, 61, told The Courier-Mail his immediate family are "devastated" their application for an exemption from the Chief Health Officer to allow a total of fifteen people to attend his funeral was refused.

John Macpherson, 68, of Sandgate lost his battle with cancer on Thursday. Photo: supplied by family
John Macpherson, 68, of Sandgate lost his battle with cancer on Thursday. Photo: supplied by family

 

"What they basically said is they will allow 10 mourners and no more," Ms Ovington said.

"All up we have 15 people who are all immediate family members - sons, daughters and grandchildren - who are all local, and they have basically told us no.

"Now we have to find people to care for the grandchildren and leave the grandchildren by themselves without their parents to watch a live stream of a funeral, not being supported by anyone that is close to them."

 

Ms Ovington, who is a qualified nurse, said all family members are in good health and have been staying home in isolation.

"I can go to the supermarket and there might be 200 people in the supermarket of whom I know no one and I don't know their health history or where they are or anything," she said.

"My family we have all been in isolation, we have all been looking after ourselves and looking after each other so that we can be here for each other when we need to be and they will not allow us to come together to celebrate John's life.

"It is just inhumane... to limit it to just ten, I mean how do you pick which ten?"

Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young allowed 80 people to attend a funeral for
Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young allowed 80 people to attend a funeral for "a very significant elder” this week in Mackay

Mr Macpherson's wife Gail said it was confusing the government had this week granted an exemption to allow up to 80 people to mourn the death of an Indigenous leader in Mackay, yet her family were not allowed an additional five people.

Mr Macpherson's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Department of Health has been contacted by The Courier-Mail for comment.

Originally published as 'Inhumane': Family denied five more people at funeral


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