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Tuesday, 5 June 2001
Page: 27325


Mr SCIACCA (10:39 PM) —I rise tonight in the adjournment debate to talk about a very dear friend of mine who unfortunately passed away on Sunday, 22 April. He was none other than the Mayor of the Redlands shire, Councillor Eddie Santagiuliana. He was born in 1946 in Bolzano in northern Italy and migrated to Australia in 1955 with his late father Ferdinando and his mother Cecilia. He settled in the Redlands and became, if you like, in later life the immigrant that made good and became the leader of his community.

Our lives were very similar. We both came out from Italy at about the same time and settled in the same area, although he joined a different party from me. He joined the party that you belong to, Mr Speaker, and then later on he joined the National Party. He was one of these sorts of fellows that really loved his community and loved the area in which he lived, and he became one of its leaders. After being at the Capalaba state school together in 1956, we parted company. I do not completely remember him from those days but I remember him from later on when we met because we were both young Italians and we could not speak the language very well. But, as we later remarked, we certainly did not do too badly in the area.

Almost 4,000 people turned out for his funeral. That would be an indication of the measure of respect for the man. He was absolutely loved by everybody. The Bayside Bulletin, the local newspaper, wrote columns and columns about him. One of the things that I will read out to you was a little story by Linda Muller in the Bayside Bulletin which is headed `The people talk ...'

Christian Santagiuliana -

that is his eldest son—

says that Eddie had four children—his three sons and the shire.

And while the family choked on a deep and personal grief at the funeral of the late Mayor Eddie Santagiuliana on Friday, his fourth `child' openly mourned.

It goes on to talk about the number of people that were there.

Everyone's story was personal—everyone cherished their own special memory of their Mayor, their Eddie.

The funeral, the largest funeral yet to be seen in the shire, was a public display of one man's association with so many groups and individuals.

And so it went on. But I want to particularly comment tonight on the bravery of his wife, Carolyn. They were never apart. They went to every function together, hand in hand, and they were a team. He had a fantastic family. His children—Christian, his eldest, Nicholas and his youngest son, Nathaniel—did their father proud at his funeral. It was a very emotional occasion, as you would appreciate, and he—I am sure he was looking down on them—would have been extraordinarily proud of what they did. The bravery of his wife is just something that you have to see to believe. Only a couple of days later she attended the Anzac Day dawn ceremony. She stood, in the dark, where her husband used to stand, and I had the honour of standing next to her and I let her know that I used to enjoy standing next to him as well.

We attend a lot of functions—as all my colleagues here would know—in our electorates. As much as we enjoy them, it is always good to have someone you can talk to. The person that I would always stand next to and talk to was Eddie. We would say, `Hello, paesano' which is an Italian sort of greeting. He was very close to me and I miss him very much. He just lived and breathed the shire. He was interested only in his own area. He would do anything. He would call together all the new state members and ask, `What are you going to do for our area?' Probably the best thing that I can say about him is to read out an editorial by Brian Hurst that appeared in the Redlands Times not long after his death:

I have always tried to understand why the Redlands is such a united community.

I now know.

Much of that community focus in the Redlands came from Eddie Santagiuliana. He had the ability to harness the community spirit of the Redlands in a way that produced invaluable benefits for the community.

He was passionate about the Redlands—

and so he went on. Eddie was a good friend, a gentle person, an honourable person, a very well-respected person. He was my friend and the friend of thousands of people around the Redlands shire. I will miss him terribly. I give my deepest sympathies to his whole family. You have lost a wonderful person and our area has lost a great champion and a great advocate. I extend my very deepest sympathies to all of his family and they will always have my support.