Salvatore ‘Sam’ Liistro
Many of us in the Brunswick electorate are grieving the passing of Salvatore ‘Sam’ Liistro. Sam was one of those great Australians, generous of heart, wise, a great organiser and loved by everyone who knew him. He was a stalwart of the Labor Party in the northern suburbs and a champion of the local Italian community.
Sam was born in Palazzolo Acreide, a beautiful baroque town in eastern Sicily, which was founded by Greek settlers around 2500 years ago. He left Sicily in 1953 as a 16 year old to join his father and eldest brother in Australia. Sam was a shoemaker and craftsman. He ran a shop in Sydney Road and later made orthopaedic shoes for war veterans and people with various injuries.
Sam was a leader in the Italian community and was involved in many community activities, from raising money for earthquake relief and organising dances and cultural events to providing political leadership. His community activities were recognised by being awarded an Order of Australia and a similar award from the Italian government. He loved his home town in Sicily and never failed to promote the importance of our links with that community. He lobbied Moreland City Council successfully to rename a local park Palazzolo Park.
Sam was a wonderful family man. He was married to Joan, and his house was always filled with children and grandchildren. He was a passionate soccer supporter, and in recent years he watched his various grandchildren play the game as juniors. It was his community work that led him to join the ALP. He was a much-loved member of our community. We will miss him greatly.