More than three decades of planning and community spirit was celebrated on the weekend when the Mount Gambier Italo Australia Club officially opened its new western soccer pitch. In conjunction with International Soccer Club, Casadio Park hosted its annual family fun day while also marking the occasion.
Mount Gambier Italo Australia Club President Rocco Bueti said many thought the pitch would never eventuate. “Thirty-five years ago, a founding member and an absolute gentleman of our club the late Romeo Casadio bequeathed a substantial amount of money to our club,” he said. “With this bequeath the then committee of management made what was for that time, a very progressive decision, that being to purchase a 5-acre parcel of land which bounded our existing property.
“I strongly believe the Italo Australia Club’s association with the name Casadio should always be remembered and revered for generations to come, not just because of Mr Casadio’s bequeath but because along with his wife Flora they suffered the pain of losing their only son in the Vietnam War.
“Lieutenant Tony Casadio was the only Mount Gambier man born of Italian descent to have made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. “For this reason, the name Casadio was honoured by our community by calling this parcel of land Casadio Park and I strongly believe that we who stand here today and the generations that come after us should always remember this.”
Mr Bueti said the dream and creation of a second pitch would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of a volunteers including Evaristo Bidese, Paul Bidese, Jacob Bidese, Lindsay Vorwerk, Peter Vorwerk, Rob Vorwerk, John Sajevic, Neville Smith, James Mann, Vince Versace and Phil Versace. “In the past 18 months we have come a long way in forging an inclusive future direction for our club, establishing a second pitch, amalgamating our women’s teams, joining forces with local charities such as Foodbank, Spare Your Change For Kids and Four Reasons Why, setting the benchmark for other associations to follow,” he said.
“The future of our club is bright and will continue to be so, as long as we all continue to develop and embrace change and like our forefathers before us set visionary change embracing goals and not remain insular and in the past. “Although there are still some works to complete, it is with great pleasure and immense pride the newly developed western pitch is now available for use to all the teams of the Inter Soccer Club.”