Bangalow farewells Frank
By Luke Prendergast
MISSING from the hundreds of mourners expected to attend Frank Scarrabelotti's funeral at Bangalow today will be more than a dozen heavy-set types.
They are Bangalow Rugby Club's members, who will instead attend a fundraiser for their injured team-mate Richie Allen. It is as Mr Scarrabelotti would have wanted it. He was one of the first people to donate money when Mr Allen became a quadriplegic after a tackle during the season's opening game.
St Kevin's Catholic Church, Bangalow, is expected to be filled to overflowing today for the funeral of Mr Scarrabelotti. It begins at noon. He died on Tuesday, aged 109.
Most of the village's stores will be closed for a street procession beginning at 11.30am Bangalow rugby won its first premiership in 2005, inspired by an address from Mr Scarrabelotti.
Club secretary, Michael Malloy, knew that Mr Scarrabelotti had played rugby in his youth and decided to get him involved again.
"One of the first things I did with him was to pull out a photo of the last Bangalow rugby team from 90 years ago," Mr Malloy said.
"He sat down and identified all of them. He knew what position they played, what foot they kicked with, whether they had a good sidestep he had a photographic memory." Prime Minister John Howard yesterday offered his condolences to Frank's family.
"Mr Scarrabelotti had a remarkably long life and would have witnessed many changes over his lifetime. As an Italian migrant to this country he represented the rich diversity of the Australian community. On behalf of the Government, I extend my sympathy to Mr Scarrabelotti's family and friends," the PM said.