Italian-born Claudio Viel, of Casino, poses for a portrait ahead of Beef Week.
Italian-born Claudio Viel, of Casino, poses for a portrait ahead of Beef Week.

Italian is as local as Beef Week

IF YOU live in Casino, chances are you know Claudio Viel.

He may have been born in Italy, but he's as local as Beef Week.

In fact Mr Viel, who now runs a transport company called Viel and Santon, is so local the Chamber of Commerce has based a competition around him. During Beef Week, all you have to do is spot a picture of Mr Viel on one of three discs in participating shops and you can go into a draw to win $200 worth of fuel from Caltex Energy Queensland.

“Claudio is a real local identity,” said chairperson Michael Greentree.

Mr Viel came to Casino in 1963, initially running a fruit and vegetable business in Casino and Kyogle with his father Luigi.

“There used to be a hell of a lot of Italians here, many of them in the banana-growing business,” he said.

“There's not so many now because the business is a bit quieter and many have moved away.”

But Mr Viel still loves the town he chose to call home and said many of the locals would recognise him from the produce shop or from out on the course at the Casino Golf Club.

“Claudio's a mad keen golfer,” Mr Greentree said.

As for the Italian/Aussie himself, he reckons he “used to be a bit of a scallywag in my day. Now I'm a fixture of Casino, like the town hall”. He's married to an Italian, born in Australia, called Nora and has three kids, none of whom are in the business.

Beef Week was in full swing yesterday with the highlight being the Celebration of Fashion at the Casino RSM Club last night.

It kicked off with a cocktail hour, followed by a parade of fashion from local stores.

Today's highlights

8am: Cattle Sales

10am-2pm: Casino Family History Group, School of Arts, Walker Street

11am: Beef and Book Luncheon, Windara

11am-1pm: IGA and Evans Head Community lunch, IGA Evans Head

1.30pm-4pm: Casino Folk Museum

3.30pm: Casino Golf Club Beef Week Shoot Out, Golf Club

5pm-until late: Charcoal Fun Night, Charcoal Inn Hotel

6pm: Windara Charity Dinner, Casino RSM Club

7pm: Anvil Creek Theatre Restaurant, Casino RSM Club

7.30pm: Square Dancing, Anglican Hall



BREAKING: Fire crews are protecting properties from fire

BREAKING: Fire crews are protecting properties from fire

Watch and Act levels have been enacted for three fires

Men face court over alleged drug syndicate

premium_icon Men face court over alleged drug syndicate

They have been accused of involvement in a prison-linked drug ring

Drone flying over bushfire grounds RFS aircraft

premium_icon Drone flying over bushfire grounds RFS aircraft

Fire-fighters disgusted by drone flyover at bushfire

Local Partners