I rise with great sadness to speak of my first electorate officer, Santo Spinello, who very sadly passed away on Saturday, 17 March. He is survived by his wife, Sophie; his daughters, Justine and Mel; his son-in-law, Michael; and his grandson, Brandon. He was only 73. Santo was short of stature and big of heart. It is not a surprise that the man with the big heart was a Lions supporter; he was indeed a lionheart. The Labor movement will sorely miss him. He was deeply passionate in everything he did. From premiers to prime ministers, they all knew Santo. He had such an enormous friendship network. He was a life member of the Australian Services Union; he was a life member of the Diamond Valley Football League Umpires Association.
We will always miss his friendly greeting of buongiorno or buon pomeriggio. He loved to bet on the quadrella. There is such a number of people who just cannot believe we have lost this beautiful man. Elaine McAlpine said:
His cheery greeting whenever I saw him was always, ‘Hello, love, how are you?’.
Anthony Mancuso said:
I’m so sorry to hear we lost a great comrade and amazing person.
Cr Emilia Sterjova said:
I still cannot believe it. I already miss him.
Robyn Glascott said:
Sorry to hear about Santo’s passing. He was a very loyal man.