In his own words: Bruno Sudiro talks about life and family

Bruno Sudiro died from cancer on Saturday, May 6, aged 72.

His funeral is being held on Saturday, May 13 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 156 Summerland Way, Kyogle at 11am.

In 2021, Humans of Lismore Facebook page interviewed Bruno. Here is what he said. (used with permission)

“I was born in Lismore Base and raised in Cawongla.

Mum and Dad came out here from the north of Italy, about 75kms west of Venice, in December 1949 and went straight to Cawongla. I was born in August 1950. I went to the convent school in Kyogle.

My mum had another baby boy in Italy before I was born. His name was Bruno too. That’s one of the main reasons they moved to Australia when he was six months old. He suffered from bronchitis and had lung issues and the doctor said you need to move to a warmer climate for the baby.

My father had a brother already over here — Uncle Marino out at Cawongla. All the Sudiro’s eventually came out here because the poverty was so bad in Italy at the time and they had no future prospects. They worked so hard out here from absolutely nothing to make something of themselves for their families.

My parents were coming over the Red Sea and on the way my little brother died. Back in those days they had to bury him at sea and Mum never ever got over it. She had nowhere to grieve and to have to throw your baby overboard into the sea — I can’t imagine the pain.  It was so difficult for my mum.

I came along the next year and my parents named me after my brother. Not long after, my sister Silvana came along. My mum took a lock of my baby brothers hair and when she passed away last year we put his hair and other special things with mum so she took him with her.

I spent most of my teenage years working with Dad on farms. When I was 19, Dad said there’s more to the world than the farm so I went to work for Transfield building a dam up in Emerald, Queensland. After awhile I scored a job at the Northpine dam for about six years. 

In the meantime I had married in 1972 and we had our first son David and decided to come home back to Kyogle. I ended up getting a job on Council and we managed the Kyogle Gardens Caravan park for about 23 years. After that I went and worked for facility maintenance with Council. I painted buildings, cleaned toilets, dug graves — you name it, we did it.

I became a gardener too. All up, I worked for 35 years with the Council. We had three boys, David, Stephen and Paul. My wife and I split in 1994. 

I was involved with the Bush Fire Brigade originally in Cawongla, then Brisbane and back with the Kyogle Brigade. In 1996 I was awarded the Australia Fire Service medal. Back in those days there were only two of us in NSW that got that award. I ended up weaning myself out of the brigade because it’s more of a young fella’s job.

We also got the award  in 2012 for Tidy Town of NSW when I was the gardener. That was pretty cool. We missed by one vote of winning the Tidy Town of Australia.

Mum and Dad moved to Girards Hill, Lismore in about 1972. I moved here in 2014 because Mum was getting on and she was by herself. We lost Dad in 2006. I looked after Mum. She wasn’t well at the end. She passed away and I’m still here and I miss her. I drink coffee (laughs), do a bit of fishing, motorbike riding and Marino and I have a little patch up at the Zanetti’s at Tullera where we grow a bit of this and a bit of that. 

These days, my son David is in Kyogle and has Dave’s Bakehouse, the bakery in town, Stephen is up in Brisbane and he’s a welding inspector and Paul works for the Tweed Council. David has three kids, Stephen has 3 and Paul has 2 so I have 8 Grandkids. I’m a very lucky man.

The Northern Rivers is a beautiful place to bring up kids but what I love now is as I’m getting on, I have all my specialists nearby and such a variety of fresh produce markets, cafes and restaurants. I can walk downtown. It’s a great place to live.”

Vale Bruno Sudiro.

Funeral details here.

The livestream of Bruno’s funeral can be watched at this link —

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