Known as: Raffaele Coronara, Ralf, Rafae, Mr. G, The Boss, Serious Sam, The Chief, and Pup.
Born: Molinara; Benevento, Italy. 12th October 1935.
Son of Giuseppe Girolamo and Carmela Cirroco. He is the eldest brother of Donato, Antonio and Grazia.
Raffaele grew up in Molinara with his family and friends. At the age of 12, he left school and began to learn the trade of a stone worker and later a bricklayer.
When he was 15 years old, he met a beautiful girl named Luigia.
Around the age of 20, he decided to leave Italy for Australia, where he intended to stay only for a short time.
On the 6th of January 1956, he departed Napoli on the ‘Neptuna’ for Melbourne. He then travelled to Adelaide by train, arriving on the 3rd of February 1956, where he boarded with friends in a house on Gorge Road, Campbelltown, for 2 and a half years.
In 1958, Raffaele decided to stay in Australia and build his home; he then moved and boarded at Jervois Avenue, Magill, which was closer to where he was building his new home – around the corner on Gladstone Avenue, where Raffaele would work on his home after hours. During this time, Raffaele was doing odd jobs with a man called Brooke, and occasionally he would go picking celery, tomatoes and cabbages on weekends so he could make ends meet.
Raffaele had now intended to stay in Australia, so he wrote letters home to his parents informing them of his decision and that it was now time to meet Luigia’s parents, Giovanni and Reperata Borrillo – so that he could marry the love of his life – Luigia.
On the 17th of August 1959, Raffaele and Luigia were married by proxy, where his father Giuseppe acted on his behalf. Luigia departed Italy and arrived in Adelaide on the 3rd of November 1959; the newlyweds were blessed by Fr. Romano and celebrated with family and friends at their newly built home.
Early in 1960, Raffaele started his partnership with his long-time friend who he had also worked with in Italy. Raffaele and Bruno Leonardis started ‘Mexican Bricklayers’ and purchased a truck, which although they only kept for a short time, the partnership kept going until Raffaele retired. Bruno says he was like a brother to him.
In August 1960, his first son Giuseppe was born. In July 1965, his second son Giovanni was born, and of course celebrations for both children were held at his home. During this time, his younger brother Antonio also came to Australia and lived with Raffaele’s family.
In the early 1970s, Raffaele, with his friends, decided to establish the ‘Molinara Club’, so that the Molinarese community could gather. This would become Raffaele’s second home – especially on Tuesday and Friday nights.
Raffaele’s parents, who lived in Molinara, came to Australia for the first time in 1975 for his brother Antonio’s wedding, and then the while family would all come for his first son Giuseppe’s wedding.
In 1982, his first son Giuseppe marries Cherie. They have four children together: Raffaele, Tara, Corina and Kiara. In 1993, his second son Giovanni marries Angela. They have 4 children; Gianluca, Giancarlo, Gianpaolo and Belinda.
He loved to travel both Australia and the world – and of course, visiting his family in Molinara.
In 2008, Sellicks Beach came into the story and became Raffaele’s third home. He loved going to Sellicks as much as he loved going to the Club.
Raffaele was an extremely hard-working man, who worked so his family could have a better life. He was always ready and willing to hep his family and friends whenever they needed him. He always had a job to finish.
Raffaele will always be remembered as a strong-willed, hardheaded, but caring, loving and generous husband, father, nonno and friend.