Victorian Icon Sisto Malaspina Farewelled At Emotional Funeral
Hundreds have gathered outside the state funeral of beloved Melbourne icon Sisto Malaspina, who was killed in the Bourke Street terror attack.
Politicians and members of the public have joined the friends and family of Sisto Malaspina to farewell the Melbourne icon at a state funeral.
Hundreds of mourners have already gathered at St Patrick's Cathedral to pay their respects to the co-owner of Pelligrini's Espresso Bar, who was stabbed to death in a terror attack on Bourke Street earlier this month.
Malispina's son David led an emotional tribute at his funeral on Tuesday sharing special anecdotes into their family life outside his beloved Pelligrini's and adding that he always considered his regulars to be his friends not just his customers.
"From an early age, Dad taught us good, old-fashioned values and good manners," David told mourners.
"Smiles cost nothing. His view was simple. You greet somebody upon arrival. You say your pleases and thank yous, say goodbye when you or they were leaving, and treat everybody equally, despite outward appearances, race, religion or social standing.
"Apart from the wholesome, old-fashioned good food and great coffee, I believe it was his love of people that made him successful. He had the amazing ability to lift one's spirit with a greeting and that big smile. With the assistance of a bright, flamboyant shirt and ever present cravat."
Australian businessman Lindsay Fox also paid a tearful tribute to his friend saying the world was a better place for having had Malaspina in it.
"He was one of the greats," Fox said.
"The heart has its own memory and he shall ever live within ours."
Malaspina's family accepted an offer from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, for a state funeral last week and released a statement saying they were "deeply moved" by the outpouring of support following his death.
“To the people of Melbourne, your heartfelt tributes have shown us why our Dad loved this great city so much," the statement read.
“Dad was a larger than life character and his natural generosity made every individual he met feel welcome and important. Each customer of Dad’s was given the same respect and service regardless of their standing in society."
Andrews described Malaspina as a "Victorian icon, known and loved by us all."
Tributes came pouring in for the 74-year-old whose cafe is a well-loved fixture of Melbourne, immediately after he was identified as the victim of the attack.
Dozens took to social media to share stories of Malaspina while hundreds others lay flowers and cards outside his beloved cafe.
“Such a sad day for Melbourne," business partner Nino Pangrazio told the Herald Sun.
“He loved life. He was always happy. Never a bad word, never a dull moment."
Pellegrini's was closed for several days following the attack and reopened last week to emotional scenes as crowds visited the popular cafe to pay their respects and enjoy a coffee in his honour.
"[It's] empty, empty," good friend of Sisto, Morris Sikorski told media.
"The place is not going to be the same without him. He is a Melbourne icon and he was one of the most revered persons ... it's an empty feeling," he said.
Sisto arrived in Australia from Italy more than 40 years ago and had been running his espresso bar since taking over from the Pellegrini Brothers in 1974.
Over the years, Pellegrini's became a go-to Melbourne landmark for celebrities, politicians and locals alike.
Featured Image: AAP