Raffaele was born in the 1940s in Varapodia, Reggio Calabria Italy. He is the youngest of five children – with three brothers and one sister. His parents were Luigi and Rosina. They were a talented bunch: his father, a boot maker, his mother, a seamstress and all the children followed the same paths.

They were also a musical family, among them playing many instruments including trumpet, drums and piano, not to mention that their uncle was the lead conductor of the town’s band. But Raffaele’s destiny was to change; the whole family left Italy in the late 50s for Australia, where they resided in Sydney.

He sought out work as a tailor along with his brothers and worked in the city centre, catching the buses on Victoria Road. He soon decided that he would change careers and became a barber and this remained his passion and livelihood for 53 years.

In the 70s, Raffaele decided to go back to Italy where he met and married the love of his life. Together they came back to Australia and had three children of their own. Raffaele is a great father to his children: always providing, always being positive, always smiling and would always have something to share, a hilosophical word or two. If you’ve ever got a minute to spend with him, he always loves a chat! 

Raffaele also had another talent – every Saturday evening, for more than 25 years, he was a Master of Ceremonies at many function houses and was the host for many baptisms, weddings and party celebrations. On the microphone, he attracted the attention of everyone in the room.

He has a warm, loving and funny character. Many wonderful years have passed and gone, and in the late 2000s he lost his beloved wife Rosa to leukaemia and he suffered deep loss. Raffaele holds the very proud title of Nonno (grandfather) to 8 grandchildren including 5 boys and 3 girls.

Again, always sharing his wisdom and positive thoughts with all of them. Raffaele is gentle, kind and has an amazing amount of patience. He is a true gentleman.