Vale Rocky Gattellari
During this week I attended the Funeral of former great Australian Boxer Rocky Gattellari and to be perfectly frank I felt honoured to be one of the many called to celebrate the life of an amazing Australian Boxer. For the final time Rocky drew a full house at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church in Horsley Park Sydney NSW.
Rocky’s marvellous Boxing Career began in the early 1960’s with a short but meaningful Amateur Career in the Flyweight Division, of 14 Bouts and after several elimination Bouts he was selected to represent Australia in the 1960 Rome Olympics, his first bout in the games was his 8th Amateur one which he won and was eliminated in his next bout at the Games.
Rocky turned Professional a short time after his Olympic journey and had his Professional Debut in September 1961. His career in the Pro ranks was also a fast moving one and he won the Australian Flyweight title in his 5 Th Bout, which he defended successfully on two occasions in those days of the 1960’s Rocky was able to draw a full house almost every time he entered the Ring much to the delight of genuine Boxing Fans as well as those who controlled Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay Stadium as well as other venues. He won the majority of his bouts and after a solid career as a Pro he was selected for a World Title in Sydney against World Champion Salvatore Burruni unfortunately he was not successful in this bout, his Career continued for some time after this loss and finally Rocky called it a day.
He ventured into many other Careers in business and was quite successful at whatever he tried. The Church had many Family and friends in attendance as well as many friends from the Sport of Boxing. We heard some very touching stories from his two daughters and Family Members as I mentioned it was a privilege and an honour to be able to attend.
The Coffin was covered by the Australian Olympic Flag which was a recognition of his representation of Australia in the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Toward the end of the Service the NSW Veteran Boxers Association moved to the front and after some very thoughtful and kind words from John McDougall the Bell was struck ten times by NSW President Bob Holt this tradition is so meaningful and so traditional to Boxing Folk and others that it again makes one realise what a close group people from the Sport of Boxing are!
After the Service many folk as well as Members from the Australian National Boxing Federation and the NSW Veteran Boxers Association stood outside in the bright sunlight chatting and greeting many of Rocky’s Family and friends it had been such a fitting Service for a great person and a great Former Boxer.