When Italian born Jack Rosa came to live in Birkdale in 1954, he maintained that he would give back to his new country that gave him so much.
His legacy is considerable and was noted by the hundreds of people attending his funeral service at Mary McKillop, Birkdale on January 11. Mr Rosa died, aged 94, on December 24.
Mr Rosa was involved in the instigation of the Meals on Wheels kitchen at Capalaba and pushed for an ambulance, police and fire service and a Girl Guide hut and Capalaba Bowls Club at Capalaba. He was also involved in RDCota, the St Anthony’s church at Alexandra Hills and in the Redland Sporting Club. In August 2018, he received his 50 year medallion from Capalaba Lions club President Janet Bastin. He also gained a Centenary medal for service to the community.
“He would go out of his way for his community and his family. If you wanted help, he would be there in an instant with a smile on his face and a big hug,” Ms Bastin said.
His daughter Pia Rosa, of Alexandra Hills described her father as a “giver” and a man who was always there to help.
“Dad was a strong presence with strong opinions. He was always there to help. He wasn’t a demonstrative man to us, but was always there to support us and to even pick us up when we made mistakes,” Ms Rosa said.
Ms Rosa said the one dream she didn’t see her father fulfill was to form a nursing home for Italian people in the Redlands.
In delivering the eulogy, Mr Rosa’s grandson Carlo said his grandfather taught him to “work hard, be respectful to others, always think about the future and be remembered for being a good person”.
Mr Rosa was also one of the area’s first farmers to sell his farm to developers, selling his 17 acres for development at Randall Road, Birkdale in 1972. He remained living in a residential block at this site on the corner of Fullerton Street after the sale.
He was born in Taurasi, Italy, the eldest of eight children. He became a policeman and fought in World War 2, earning the Italian War Merit Cross at the Ariatic front line. He and his wife were married by proxy in 1954 with his brother Pippino standing in for him in Italy.
He is survived by his daughter and son Dino Rosa of Thornlands, five grand children and three great grand daughters. His wife Virginia (Gina) died, aged 85, in April 2018.
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