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Monday, 21 July 2008

Underworld figure Dominic "Mick" Gatto was among more than 400 mourners to today farewell alleged mafia boss Rosario "Ross" Gangemi.


10:02 |

Underworld figure Dominic "Mick" Gatto was among more than 400 mourners to today farewell alleged mafia boss Rosario "Ross" Gangemi.
Gangemi, 86, died on June 28 in John Fawkner Hospital after being diagnosed with leukaemia a month before.The great-grandfather was reportedly named as one of the top 10 mafia figures in the state in a confidential 1991 Victoria Police report, and was also alleged to have been linked with a murder at Queen Victoria Market in 1963.
Gangemi's son Nicholas today paid tribute to his father, a former prisoner of war, during a funeral service at St Monica's Catholic Church in Moonee Ponds.
He described his father as a leader who touched thousands of lives."He was a gentleman among gentlemen, a friend among friends and a leader among leaders," he said."He was a man with real values and real morals."Born in Calabria, Italy in 1922, Gangemi was the eldest of three sons, and was left the head of the family at the age of 15 when his father died.At 19, he joined the national service, serving in World War II for four years, two of those as a prisoner of war in Germany.
In 1951 he emigrated to Australia, but later returned to Italy to have one of his kidneys removed. He came back to Australia in 1959.Nicholas Gangemi said that despite several tragedies - including the death of his first wife, and his daughter Maria, who he had with his second wife - Gangemi worked harder than ever, often 100 hours a week."He was a man who touched thousands of people," his son said.
"He was a selfless person who always put others before him."Granddaughter Amanda said Gangemi was "a hero in our eyes, a man like no other".
"He was just like a willow tree; resilient and strong."After a requiem mass at St Monica's, Gangemi's large family left the church in three black, stretch limosines to head to the Keilor Mausoleum.He leaves behind his wife, Pasqualina, sons Sam, Nicholas and Joe, and his extended family.
Asked about Gangemi's criminal history, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said: "He did associate with figures who were known to police".


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