Farewell to 'local legend' Papa

Published 5:15am 17 April 2023

Farewell to 'local legend' Papa
Words by Nick Crockford

Redcliffe will farewell one of its favourite sons this week – Amedeo Ciancio, known to most as Papa.

Papa, who died on Tuesday aged 78, ran Mamma’s Italian Restaurant on the peninsula for more than 40 years with wife Maria.

In that time Mamma‘s became a treasured part of the community and loved by many, including one family which has dined there every week for four decades.

Papa’s funeral will be at St Agatha’s Church, 52 Oriel Rd, Clayfield on Tuesday (April 18) at 11am. “All who loved him” are invited to celebrate Papa’s life.

The funeral will also be livestreamed here: https://livestreampro.com.au/a...

More than 500 tributes have already been posted on Mamma’s Facebook page describing Papa as a “true gentleman” and a “wonderfully welcoming and loving person”.

Papa came to Australia in 1968, arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, to help his sister who had been widowed – and never went back.

It was 14 years later that he moved to Redcliffe, on the recommendation of a friend and began a love-affair with the peninsula.

Mamma’s first opened at Woody Point in 1982 and moved to Margate in 1992. Papa and Maria closed the restaurant in 2016 after selling the property.

But retirement did not last long. They soon missed the people, the cooking and making customers happy.

After travelling for several months, Papa, Maria and daughter Sara bought Mamma’s new home at 69 Redcliffe Parade in 2017, refurbished the venue and reopened in 2018.

Mamma’s kept trading through the first COVID lock down and as the peninsula gradually reopened, with Papa and Maria working tirelessly.

They knew it was about more than running a business and making a living – it was about their community and helping during hard times.

Mamma’s will be closed today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) for Papa’s funeral, but it will then be business as usual with Maria and Sara continuing Papa’s legacy.

The messages of condolence on Mammas’ Facebook page include one from a family which has been visiting for almost 30 years.

Another said Papa “hired me as a 14-year-old for my first job. Taught me lots of skills I have carried into life”.

One said he "was loved by all. A local legend has left us”. Some fondly remembered “Papa's happy face at the counter”, how he was “always so friendly” and “always such a gentleman”.

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