Carmelo  Bendistinto's Memorial

Carmelo Bendistinto
(1929 - 2009)

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General Details

Name: Carmelo Bendistinto
Gender: Male
Age: 80 years old
Lived: Wednesday, 24 July 1929 - Friday, 2 October 2009

My Story

Carmelo Bendistinto, known to his children as “Papà”, his grandchildren as “Nonno” and “Meluccio” from his Italian relatives was, born in the city of Tripoli, Libya, North Africa in 1929. At that time Tripoli was an Italian colony and Carmelo was born from parents Giovanni and Tommasina and was the fourth child of six siblings, Lorenzo (Renzo), Angela (Linuccia), Marisa, Antonio (Nino) and Bianca.

In those days most Italian children did their schooling in Italy and in 1939 when World War II broke out Carmelo was boarding in Italy with his other 3 younger siblings Marisa, Nino and Bianca. At the tender age of 10 he was separated from his parents and over the next 8 years he was moved from boarding school to boarding school. He was separated from his sister Marisa, who he later found out, had died of tubulous during the war.

Carmelo had little contact from his parents and two older siblings back in Tripoli. He missed out on his parents’ love and nurturing at an important time of his life. He was an educated and intellectual person. From an early age everyone who knew him called him “The Philosopher”. He had an appetite for knowledge and in particular literature and religion. He left his home in Tripoli an innocent boy and returned home in 1947 a scared man from the horrors of war. For the next 15 years he was unsettled, travelling around Italy and searching to find meaning in his life.

On a chance encounter he saw an advertisement for jobs in Australia and he took the opportunity to migrate. He fell in love with this new Australia and found his freedom, working on famous projects such as the Snowy Mountain Hydro-Electric scheme and other projects for the next 3 years.

After travelling and working around Australia he became tired of this and he wanted to settle down and have his own family. He came to Footscray in Melbourne and met his future wife Rosalia Caldarone and started his own family. Tommaso came first then Marisa. Sandra was born 11 years later and passed away soon after birth and then came Daniela, their youngest. Carmelo had dedicated his life to his family and the greatest gift for him was to provide his children stability and a good education which were the things he missed out in his youth.

Rosalia was the calming influence he needed in his life. He would often say that if it wasn’t for her the family would not have flourished. He recognised that she was a good woman and that without her support and love he couldn’t have achieved the success he had in his family life.

Although he started his family he was still searching for something more in his life. He wrote a letter to his sister expressing a longing for something more. His eldest sister (Linuccia) replied and introduced him to a Catholic Movement called the Focolare founded in Italy and had their Australian centre in Melbourne. These friends helped him rekindle his relationship with his faith and he finally felt united with God.

He prided himself on being “Jack of all Trades” and a handy man helping friends with back yard jobs and creating innovative house hold items. Carmelo’s five grandchildren Zack, Paris, Oscar, Benjamin and Sandra would refer to him as “Ben the builder” asking “Can he fix it?” to which he would reply “Yes I can!”.

Carmelo retired in 1995 only after triple bi-pass heart surgery. In his retirement he continued to be active with the volunteers for the Focolare Movement and charities such as Saint Vincent De Paul and Meals on Wheels. 

Carmelo was very proud of his children and rated them as his greatest achievement in life.
We know he is now resting in peace, reunited with his parents, brothers and sisters.

Latest Tributes

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Loved and loving husband of Rosalia. Loved father and father-in-law of Tom and Jennie, Marisa and Stephen, Sandra...
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Non piangete la mia assenza, sentitemi vicina e parlatemi ancora. Io vi ameró dal cielo come vi ho amato in terra.


Fathers Name: Giovanni Bendistinto
Mothers Name: Tommasina Denaro
Spouse's Name: Rosalia
Children's Names: Tom,Marisa,Sandra and Daniela
Siblings Names: Lorenzo, Angela, Marisa, Antonio and Bianca
Country of Residence: Australia
Marital Status: Married
Religion: Catholic


Favourite Sport: Football
Favourite Team: Footscray
Favourite Music Genre: Jazz
Favourite Artist: The Platters
Other Interests:
Religion and the Focolare Movement (


Date of Passing: 2 October 2009
Type of Funeral: Burial
Funeral Location: St Mary’s Catholic Church, 116 Cecil St, Williamstown
Funeral Date: 9 October 2009

Music - Ave maria

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