LIVERPOOL has said farewell to one of its true legends, George Paciullo, the man who introduced random breath testing which helped save thousands of lives.
The mood was sombre last Wednesday as hundreds of mourners — family members, friends, political and business associates — joined together at All Saints Catholic Church, Liverpool, to pay tribute and farewell George Paciullo, who died at the age of 78. Some estimates put the attendance at between 700 and 800.
The state government had earlier turned down a request for a state funeral, but through local efforts, mainly via Liverpool Council, a police escort was provided for the cortege, and a guard of honour organised at the church.
Adding further colour to the occasion, two members of the local Italian Carabinieri Association in full regalia also joined in the guard of honour, that included police officers, current Liverpool councillors and former mayors and councillors.
"George was an honourable man; a man of humility," said Lidia Kaban in her eulogy.
Ms Kaban worked for Mr Paciullo while he was a minister in the NSW government in the 1980s.
Her eulogy was preceded by a rendering of Amazing Grace.
Members of the extended Paciullo clan, led by son Murray, wife Michelle and grandchildren Chelsea and Will sat in the front pew, trying valiantly to contain their emotions.
Former Liverpool Council colleague Alf Vella placed the flag of Liverpool on the coffin. Then mayor Ned Mannoun removed his chains of office and placed them on the coffin.
Politicians past and present attended including former premier Barry Unsworth, federal MP for Fowler Chris Hayes, and Craig Knowles, another former mayor and MP.
Adrian Piccoli, the Minister for Education represented the NSW government.
Father Phil Linder, who conducted the service, said George Paciullo was always there for him whenever he needed something he could help the church with. "He was always a great help to me," Father Phil said.
Mr Paciullo was buried at Liverpool Cemetery, alongside his wife, Jan.