The family of the church’s builder, Tullie Olivotto, (from left) Loretta, Charlie and Rino Olivotto, Maria and Craig Morrissey and (front) Gabriella Olivotto and Isabelle Morrissey.
The family of the church’s builder, Tullie Olivotto, (from left) Loretta, Charlie and Rino Olivotto, Maria and Craig Morrissey and (front) Gabriella Olivotto and Isabelle Morrissey. Emma Channon

Builder's legacy lives on

THE two children of Tullie Olivotto - Maria and Rino - can easily remember their father's fierce pride in his work.

Tullie, a respected builder in the Warwick and Killarney area, was responsible for a number of significant structures including the Killarney Abattoir, Wickhams and St Michael's Church in Glennie Heights.

After finishing a construction project, he often took his children to see the finished product.

Now with families of their own, the pair travelled to Killarney at the weekend to help celebrate the half-century of one of their father's best known buildings - the Killarney Catholic Church.

Daughter Maria Morrissey travelled from her home in Brisbane and said it was "very special" to attend the mass.

"Dad died two years ago and mum is unwell so she couldn't be here," she said.

"He was a master builder but I think this was his first church he built. Afterwards he built St Michael's Church in Warwick."

Son Rino said their dad had a strong work ethic.

"He was a very hard worker and was very proud of this building," he said.

"He often talked about it, about how deep the foundations were."

Tullie also had a cheeky streak to him. Not long ago, when the church was undergoing some renovations his name was found inscribed in the cross.

Bishop William Morris led the ceremony at the weekend - which was attended by a congregation of about 200 - and went into detail about what he had come across in the church's history.

"It's interesting that some places haven't got a lot of history recorded, while others seem to have a substantial amount," he said.

"This is one of the places that doesn't have much even though it has a long history."

Bishop Morris said plans to build a new church began in 1957, when Fr Robert Flynn was parish priest.

"The one constant in the parish is that the people have remained faithful to God, to the church and to the community," he said.

"The community is the bricks of the building and is the centre of this story."



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