TRIBUTE: ‘Zorro’s’ partner fondly recalls first interactions
THE tragic passing of 'Zorro' has left a hole in the Stanthorpe community.
A swath of heartfelt messages have been shared since Adrian Zorzi's death on October 30.
The 58-year-old former police officer had been driving a tractor on his Pozieres property when the machine rolled on its side, trapping him underneath.
Emergency services were called to the Fleurbaix Rd property and despite best efforts to free him, he died at the scene.
His partner, Rosy Chapman, has shared a loving tribute to Adrian, recalling their earliest interactions more than 40 years ago.
"When I was in Grade 3 at Thulimbah Primary School, Adrian arrived in Grade 4, from Pozieres," Ms Chapman said.
"I can still picture him across the classroom with his hand shooting straight up in the air - always first with the answer to maths problems. I think he really loved school."
Mr Zorzi was born in northern Italy, near Venice, on February 28, 1961.
"Most of my classmates came from the same region," Ms Chapman said.
"Many had the job of family interpreter throughout their lives, as Adrian did.
"I've always valued growing up in that place and time with the people I did. For those of us who were there it feels like the heart began to beat for this special community in a way that others can sense, but may not fully understand.
"Adrian returned to the district before his father passed some years ago and stayed on the farm to care for his mother.
"We began seeing each other last year when I too came home. The rest of that story is private."
Mr Zorzi received public recognition and accolades for his many years of dedicated service to community, both as a police officer and here since his return.
"He would often say 'I just wanted to help people'.
"He was a humble and loving man who enjoyed the simple things in life like a good steak with extra pepper sauce, watching the birds feed at dusk, stargazing with a beer, storytelling, and spending time with family and friends.
"He always had time and a kind - sometimes cheeky - word for anyone … without judgment, from all walks of life.
"His passion, his pride and his joy were his children (and their children and partners) and of course, let's not forget those cherries.
"From the outpouring of love and support we have all received this week I have agreed to this article as one small way to say thank you to everyone from near and far who also shares in our shock, grief and loss.
"Peace is now yours. Mi Manchi Caro Mio."