READER PROFILE: Mario Calligaris, 88, rides 2km every day to buy the NewsMail.
READER PROFILE: Mario Calligaris, 88, rides 2km every day to buy the NewsMail.

Meet Mario, he's 88 and cycles 2km a day

AT 88, Mario Calligaris refuses to slow down.

The Bundaberg man rides his bike every morning to buy the NewsMail, something he says keeps him both physically active and active within the community.

"I like to know what happens in the town," he said.

"I always read from first page to the last page and I also love the Letters to the Editor section.

"Some are boring, actually, because they are too long," he said, laughingly.

Mr Calligaris said he started his morning with the almost 2km round trip before settling in to 'read all about it'.

He said the bike ride idea came when knee troubles caused his movements to become limited.

"I am getting a little bit weak on my legs, which is age, I presume," he said with a laugh.

"If I get on a bike, I only go slow, it is a bit of movement that doesn't affect my knee."

Mr Calligaris is a proud Bundaberg resident and has a long history in the region as a businessman.

Italian-born and bred, he first worked as a motor mechanic and was conscripted into the army before making his way to Australia.

"A businessman came to Italy looking for motor mechanics to take back to Australia to work so I got the opportunity," he said.

"That was in 1951."

It was that opportunity that led him to Bundaberg 10 years later.

Mr Calligaris moved to the region with his wife and three children in tow to work on family land cultivating tobacco.

"I didn't like working on land, I have never been a farmer and much preferred to be a motor mechanic," he said.

Mr Calligaris scored himself a job at the-then Western Garage working on Volkswagen Beetles.

"I worked for them for six years," he said.

"I left the garage and leased a service station myself in 1967 and it was rundown so I had to bring it up."

That was the start of the next business journey at his service station on Takalvan St, which he operated until 1979.

"It was called BP Service Station - 29 Takalvan St," he said.

Nowadays, the retired Mr Calligaris still has a passion for cars but prefers to spend time at home, tinkering with woodwork in the back shed.

And, of course, reading the NewsMail, front to back.


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