On the way to a private family burial, the cortege carrying the late Paul Tosi headed down to Queen Street last Thursday around noon.
Almost half the Campbelltown City Council workforce who had lined up Queen Street in front of the council administration quickly spotted the funeral cars as they turned right from Cordeaux Street.
A respectful hush fell over them as the cortege took just two or three minutes to reach the front of the council, where Farewell Paul banners were held up by staff, one on each side of the street.
As the cortege reached the guard of honour formed by the council staff, they suddenly broke into an emotional applause for the man who had been their big boss for 16 years.
The guard of honour by the council staff was a fitting conclusion to the farewell for Paul Francis Tosi, who had suddenly died on November 23 at the age of 70.
Mass at St John the Evangelist Church was conducted by Father John Ho, Father Michael Healy and Paul Tosi’s own parish priest, Father Chris Sarkis.
The Catholic church on Cordeaux Street was full to overflowing when the service started at 11am.
It was a beautiful, hour long Mass and there were plenty of tears among the mourners inside and outside the church as Paul Tosi’s life as a family man and a Campbelltown advocate was recited by both the priests and in eulogies by Michael and Katrina Tosi.
There was a light moment when Jim Marsden, a good friend of Paul Tosi, also delivered a eulogy to the man who had also been good friends with his late brother, John Marsden, who died 10 years ago.
“Coming to church this morning I started thinking what Paul and John would say to each other if they met up there.
“So I thought, Paul Tosi walks through the gate of heaven and the first person he sees is John Marsden.
“John says to Paul: I didn’t expect to see you here so soon.
“And Paul replies: I didn’t expect to see you here at all.’’
But Jim Marsden’s most telling line was his last, when he said: “Paul Tosi will always be remembered by his family and friends and the Campbelltown community.’’