Natale (Nat) Gerardini
Natale Gerardini, known as Nat and Bodgy 1 ½, was born on Christmas Day 1946 in the beautiful Dolomiti mountains in Italy. He was the oldest of four children.Nat’s father Vito left Italy to come to Australia to find work, as the town of Lorenzago di Cadore didn’t have many employment options. Vito found work in Sydney and built a house in Auburn. A few years later, Nat moved to Australia with his mother and siblings to join his father. Nat was 10 years old.
Nat went to school in Auburn but never liked academics. When it was time to start working, Nat was encouraged (by his father) to get a trade and started working as a moulder. It wasn’t what Nat wanted to do but his father was adamant that having a skill was important.
In 1969, Nat met and fell in love with Yvette. They met on a cruise in Sydney harbour. They both had the same circle of friends but had never met previously. They were married in June 1970 and their first child, Carina, was born in April 1971. Yvette’s father wasn’t keen on his oldest daughter marrying a foreigner but Nat was adored by Yvette’s mother, so he was welcomed into the family. Nat found work in New Zealand as a moulder and they moved the family to Auckland and bought a house. While in NZ, Nat & Yvette had their second child, Craig, in December 1977.
In 1978, Nat & Yvette moved back to Australia to save for a deposit on a new house. They built the house in the Penrith area in 1982 and lived there for 26 years. Nat enjoyed building and built an extension, pergolas and carports at the property. During his building there were a number of times were he had mishaps, which is where the nickname Bodgy 1 ½ came from. Once he fell through the ceiling of the house almost landing on a glass coffee table and while building the carport, drilled through his thumb…ouch!! Each time Nat had a mishap; he would have a laugh and continue on with the job. These stories always kept the family laughing and we still laugh about them after he’s gone.
Nat’s passions were his wife, kids and family. He also loved to four wheel drive and was an active member for many years in the Southern Cross 4WD Club. He also loved motorbikes and riding. He bought his first motorbike when he was a teenager and had various bikes throughout his life. His last bike was his beloved BMW K1200RS. He would go for long rides with his son Craig and brother Vanni. He was always volunteering his time for charity rides.
Nat’s favourite music was Country and Western and songs from the Italian Alps. He would listen to Country and Western and sing along most of the time. It was interesting for the rest of the family and we’d had a quiet laugh as he didn’t really have a good voice AND he would turn the volume up!He loved life and made the most of every opportunity and always had a smile on his face. Both Nat & Yvette made numerous trips back to his birthplace in Italy and met with one of his old school teachers. This was an amazing experience for Nat. He left his birthplace when he was ten years old and the teacher and townsfolk remembered him after 50 years! Amazing! Many friends and acquaintances of Nat remember his infectious smile and carefree and fun attitude to life.
Nat always wanted grandchildren. His son and daughter-in-law Krissy, are expecting Nats first grandchild but unfortunately he was unable to be here to meet the baby. Nat passed away from Pancreatic Cancer on Friday 16th August at 7.04am, the baby is due 13th October. He did get to see the baby by ultrasound and hear the heartbeat. It was a very emotional and sad time for everyone. Hopefully Nat has met the baby in Heaven and told them all about its new family. Maybe he will be the child’s guardian angel.
Nat was only 66 years old when he passed away, way too young. He had plans to retire at the end of this year, buy a caravan and travel around Australia with Yvette. He also wanted to enjoy his grandchild but we’ve lost him to an incredibly cruel and painful disease. He was always a happy, healthy, fit man who did not smoke.
Watching his pain, frustration and wasting away was heartbreaking for all his family.We hope that the Garvan can find a way to stop this disease so others don’t have to experience what we have.