On Saturday 22 September 2018 LDC hosted an Open Day to officially open the new Ruffino Park at Kilgariff Estate, Alice Springs. The day was filled with giveaways, jumping castles, face painting and official proceedings, however more importantly provided an opportunity to bring the community together for a fun filled morning.
The park was named in honour of the late Luigi Ruffino; a well-respected local entrepreneur. After immigrating from Siciliy to Perth Luigi took a chance on Darwin and opened a restaurant in 1955. After a few years Luigi decided to leave Darwin for Mt Isa but after a delay in Alice Springs, Luigi and his wife Vera were convinced to stay in Alice. It was in Alice Springs that Luigi and Vera pioneered the restaurant and catering business, changing the face of Alice Springs in the process.
‘Papa Luigi’ as he was affectionately known, was a respected member of the community and his contribution to central Australia was recognised in 1979 when he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire. It was fitting that Luigi’s contribution to the community will be remembered in a place where people come together, Ruffino Park, a much needed recreational space for not only the residents of the newly establish Kilgariff, but the broader Alice Springs community.
LDC thanks the Ruffino family for travelling all the way from Sydney to participate in the open day, their involvement in the open day was invaluable. A special thanks also goes to the Alice Springs Town Council, local builders Patrick Homes & Construction, Member for Namatjira Chansey Paech MLA and the Hon Eva Lawler for officially opening the park.