APAL was saddened to hear of the passing of two of Western Australia’s pome industry legends this month: Steve Dilley and Neil Casotti.
Steve Dilley of Perivale Orchards, Donnybrook, passed away on 1 November after a short battle with cancer.
Steve’s contribution to both the industry and community was significant both locally and nationally, and he was a passionate and proactive advocate. Steve actively served on industry boards and committees over many years, including the WA Fruit Growers Association and Australian Apple and Pear Growers Association (AAPGA). He also served the local community for 8 years as Donnybrook Shire President and most recently was the Hon. President of Donnybrook Historical Society.
“Steve was a genuinely nice bloke who was passionate about our industry and his community,” said APAL Director (WA) Mark Scott, Nannup Fresh Fruit. “While Steve was proactive on nearly all industry issues, his work on WA water laws and his behind-the-scenes lobbying to have the Pink Lady trademark remain in Australian industry hands are his most noted achievements. Our deepest condolences to Steve’s wife Rosie and children, and to Steve’s brother Quentin and his family – who Steve worked so closely with.”
“Steve has made a great contribution to the industry during his lifetime and will be greatly missed,” said APAL CEO Phil Turnbull. “We send our condolences to his wife Rosie, his children and the rest of his family.”
“It is sad to hear the passing of Steve,” said APAL Director (Vic) Kevin Sanders, Sanders Apples. “I thoroughly enjoyed his company at any of the AAPGA meetings that I attended while he was there. He worked tirelessly for the industry and will be sadly missed by all, particularly his family.”
“Steve was a very nice and obliging individual who had a vibrant personality and was always engaging,” said APAL Pear Director Chris Fairless. “What a sad time and extreme loss to his family, the community and industry alike.”
“A great loss, Steve was one of the all-time good guys and will be sadly missed by many,” said a statement from Pomewest.
Neil Casotti of the Casotti Group passed away peacefully at Hollywood Private Hospital on 5 November. Neil was the son of Giovanni and Clara (dec.), loving husband of Esdra and devoted father of Pomewest Committee member Mario Casotti.
In 1962 Neil founded Karragullen Cool Storage (KCS), a wholly owned subsidiary responsible for the distribution and sale of all fruit produced by the Casotti Group – WA’s largest private fruit grower, packer and wholesaler. KCS is a third-generation vertically integrated fruit growing, packing, transport and sales company, which forms part of the Casotti Group.
“Neil will be greatly missed and remembered for his huge contribution to the WA fruit growing sector for many years to come,” said a statement from Pomewest.
On behalf of the apple and pear industry, APAL offers its deepest condolences to the Dilley and Casotti families and their friends.