A man with integrity, a father who led by example and inspired his three children (Rebecca, Rick and Crystal) and an irreplaceable husband to Gloria.
Three ways Gino Altin is being remembered following his passing last week, yet they only skim the surface of a man who has left his family with “101 million treasured memories”.
From his earliest moments growing up in Griffith, to achieving the impossible and welcoming three white rhinos into his family’s wildlife park just last October, Gino (with the help of his family) was a man whose determination saw him succeed – but never at the expense of others, according to wife of 31 years Gloria Altin.
“There’s no one who will ever replace him and he is still here, just in spirit, every time I look into the kids eyes, I see him,” she said on Thursday.
“He is not only going to be lost to us but by the community in general, I really feel that we have lost someone really special.”
A master of keeping a straight face while making a joke, daughter Crystal said, often the only way you could tell her father wasn’t serious was by the glimmer in his eye.
“You could always tell because his eyes would just smile,” she said.
“He was our inspiration as to what leaders we want to be in the future, he never missed a day of work ever, seven days a week for as long as I can remember, he just loved what he did that much.”
Gino’s first love was working alongside his father at Bruno Altin & Co and was acknowledged as Co-Director in 1993. His innovative ideas saw this business reach new heights with the company now supplying product nationwide.
With the opening of Altina Wildlife Park in 2004 outside of Darlington Point, Gino leaves behind an enduring legacy of love for animals he shared with his wife and passed on to all three of his children who chose to return to work by his side among both businesses.
“It all came about when we went to Africa and we saw the plight of the animals and it really tore at our heartstrings,” Gloria said.
“As a family we sat down and we decided whether we should embark on this huge and crazy endeavour and we made a decision and put our whole hearts into it.”
The tight-knit family were brought even closer by the park, with Crystal saying it had never been difficult to work together, in part because of the man her father was.
“Sunday night dinners for us were always talking about work but it is how we bonded, it is how we became the closest family we know.”
Despite their sadness at losing a man they all adored, Gino’s family were thankful that last year he was able to realise his life long dream of offering a safe haven to rhinos at Altina as part of conservation efforts.
“It was his favourite animal and I am glad he actually got to see them, it wasn’t for long but at least he got to see them,” Gloria said.
“I am grateful and thankful to all of those involved who helped give Gino his dream.”
Gloria said the feat had been a “feather” in her husband’s cap, with importing rhinos as a private facility a difficult thing to achieve, something Gloria said the pair of them had done with all projects time and time again as partners over the years.
It all contributed to a man who was a larger than life figure to all three of his children, even when they were grown and working by his side.
Daughter Rebecca said, “He was always a tough but fair boss & father,”.
Gino, who once competed internationally as a recognised & respected power lifter, with a still standing record as well as countless championships under his belt, always made others around him seem weak.
“Daily tasks like, cutting firewood for the furnace heating the crocodile house. . .and Dad would just pick up a log and throw it over his shoulder as if it were as light as a feather,” she said.
A funeral date for Gino Altin is yet to be announced, but should be within the next 10 days.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.