The remarkable contribution of the late Louie Piccone to the Cairns community has been recognised with the renaming of a road in Edmonton in his honour.
Mr Piccone – the name behind the well-known Piccone’s IGA supermarket in Edmonton – had a lifelong connection to the area through support for community, sporting and charity groups.
Council’s intention to honour one of the Far North’s most philanthropic and respected businessmen was flagged shortly before his death in July 2020.
A small ceremony was held today outside the Hambledon Hotel in Edmonton to unveil Louie Piccone Way, formerly an unnamed service road, known as the “old Bruce Highway”, from the Petersen Road/Bruce Highway intersection to the Mill Road intersection.
The road will officially change name on Monday 30 May.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the Piccone family epitomised the hard work ethic and strong community connection of countless migrants, who played a pivotal role in shaping the city.
“His parents, as new residents of Australia, were hard working members of the Edmonton community and it was they who introduced a young Lou to the world of small business,” Cr Manning said.
“They set their son on a path not only to business success, but toward a lifelong connection with Edmonton and its people.
“Lou was one of those people who made a real difference to his community and the city. He was one of those people who gave far more than he received.”
Division 1 Councillor Brett Moller, who has known the Piccone family for over 40 years, said the road naming was an appropriate recognition for Lou Piccone who had touched so many in the community with his generosity, wisdom, and commitment to helping people, schools, along with sporting and community organisations.
“Lou was a mentor to me when I first went into business,” Cr Moller said.
“He told me, ‘It’s important in business to support the community that supports you’.
“He spent his life supporting others and through this recognition he will be fondly remembered.”
Division 2 Councillor Rob Pyne said it was fitting that the road had been renamed to recognise the contribution of Mr Piccone.
“In many ways Louie Piccone was the heart and soul of Edmonton, an icon of the city of Cairns, a man who was very well respected and loved,” Cr Pyne said.
“His contribution to the community cannot be overstated.”
The newly renamed road services a day care centre, accommodation, police station and commercial shops, and includes the former butcher shop and general store that was run by Louie’s father, Luigi.
This site was later developed by Louie into the Piccone IGA and the Edmonton Shopping Village, a shopping centre now operated by his sons Peter and John.
The family also owns the historic Hambledon Hotel on the road, where today’s official unveiling was held.
John Piccone thanked Council for honouring his father’s legacy through the renaming of the road.
“We are very appreciative to the local Cairns Regional Council for organising this service road to be named in honour of our amazing father ‘Louie Piccone’,” he said.
“Dad and Mum always instilled in us the wonderful feeling of being a part of our community by giving back through charity work and community involvement.
“Dad grew up in Edmonton and this road passes our Shopping Village where his family home was.
“Thank you to all the people in Edmonton and surrounds for your recognition of our wonderful father.”
Louie Piccone was born in Cairns on 28 February 1934, the son of Italian immigrants, Luigi and Anna who arrived in arrived in Australia more than 90 years ago. Luigi arrived in 1925 and was joined by Anna in 1930.
While the couple settled briefly in Ingham and then Babinda, the search for a town with less rain brought them to Edmonton.
Luigi, a butcher by trade, acquired a share in a bakery and grocery shop at Edmonton.
Louie attended St Theresa’s School at Edmonton, boarded at St Augustine’s College during his high school years and then completed an engineering degree at the Queensland University in Brisbane.
Meanwhile, the family business grew with the addition of a grocery store to their successful butchery and bakery.
Although he never intended to follow in his father’s footsteps, Louie returned to the Far North and in 1957 took over management of the Piccone business enterprise.