Hometown hero Frank Costa AO to be immortalised in bronze this year.
The life and achievements of the late and legendary Frank Costa AO will be publicly recognised with a permanent bronze statue in central Geelong.
The local legend holds a special place in the Geelong community for his tireless philanthropy, his role as long-time Geelong Football Club president, his significant business endeavours, and his passionate advocacy for the region.
Born in 1938, Costa died after a battle with cancer in May of 2021. He was 83.
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“Frank Costa has ‘Legend’ status not just at the Geelong Football Club, but within all sections of the community”, says Mayor Trent Sullivan.
“Frank was a larger-than-life figure with a generosity of spirit, who lived his life in service and cared greatly about the welfare of Greater Geelong residents. A remarkable businessman, mentor and advocate, Frank’s work will have a positive impact on our region for generations to come.”
Now, the City of Greater Geelong has partnered with Mr Costa’s family and his beloved Geelong Football Club to make the memorial a reality after Geelong Authority member Rory Costelloe approached Council with the idea.
Respected Australian artist and sculptor Louis Laumen is currently creating the public artwork based on the vision to memorialise him as a ‘paper boy’, in a nod to Mr Costa’s time selling newspapers as a child. The boy will hold up a copy of the Geelong Advertiser proclaiming Geelong’s premiership victory in 1951, with the statue to explore a number of unifying themes evident in Mr Costa’s life.
“When I think of Frank Costa, I not only reflect on all that he achieved as our President and as a humble custodian of the Geelong Football Club, but all that he achieved beyond the stadium walls. He was an iconic figure in the region with a generous, authentic and fierce advocacy for the community,” says Joel Selwood – former Geelong Football Club premiership player and captain.
“Frank loved everyone and everyone loved him. He was a remarkable person and will always hold a special place in my heart, as he would by everybody who he came into contact with.
“One of the best things about coming to the footy club everyday was the stability of the place and without Frank, that would never have happened. Frank believed in Geelong when few did, and I’m honoured to represent the Club to acknowledge all that Frank contributed, in making this town what it is today.”
The 220-centimetre-tall statue will be installed on the northeast corner of Ryrie and Moorabool streets (in front of the T&G Building) where the future businessman once sold papers.
“We were humbled by Rory’s suggestion to capture the moment when a young Frank, full of enthusiasm, started his love of Geelong and the opportunities he found within it,” Shirley, Robert and the extended Costa family said of the statue.
“We believe it would mean a lot to him – it certainly does to us and hopefully to many others who got swept up in his endless world of possibilities.”
The memorial is expected to be unveiled mid-2023, soon after the second anniversary of Mr Costa’s death.
The cost to fabricate and install the memorial is $100,000, funded by City of Greater Geelong, Costa-Costelloe and Geelong Football Club contributions.
Find out more here.