Blast from the past! Check out these incredible Sliema family photos in the 1950s
Ron Banavage was only 10 years old when he left Malta with his family to migrate to Canada, and while he doesn’t remember a lot from his earlier days, what he does remember are some really interesting details!
“We lived in Pace Street near the then Tigne Barracks, and it was just a short walk from the house to Qui-Si-Sana and beyond to the promenade at Ghar id-Dud,” Ron says, remembering a long-lost time. He does remark that he has returned 11 times since the beginning of 1968 when he met his late wife. “Malta is and always will be a passion of mine.” Ron also shares some fantastic photos and stories that totally had us in awe.
Ron and his older brother are snapped here with their father
“When the sea was rough my dad used to tell us to breath in as the spray for each wave left a mist in the air. Dad was always dressed up for the walks. He even wore a tie with his casual shorts!” Ron remembers, saying his father was on Lord Mountbatten’s (the commander in chief of the Mediterranean fleet) staff in communications. “Dad used to bring the Morse Code device home with him to practice.” How cool is that?
Ron with his mama and sister at the Sliema Creek
A naval ship can be seen in the background. “My mother recalls it was a very common sight to see the Duke of Edinburgh (yes, Prince Philip) getting off a launch from one of the ships on shore and passing by her.” Ron also remembers the years after the war, too. “During the post-war years, as a small boy, I used to go with my parents, sometimes even alone, to the army to buy food on ration. Not sure why or how but I think that since my dad worked for the RAF he got food stamps.”
His sister is captured wearing a St Joseph’s school uniform which their grandmother had sewn for her. He also remembers part of their childhood which didn’t consist of electronics and video games, as is the case nowadays. He explains there was a printing press in the building that was once a Sea Water Distillation Plant dating back to 1880. “Every time we went fishing and swimming off the rocks below, we could smell the ink and hear the presses running. It was just a field where we used to play football and improvise in other games. We hardly had any toys then.”
Ron also remembers a time when Tower Road was a long line of gorgeous houses. “Today they are all gone except perhaps for one or two. The promenade is much improved today but much noisier with the bumper to bumper traffic. It was nice and quiet during my time there,” he recalls.