Culture
WATCH: Go back in time and get nostalgic with the Gozo Mail bus!
Rotta sits down with Dennis Micallef to reminisce about his father driving the old Gozo mail bus.

Emma Galea

In a bid to immortalise Malta’s automotive heritage, Facebook page Rotta often interviews individuals that have been impacted by the country’s vehicular history.

This time round, it was the son of a former Gozo Mail bus driver’s turn to teach us some history!

Decades ago, Dennis would accompany his father as he drove two Birkirkara buses. Turns out he was quite the handful for his mother, and he always behaved better whilst out on the road.

Dennis jokingly reminisces about the time when his father would put him on his lap and pretend to let him drive around.

“These are memories which I’ll cherish forever because I can’t experience them anymore”, he fondly recalls.

After some time, Dennis’ father ended up leaving his Birkirkara bus-driving job to drive the Gozo Mail bus instead. This way, he was allowed to enjoy Sundays off and spend more time with his family.

The Gozo Mail bus would leave from Valletta for a 45-minute journey to Marfa. Dennis fondly remembers how, sometimes, his father would be given the mail late, prompting him to “drive like crazy” to make it to Marfa in time!

The interviewee proceeds to bring up Rafel – an elderly gentleman who used to collect the shilling-and-a-pence fee from those looking to get a ride on the Gozo Mail bus.

Dennis recalls how some Gozitans would give Rafael a hard time by only giving him a shilling and leaving him begging for the remaining pence!

It seems like the interviewee’s got plenty of stories to tell about Rafael – perhaps the funniest one being about how he’d fall asleep on the bus steps and almost fall off when the vehicle would be making a turn.

Years later, after Dennis’ father stopped driving the Gozo Mail bus, the interviewee recalls how he’d go to Valletta and spot his father’s bus again, donning a couple of superficial differences.

This certainly makes us think about how the times have changed here in Malta when it comes to public transport!

Do you remember the Gozo Mail bus?

 

3rd November 2021


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as my films as she possibly can!

You may also like...
Culture
Culture
The mural could give us a better idea of how the Gran Salon was decorated in the 19th century.

Kim Vella
New & now
New & now
A trip down Gustavo Vincenti lane...

Kim Vella
Culture
Culture
To help them stand out, ARP members would wear helmets marked with a big ‘W’ at the front.

Emma Galea
Culture
Culture
‘Roman Architecture in Malta’ has been adapted from the author’s own Masters’ research.

Benjamin Abela
New & now
New & now
This one is for all the curious art lovers…

Kim Vella