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St.Julian's Bay - Malta

I was only 6 years old. It was during the summer holidays when we paid a visit to Aunty "Dolly" who lived in St. Julian's. On that day I remember begging my mother to let me sleep over that night because Aunty Dolly had a pair of budgerigars and the broody hen was on five eggs, waiting to hatch anytime! I kept checking every hour to see the first hatchling and when it happened I was there. To me that was incredible. I was so excited that I begged my Aunt to let me have one when they were fully grown and so she did. Making my first bird a Budgerigar.

Ta' Xbiex - Malta

My first aviary came to me as a surprise. Following the loss of my Budgie, my Dad asked me to start collecting milk tins, however he wouldn't tell me why. Having collected about 20 tins we started cutting half the lids and partially bending them inwards. Dad then filed down the sharp edges and lined them up on the wall of our roof garden. I eventually gathered that all this was for birds to nest in them and Dad told me this was the first step to building an aviary. A week later we got the first dozen pairs of Zebra Finches making it my first step towards loving this beautiful hobby.
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Attard - Malta

After reading a book about canaries I set out looking for a pair of Glosters. Seeing an advert in the Times of Malta I found myself on a bus to Attard. A lady named Maria residing at "Triq is-Sinja" let me into her bird room. She told me that all birds had to go as they were packing up the hobby. I pointed my towards a Three Parts Dark Corona Cock and to my surprise she said “No that one is for keeps”! I insisted because I knew she was giving up the lot and was determined to take it home at any cost. I offered her almost a week's wages and it was then that she gave in and let me have it. Ever since, my heart is still set on the wonderful Gloster Canary.

Sliema - Malta

Like most Maltese bird enthusiasts I quickly got into bird trapping. At the time in my parent's backyard we had Green Finches, Gold Finches, Linnets, Bull Finches and Canaries. I mainly enjoyed trapping Robins! Although this was and still is illegal in Malta somehow I found myself doing it and dedicated a room in our house just for Robins. I tried as best as I could to mimic nature with tree branches, soil, worms etc. One day I decided to let our neighbour “Maurine” see this room. She was British married to a Maltese Hotelier. A lovely woman and many times I went over to help her with her shopping, but the day I let her see my Robin Room she really told me off! I could see she was upset and told me that she will never visit my bird room again. I missed her and soon after I decided to give up bird trapping. I went to her house and let her know, also promising her that I will not trap any more birds. And so I did.
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Rabat - Malta

In 1992 I drove to Rabat to visit a man that bred Cockatiels. I wanted a young one to be able to hand rare and bond with it. We got it and I decided to keep him at my mother in law, as I was spending most of my time there. I named the bird ‘Bobby’ and till today he still calls out the first words he uttered being "Hello Bobby". Today Bobby is 21 years old and still going strong. He is still there at Sandra's Mother's house as I was afraid to move him because he is very happy there.

Sliema - Malta

The year I got married was a quiet one when it came to birds. I was busy finishing my first house in Sliema, but still made time for birds. My father and I built a new aviary, big enough to breed 12 pairs of canaries. This time I put all sorts of coloured canaries in it, nothing too grand but it was enough to give me a break from the everyday routine. Let’s face it when you are feeling down everyone turns to the thing they like most as it helps to change their mood. As for myself being in the bird room definitely helps.
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Birgu - Malta

In 2004 I was introduced to the Gloster Breeders Society. I was surprised to see 230 Glosters

exhibited in a hall in Birgu. I remember the hall not being properly lit and I was greeted at

the door by the treasurer Charles Bonanno at the time. Still remembering the words he clearly uttered "Can you give us a donation please by becoming a Member?" This confused me. I asked whether it is a donation or a Membership fee. So I paid my 3 Lira (€7) membership as I was told. I remember there being some commotion because a Member was complaining about the Judge appointed. There was some finger food available as that evening was the opening day of the show, so I helped myself to some bites. My overall impression was that the club needed a boost, as I only got to know about the show through a man that had given me some Glosters.
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