GEORGE Attard is one of the veterans of our band and is one of our two main trumpeters. George is 68 years old and hails from Saint Julians in Malta.
He was born in 1944 in a family that always loved music. His brothers, especially his eldest, used to play with the band club of their village.
At fifteen, George started learning music, starting with the guitar for Maltese Ghana and later the trumpet with the Saint Julians Band Club under the direction of Maestro Pulicino.
George accidentally came across Mro Darmanin at a very young age in Malta. It happened that his mother hailed from Sliema and she always wished that young George would have the opportunity to play with Stella Maris Band and she asked the Band Master – who happened to be Mro Darmanin – to let him play with them and he duly did.
George arrived in Australia in 1962, bringing his trumpet with him, living with his aunties in Campbeltown. Every now and then he used to play his instrument in their backyard, but the neighbours didn’t like the noise and they called the police where he was stopped and couldn’t play.
After a while, around Christmas, a Salvation Army Band was playing some Carols at Newtown bridge and George asked if he could play with them and he was allowed this made the young man very happy. He went to let his aunties know, but unfortunately, in those days his aunties had very conservative ideas and told George that he couldn’t play with the Salvation Army Band cause they were not Roman Catholics , they were from the Anglican Church.
This was the last straw for George, who thought that he would never play the trumpet again. In fact, in 1966 he decided to go for a holiday to Malta and he took his trumpet with him to give to his cousin’s son who was learning the instrument.
George returned to Australia and after a while he started playing with a group called Fillets Bates, where he met his wife, Liz, who came from San Lawrence in Gozo but came here to Australia as a six-month-old baby with her family. In the early seventies when George and Liz got married, her family had a farm in Plumpton and George used to help in selling the eggs around houses, especially to Maltese families in the area of Greystanes where it happened that Mrs Darmanin lived. There he again met Mro Darmanin who he told him about the idea of forming a Maltese brass band. George told him that it had been quite a while since he played, but the Maestro told him that music is like riding a bike: once your learn, you never forget.
When asked about his commencement with the band, George said that although he knew from the beginning about its formation, he had happened to go on holiday to Malta with his family for about six months and missed the very beginning and about two programs. As soon as he returned, however, he went to the Greystanes Festa where the band was playing and all the band members gathered around him and told him to join. He did and, of course, George is still a very active member of the band.
George had a short spell of Presidency in 2000-2001 where the band was passing through a bit of turbulent times and for the band’s sake, he made way for others to come in. A very important thing began while George was President – the band’s participation in the Anzac Day march in the city, which is still going to this day thanks to his perseverance.
When asked about the way the band is nowadays, George said that he’s very happy that things have improved a lot with a collective effort from everybody and he’s always waiting for Monday to come for rehearsal.