JOE arrived in Australia at the tender age of eight with his family in 1963.
He remembers his young days in Malta where his parents loved festas and in their peak season, they would try to take him to as many festas as possible. This is where Joe believes he became accustomed to Maltese celebrations and marches.
The love for musical instruments came from his grandfather who played the squeeze box – an old style of accordion – and hearing his mum talk about his grandfather playing music. These things influenced Joe so much that he taught himself the mouth organ and then his parents bought him a piano accordion which he still has and plays every now and then.
At the age of 14 he commenced formal piano accordion music lessons and he taught himself how to play the organ. He led a choir for over 20 years at Rooty Hill and Old Blacktown Parish. For over 3 years he took formal guitar lessons too.
In 1976 he joined our band, where he took up Ebb Bass which he still plays today. Joe assists in conducting the band especially for certain special pieces and also assist in the percussion section when needed. Joe has held several positions in the band committee where he has been President twice, Vice President and the Secretary.
As regards the future of the band, Joe believes that respect to each member – no matter what skill of musicianship they may have – is of utmost importance. The leadership of the band must appreciate all members for whom they are and what they represent and top-down forms of management are not desirable but rather a consensual approach to decision-making which makes the band more approachable.