Reno ‘Zaren’ Galea

Reno Galea was born in Mosta, Malta, on the 9 November, 1935. As other kids he attended Mosta Primary school and he only worked for a few months in Malta.

He migrated to Australia at a tender age of 19, boarding the SS Sorriento on 8 October, 1954 and arrived in Sydney three months later. In 1956 he met Maria (nee Zerafa) from Għajnsielem, Gozo, whom he married on the 30 October 1956 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Wentworthville.

Reno and Mary have a daughter, Marisa, and a son, Mikael, and they also have four grandchildren: Emily, Loren, Michelle and Natasha.

Reno’s first job was as a storeman and packer with Sterling Henry in Flemington, where he stayed for a few years. He then had several different jobs before settling at the Cordina Chickens factory where he worked for nearly 11 years.

Reno’s interest in the band came in Malta where he used to go to Mosta’s Nicolò Isouard band club. At least once a week he would attend their band rehearsals and used to follow the band in the festi.

Here in Australia, Reno would go along to the festi organised by the Maltese community but it was only in 1980 that he joined our band, when George Attard – an already established trumpeter with the Band – started to work in the same factory. They became good friends and it was through this friendship that George encouraged Reno to become an Associate Member of the band .

From then on Reno became really involved in the band and he was a member of the committee under several presidents like Eric Rizzo, Oreste Aquilina, George Attard, Charlie Zammit and Tony Vella. He was one of the organisers – together with George Attard and Moses Mifsud – of the band’s first trip to Melbourne for the St. Helena Festa and later again with another trip to Melbourne for the feast of San Gejtanu, followed by many more.

Reno was one of the organisers for the band’s 20th and the 30th anniversaries which were held in Blacktown. When the band was based in Greystanes parish, where it held its rehearsals, Reno was the caretaker who would punctually open the hall and together with his mate Joe Zahra, help to prepare the room and distribute the music books.

Reno is another silent achiever that over the last 30 years has dedicated himself to this great Maltese tradition – Il-Banda – where he’s happy for Monday rehearsals to come around so that he can help out, listen to some marches and catch up with his old pals over a cuppa.

You’ll also see Reno proudly wearing the band uniform when the band is performing at a festa, always around to give a helping hand.

When you look at people like Reno and a few others that we have around the band and see their dedication and work behind the scenes – without putting up any fuss – you can say we’re lucky, because without their sacrifices, together with the bandsmen, the band just wouldn’t have made it through all these years

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