ABC Tropical Queensland | 

Maltese Corner

Thursday, 13 March  2003

Reporter: Judy Kelly

If you're a Mackay local or you've visited the town, you would have noticed a group of fellas who gather on one of two corners (depending where the sun is) in the City Heart.

All the boys

All the boys

The corner's known as "Maltese Corner" and this is their place - they've claimed it as their own and it's where they come to talk about politics, women, share prices and to buy and sell the odd cane farm.

It's a custom that was brought to Mackay when the Maltese emigrated to take up predominantly cane farm work in the 1930s. It's developed over time from day outings to the beaches to meeting in a more central location to have these regular chinwagging sessions.


The tradition in Malta is to gather in cafes, on steps and other strategic places in town and enjoy each other's company - very much in the vein of other mediterranean customs.

Some of the members of this group have been meeting up in this spot for over 40 years, from their school days and can remember coming to town once a month to shop with their mothers and seeing the men in the families gathering on the corner.

Pictured here on the corner are Charlie Grima, John Galea, John Attard, Matty Vella, Paul Portelli and John Bezzina

John Bezzina