Born and in my blood to return again
by Doris Ball
(Campbell River, BC Canada)
Me soaking my tired feet in the water at Pretty Bay
I was born in Malta, Qormi to be more specific.
When my parents emigrated to Canada I was 3 and spoke Maltese as my first language. My parents always spoke Maltese to us, so I grew up understanding it very well.
I was so proud going to school with that extra special feeling of being the only person of Maltese Nationality there.
I was always asked lots and lots of questions and proud as a peacock, I always answered as best I knew.
Living in Canada, we had no other relatives in close proximity. Actually they all lived in Malta. So as I grew up, I only had 2 brothers and a sister along with our parents.
Vacations and holidays we spent together. No grandparents or uncles, aunts and cousins to visit for Christmas or Easter. We were a tight knit family, because we only had each other.
So when my dad asked us to get permission to be out of school early for summer vacation, we did not know why but we knew that it was going to be a very special holiday.
We got our permission. When dad told us where we were going, I just could not believe I heard him right!
The whole family was going to go and meet all of our family back in Malta!
We travelled by truck and camper all the way to Toronto and then flew from there.
I can't even explain the thrill and the nervousness I was feeling. Would they want to see us? Were they even interested in these people that left their wonderful island?
As the plane reached the edge of this big wonderous rock, my nerves got the better of me. I was 14 years of age and I started crying for happiness that I was going to meet so many people! People I had seen many pictures of but never got the chance to hug and feel the realness of them all.
Mom calmed me down. As the plane landed and taxied into the terminal, we saw with wide eyes how much our family wanted to see us!
The whole outside deck of the terminal was packed with our family waving with towels! They were screaming and crying out our names! Security guards tried to keep some kind of organization. I felt like a celebrity.
When we finally got through customs we were grabbed by arms pulling us in every direction. I was seperated from my parents but knew that everything was going to be OK. Life was grand.
We were treated like kings and queens for the rest of the trip and I now have been back many times. Taking my own children. I showed them my father's favorite swimming spots and now mine too.
I brag about my birth place whenever I have the opportunity.
My daughter and son have now been to Malta for a holiday and their favorite place was Mellieha and now my grandaughter's name is Summer Mellieha.
I am the proudest of all Maltese Canadians!