John Agius

Inaugural Life-Time Member

In 1949, John Agius got his ticket out of war-torn Malta with the offer of a job as a carpenter in the capital of Australia.

“I imagined it to be like New York, all sky scrapers and busy streets,” he says. “But when the train pulled up at a galvanized iron shed, I did not believe we had arrived at Canberra station.”

Since his initial shock, John has never looked back and becoming an inaugural life-time member of the Canberra Southern Cross Club was just one of the many ways he immersed himself in the Canberra community.

“My wife and I lent the Club $2,000 to help them get started,” he recalls. “Which in those days was a lot of money. But we really wanted to be a part of what they were creating. My family and I would come to the Club two or three times a week and my wife and I would go to the shows,” he says. “Now my two children are members, my five grandchildren are members. I’m not sure about my great grandchildren.”

John still comes to the Club regularly, and most Friday nights will have dinner at Tuggeranong with his daughter and try his luck with the meat raffle.

“I remember the Club when it was very small, before it had computers or pokies. But then, I also remember Canberra with a galvanized iron shed for its railway station,” he laughs. “Everything changes!”