Michael Cachia is 67 years old. He and his father grew up with a great passion for American and British military trucks, and other craft including aircraft engines. Michael spends his time building dismantled military trucks, and has a large collection of military craft, even an old car that was used to take St. George Preca from one place to another.
One of the military items owned by Michael Cachia, known as Piti from Benghajsa Birżebbugia, is a hand-operated war siren. It was used to warn people to go down to shelters because of military airstrikes during the war. Michael who is now 67 years old has a great passion for trucks and old craft, a passion he inherited from his father Paul. Michael said that in British times, his father worked and provided services for the military.
Michael told us that just like his father had done, he too likes collecting things related to the history of Malta, among them a fire truck that was used in 1975 when a Vulcan Bomber plane crashed in Żabbar. Every military vehicle that Michael has, works, and if it doesn’t, he makes it work.
“It’s something you are born with, when we were young, we used to work with the British and that stays with you … we are always finding ways of doing things …”
When you walk into Michael’s house you think you’re in a museum of military trucks, and old vehicles and every kind of thing imaginable, from old truck engines, airplane engines, and even an old Morris from the thirties that St. George Preca used to ride in.
“This car belonged to my grandfather and was given to my father and he would go to Fr George Preca in Hamrun, take him to mass in Benghajsa and take him back.”
Enthusiastic and even a little excited Michael showed us a disassembled military truck that he is building piece by piece. When asked if he has any dreams Michael told us that he is living his dream, but that it would be fun if now, apart from so many military trucks, he manages to get his hands an an airplane as well. When we were there Michael saw an old music box belonging to his grandfather which he thought no longer worked, but when he tried playing it it began playing music from the war years. This made Michael think of his grandfather rejoicing and dancing to the music.