Kyabram resident Paul Sammut is now an Australian citizen after living in Australia for 58 years.December 18, 2013 4:20am
While some of Campaspe Shire’s 13 new Australian citizens have only been in Australia a few years, it is a different story for Kyabram’s Paul Sammut.
After 58 years in his adopted country, he is officially an Australian citizen.
‘‘I’ve had a lot of people say to me, ‘What took you so long?’,’’ he said.
Mr Sammut, 66, was born in Malta and moved to Australia in 1955 aged seven with his mother and five siblings .
They joined his father, who had emigrated 10 years earlier to establish a new life for the family.
‘‘We arrived in Sydney by ship on January 13, 1955 after a five-week journey and then headed off to Broken Hill on a train the next day,’’ Mr Sammut said.
He spent more than 40 years in Broken Hill and met his wife Joy there before moving to Kyabram.
Mr Sammut said he was not someone who became too excited and not previously having Australian citizenship had never really worried him.
He decided to apply for citizenship about four years ago after deciding he wanted to do some travelling.
Mr Sammut has enjoyed horse racing for many years and has raced horses at Broken Hill and across Victoria.
During that time, he has bought horses from New Zealand and the breeder he dealt with there has often invited him over to have a look around.
‘‘A few years ago we decided we would go over and see him, but when we went to book the flights we realised I hadn’t got a passport and that I couldn’t get one as I wasn’t an Australian citizen,’’ he said.
‘‘The immigration department needed all sorts of information including details of the ship I arrived on and even the captain’s name.’’
His wife set about obtaining all the paperwork and information required to enable him to become an Australian citizen.
‘‘Paul was only seven when he came over and his parents had all the paperwork and they are no longer around. They had six boys at that time, aged from 2 months to nine,’’ Mrs Sammut said.
‘‘I’ve gradually tracked down all the details Paul needed. It’s taken quite a while and has not been easy.’’
With his Australian citizenship confirmed, Mr Sammut can apply for a passport and make travel plans.
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