TERRY TIME

PRAISING THE MAN WHO HELPED SHAPE THE OZ OF TODAY

It was with great sadness that a few years ago I had heard the news regarding Terry Farrugia’s battle with cancer. I will be completely honest with you, we have rarely kept in touch over the years. So we are not what you would call very close friends. But till today, I still credit the man with being one of the most important people to have an influence in my life. And to hear of his illness, was both shocking and devastating.

We still don’t really keep in touch. Does that make me a bad person? I am not so sure. Sometimes it feels like it. But, in this crazy world we live in sometimes these things happen. Lack of contact aside, I can only ever wish the man the best of everything. Considering what a truly nice guy he is and the effect he has had on the outcome of my life.

So you may be wondering, how and why did Terry Farrugia have such a profound influence on the life of David Ozi Borg? The answer takes us back 23 years when I was a much younger man at the age of 22. Upon my arrival in Malta a few years earlier, I was lucky enough to stumble in with a pretty cool crowd. Within my first year I found myself in a very good friendship with Gianni Zammit, who was kind enough to take this very, very Australian kid under his wing. Gianni also had a very profound effect on my life, but that is perhaps a story for another day.

Along with Gianni, I was lucky enough to hold another couple of very cool people as close friends. People like Colin Fitz and Matthew Calamatta. At the time, all three of these mates were associated with a relatively new radio station in town, Island Sound Radio. It quickly became a thing as the three conspired to try and convince me to get myself into the radio business.

I have to be honest with you people, at first I thought the idea was ludicrous. At no point in my entire life up till that point had I ever thought for a single second that I could become a radio DJ/Presenter. The idea seemed so far fetched, that at first I just laughed it off. But after a while, with the boys assuring me that I had really strong attributes to be successful on radio, the idea started not to look that stupid. And shortly thereafter I decided to give it a go.

Enter Terry Farrugia. It was early 1995, the boys had put in a good word for me, and set up a meeting with Terry, who at the time I believe was Program Manager. That first meeting was great. What an amazing guy. He immediately identified that there was something in me that he could develop. And he was willing to take the time to do it.

And over the next couple of months, that was exactly what he did. I had two to three sessions a week with Terry. In training, hopefully to one day be thrown on air. I had learned a thing or two from my radio mates and from listening, but really and truly, when it comes to the foundations of becoming a radio presenter, I got it all from Terry. I will forever be grateful for the time he took with me to teach me. And the way he approached it as well. He really made it easy for me.

So, you’ve read so far, how grateful I am for all Terry had done for me up until this point. Well that is nothing in comparison to the gratitude I have to the man for what happened next. If my relatively awful memory serves me correct it was May 1995. I remember being called into the station by Terry for a chat, and that is when he told me the news that would change my life forever. Terry Farrugia informed me that he thought I was ready for my own show, that he had faith in me, and that he was putting me in the schedule. Saturday and Sunday nights from ten to midnight. It was one of the best moments of my life.

Over the course of the next year or two, I continued to develop under Terry. He kept taking the time to work with me to improve. I made it to daytime radio and started to make a name for myself. It would be only shortly after that Terry would leave Island Sound Radio for pastures new. I would continue to develop, and soon made it to prime time radio. And from there we kind of drifted apart and lost contact.

We bumped into each other here and there over the years, and it always felt great when we did. After a 24 year and counting career in Radio here in Malta, I will always remember what a pivotal role Terry Farrugia had in making that happen, and will be eternally grateful for it.

As you probably all know by now, Terry is not in good shape. He is suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). A type of blood cancer caused by malfunctioning bone marrow. He has gone through all the traditional treatments unfortunately without eradicating the disease. So, it was determined that Terry needs to try another approach. He was contacted by a specialist centre, in Houston Texas, who is at the forefront of the science on AML and who have taken his case.

It’s great news of course, but the catch is that the treatment is super expensive and way out of reach for Terry and his beautiful family. So they need our help. Friends of Terry, and there are a lot of them who love and respect this man, have gotten together to try and make a difference. And we need you, our friends to help make this difference too. Actually let me rephrase that, we absolutely rely on you to try and help us make this happen.

If you have followed my career over the years, and hopefully taken some pleasure out of it, in some distant way, you have Terry to thank for that. So all I can do at this stage is ask of you to please help if you can. A lot of funding needs to be raised, but we are all hopeful that this treatment can really make the difference. Please follow the link below to the Terry Time website, where you can donate and read a bit about Terry’s story. For me, personally, your donation would be greatly appreciated.

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