After losing his wife, 73-year-old Maltese cabinet maker Victor Bugeja channeled his love for his home country and his passion for his craft to fill in the void in his life that she left behind.
Victor, his wife Josephine and their three children migrated to Australia in 1973. Despite living halfway across the world, the family has always considered Malta their home and Victor, along with his wife, made it a point to visit the island yearly.
“One of their most treasured moments in Malta was walking the streets of Valletta and Floriana, admiring the beautiful balconies and front doors,” Victor’s son, Ronnie, told Lovin Malta.
Their love for their homeland was so strong that, even when Josephine was diagnosed with dementia, Victor made sure that they would maintain their yearly trips, that is until she couldn’t travel anymore.
Unfortunately, Josephine passed away last April, leaving an aching hole in Victor’s heart.
14,000 km away from home and missing the love of his life, Victor and his family set out to find a new purpose in life for the widower. Combining his love for his homeland and his passion for his craft, Victor channeled his grief into creating miniature-sized Maltese balconies…
…and so Nostalgija Woodworks was born.
Using his modest but equipped garage, Victor has dedicated his time to creating renditions of traditional Maltese balconies and they’re absolutely stunning.
Victor’s incredible craftsmanship was put on display on social media where it was showered with love and praise. His work has been put on display at the Maltese Festa in Greystanes, NSW and together with his family, they have set up a small operation to help bring these beautiful creations to life.
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“Our aim with these balconies is to create a beautiful statement and not just a tacky souvenir.”
Nostalgija isn’t a business, it’s a means to preserve and bring a piece of Maltese history into the homes of families all around the world. Victor’s work is a means of therapy to deal with the loss of his dearly beloved and, in order to keep his attention and focus on his craft, his son Ronnie helps him out by taking care of social media and customer relations.
“We are now being contacted by families requesting special orders. People who wanted their family balconies replicated.”
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Beautiful post from the Amato Family. We love where you hung your galleria. “A big thank you to Ronnie and Victor from Nostalgija Woodworks for our beautiful Galleria. We absolutely love it. Thank you for listening to our ideas and making it come to life, we appreciate your patience in designing something special for our home.”
“A big thank you to Ronnie and Victor from Nostalgija Woodworks for our beautiful Galleria. We absolutely love it. Thank you for listening to our ideas and making it come to life, we appreciate your patience in designing something special for our home.”
Not only are these Maltese balconies a beautiful piece of handcrafted ornament suited for any household, but they carry with them feelings of pride, comfort and nostalgia that will turn any home into a Maltese home, no matter where in the world.
The work carried out by Victor and his family is a product of love and is not only a fitting tribute to Malta but also to their dear mother, whom they hold very close to their hearts.
Tag someone who would love one of these Maltese balconies!
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