HISTORY OF GALEA SA CHUR
The main shareholder of Galea S.A. was a firm, called Torbrun S.A. Lugano (probably a trading company), holding 97 % of the share capital. The Torbrun S.A. again was wholly owned by Swiss citizens and capital. On the board was Dr. Waldo Riva (1905 - 1987) from Lugano, a lawyer, politician and high army officer, from Torbrun S.A. were the lawyer Torricelli and the merchant Dr. Bruno Bucher. The registered office was in Chur (canton of Grisons), but the administrative office was in Lugano, at Via Vegezzi 4. The ship's management was done by Agemari, Agenzia Marittima Italiana S.p.A, Genoa. Galea had also an "office" in Genoa at Via San Lorenzo, in the same building as Agemari. A Swiss, Mr. Tuena, shipping agent in Genoa was selected as director to give the "Swiss appearance". Agemari carried out its duties to everybody's satisfaction, but Mr. Tuena had to supervise their activities and sign all important documents. Further he arranged charter parties. In this way the demands of the federal government to have a Swiss company management was ensured.
In September 1947 the company purchased the elderly US-tanker J. J. CONEY, renamed her SAN MORITZ and registered her under Swiss flag. Already in March 1953 the federal authorities criticised in a letter to the SMNO, Swiss Maritime Navigation Office and the KTA (War Transport Office), the poor condition of the vessel and described it "as not very satisfactory".
In 1948 the company intended to introduce a passenger service from Italy to Australia, using converted freighters. Inquiries were made with the Swiss authorities, however with the previously bad experiences made before with the LUGANO owned by Nautilus S.A, the consul in Genoa expressed his grave concerns. He feared, that Galea S.A. might be misused again as a straw man for Agrimari. Probably it was good luck for the reputation of Switzerland, that these plans did not materialize.
Therefore it was only this sole, elderly tanker under the Swiss flag in the history of Galea S.A, if other ships under foreign flag were owned or operated we do not know at this stage, but it is assumed, that the company was dissolved soon.
- Federal Aarchive, Bern
SwissShips, HPS, March 2017