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MHA re-energised with election of new committee

Saturday, 07 December 2013

New-MHA-Committee600A Special General Meeting was held by the Maltese Historical Association at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkille on Tuesday 3 December.  This was a critical meeting that could have resulted in the winding up of the association if insufficient committee members were elected. The meeting was called as there were no candidates for key committee positions at the Annual General Meeting held in November.

The SGM was well attended and all positions on the committee were filled. The general feeling at the meeting was very positive and encouraging.

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November 2013: Maritime heritage of the Maltese Islands

Friday, 06 December 2013

TimmyGambin400

On Wednesday 27 November 2013 Dr Timmy Gambin from the University of Malta, gave a very interesting talk about The maritime heritage of the Maltese Islands: a fascinating past - an exciting future at the Maltese community Centre in Parkville. The talk was delivered in conjunction with the Maltese Historical Association.

The MHA special event was very well attended both by Maltese as well as by a considerable contingent of academics from universities around Melbourne. Dr Gambin took the audience through a maritime journey from the time of the Mediterranean seafaring Phoenicians to the present time. He also provided a detailed description about the geography and the archaeology of the Maltese Islands.

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September 2013: The Great History Debate

By Agnes Cauchi Friday, 27 September 2013

MaltaHistory

The MHA held its September event on Tuesday 17th. It was an unusual presentation - a debate on the topic of which is the most important period in Malta's history. Instead of one guest speaker, there were three: Prof Maurice Cauchi, Mr Joe Borg and Mr Albert Agius. Each one of them chose a period in the Maltese history and they tried to convince each other and the audience which period was the most important for Malta.

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2013 Language Immersion Morning

Tuesday, 03 September 2013

LIM2013-P1130811 600On Saturday 31 August the committee of the Maltese Historical Association hosted the annual Language Immersion Morning (LIM) for the students who are currently studying the Maltese language at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville. The morning was filled with activities targeted towards the students who were multi-aged, ranging from primary to VCE level.

The theme for the youngest group was 'Ħolm u Fantażija'. The students were encouraged to come dressed as their favourite 'fantasy' character. It was such a delight to see so many of the girls wearing 'fairy' costumes and the boys turning up as Ninja Turtles, skeletons or the Tortoise from the fable the 'The Hare and the Tortoise'.

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August 2013 Event: City walk to admire street sculptures

By Agnes Cauchi Friday, 30 August 2013

MCG650On a cold and wet Sunday 18 August a keen group of MHA members and others met Mr Joseph Borg, a sculpture engineer, led our guided walk around the city of Melbourne. The idea behind it was to appreciate some sculptures dotted around the City's landscape in which Joe had been involved in their engineering aspects.

We started from the new stand of the MCG and there Joe explained the structure and why it had to be so. The engineers had to keep in mind the safety of the public and how the wind plays around these structures.

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June 2013 Event: Education Reforms and Schooling in Malta - 1800-1974

Friday, 12 July 2013

school-in-maltaOn Tuesday 18 June 2013 Mrs Maria Catania, guest speaker at the Maltese Historical Association monthly event, gave a presentation on Education Reforms and Schooling in Malta between 1800 and 1974.

After a brief introduction, Mrs Catania developed the topic around three areas of the history of education in Malta:

  • Education reforms and the personalities involved in these reforms.
  • Some of the schools in towns and villages which were restored, extended or newly built.
  • Our school years' experiences.

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May 2013 Event: The Plagues in Malta

By Agnes Cauchi Monday, 03 June 2013

MHA-May13-JoeBorg-FrancesBonniciOn Tuesday 21st May, Mr Joseph Borg gave an interesting presentation on the plagues in Malta. Plagues have been with us since time immemorial. They were first described around 80-100 AD, being found in Libya, Egypt and Syria.

There are three kinds of plagues:

  • bubonic , characterised by swollen lymph nodes,
  • Septicaemia, involving the blood
  • Pneumonic, which affects the lungs.

What caused the plague?

The bubonic plague in most cases is contracted through the bites of an infected rodent, fleas, lice, cats, dogs, squirrels etc. The bacteria enter through a cut in the skin, either form a piece of contaminated clothing used by an infected person, or it was spread through coughing and shared living quarters.

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April 2013 Event: 'Colourful Bus Trip into Nostalgia' by Albert Agius

By Agnes Cauchi Sunday, 21 April 2013

MHA-April13-FrancesBonnici-AlbertAgiusGuest speaker at the April 2013 MHA Event held on 16 April 2013 at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville was Mr Albert Agius, who took us through the years beginning in 1905 when the first bus route was established between Valetta and St Andrews. A year later, the route was expanded to St Julians with nine double-decker buses, but it soon stopped.

During WWI Malta had an influx of wounded solders. With them came doctors and nurses, and they all needed transport.  By 1920, the British Motor Company (BMC) was manufacturing bus bodies in Malta. In 1921, a new bus route started between Valetta and the Cottonera, and a Valletta bus terminus was established.

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March 2013 Event: The Sacred Music of Malta’s National Composer Nicolò Isouard

By Agnes Cauchi Friday, 01 March 2013

Nicolo Isouard

The Sacred Music of Malta’s National Composer Nicolò Isouard (1773-1818) and Music in Malta at the time of the Knights of Malta

On Tuesday 12th March, 2013 Frà Professor Richard Divall was guest speaker at the MHA Event held at the Maltese Centre, Parkville. The presentation consisted of two parts: the first part was about music in Malta under the Knights, with a special focus on the Maltese composer Nicolò Isuard. The second part consisted of a playback of the sound tracks of the televised concert of sacred music by Nicolò Isuard, performed at St John's co-cathedral in Valletta and conducted by Prof Divall.

Malta-concert-5Before the Knights came to Malta, there was already a music life in Mdina, especially in the cathedral of St Paul. However, the Knights brought a musical establishment to St Lawrence's church in Birgu (Vittoriosa). For 200 years, music composition flourished in Malta. Maltese priests were sent to Naples to study music, among them we find a certain Grixti and Balzan. Grand Master de Vilhena even built a baroque opera house five storey high. Some operas were performed there for the benefit of the Italian Knights who always favoured operas. Unfortunately, all music of that era is lost, except for some sacred music.

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February 2013 Event: The ANZACs and Malta

By Agnes Cauchi Friday, 22 February 2013

Anzacs-and-MaltaAt the MHA Event for February 2013 Malta's Consul General in Victoria, Mr Charles Mifsud, was the guest speaker on the little known topic of Malta's connection with the ANZACs. Mr. Charles Mifsud had first given this talk in November last year at the Shrine of Remembrance, St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

During the two world conflicts Malta gave its valued part in defeating the enemy. The connection between Malta and ANZACs is hardly ever observed. The connection started in the First World War during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915 and continued right until the 1950s.

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