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  DOM MINTOFF         

MALTA'S MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

 

       

The people of the small Island of Malta had for centuries dreamed of being   independent of their successive foreign rulers. Throughout the centuries, the major powers of the time for possession of this small territory, which had nothing to offer except for its good sheltered harbours and its unique position, right in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea. The earliest inhabitants of the Maltese archipelago left their temples which are now the oldest standing buildings in the world. The Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Arabs, the Normans, the Knights of St John, the French and the British, all left their indelible mark on the islands, and their population. The occupation of the Knights of St John and that of the British were probably the most remarkable. The Knights built - for themselves mostly - the formidable fortifications on the south of Grand Harbour, as well as the new city of Valletta, with its resplendent palaces for the Knights, and infamous slums for the Maltese population. 

        The British entered Malta on the invitation of the Maltese to assist in the 2 year long blockade of the French in Valletta. Soon they took over control of the whole Islands and replaced the French as the new absolute rulers of the Maltese. The first revolt of the Maltese against British occupation came in 1919 - some people were killed, many others injured, and scores imprisoned. A Maltese patriot - Manwel Dimech - was exiled to Egypt where he was assassinated by the British. 

The Second World War saw Malta in the forefront in the Battles of the Mediterranean and eventually the invasion of Europe. Most major cities had been very severely damaged by the continuous bombing of the German Luftwaffe. Italian air raids did not inflict as much damage and deaths. The end of that war was also, at last, the beginning of the Maltese' fight for total independence from all foreign rule. The Malta Labour Party come into power in 1947. and it took up without delay the reconsctruction of the island from wartime destruction. The minister responsible for this revival was Dom Mintoff, a young Oxford-educated architect, who was eventually to be the key figure in Maltese, and to no small extent, international politics for almost four decades. 

 

To Dom Mintoff

Malta's one and only true Patriot, 

this tribute.

To the man who spent his life fighting for the good of the working class

in the Maltese Islands,

my thanks, in lieu of those who rose to higher status through his efforts,

and then turned against and despised him.

 The Author

 

Gallery of Pictures showing

Mintoff's Family Album

Mintoff's  Political Career

AND

"Operation Terror Well Under Way" 28 April, 1958

Mintoff -A Statesman in the making

© 1998   E.C. Schembri

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Acknowledgements: The author acknowledges with thanks the publishers of various Maltese political and other publications, where the pictures in these pages were originally published.The Author declares that all scripts in these pages are original and views expressed, therefore subjective. Pictures used in these pages are mostly scanned from MLP and GWU publications. Many are reproduced from newspapers, hence the lack in quality. All literary works in these pages are also original and are being published for the first time. None of the written material may be published in whole or in part without the express written permission by the Author.                E.C. Schembri

© 1998   E.C. Schembri