Recently a set of books in Maltese were donated to the Maltese Language School of Adelaide. On the 23rd of July 2010 the students and teachers of the school invited Father Gabriel Micallef OFM, the Maltese Chaplain for South Australia, to present the teaching material during the first lesson of Term 3.
The author of these books of prose and poetry is Monsignor Anton Saliba from Sannat Gozo and were sent by Anthony Stivala. These books will be displayed in the school library of the Maltese school at the Maltese Cultural Centre, Beverley. These books will be used by teachers and students of the school and by other members of the Maltese community.
The principal of the school, Frank Scicluna, explained how these books were sent from Malta through the generosity of Anthony Stivala, Mgr. Saliba and George Caruana of Torrensville, South Australia. Their intention is to assist teachers and students of the school in their learning and teaching of the Maltese Language and Culture in Australia.
During his short address Father Micallef congratulated the sterling work the Maltese school is contributing among the Maltese community of South Australia to preserve the Maltese language among the present and future generations.
Fr. Micallef then presented the books to the school on behalf of Mgr. Saliba. Father Gabriel had the privilege of meeting Mgr. Saliba during his visit to Malta in April of this year.
The Maltese Language School of Adelaide is affiliated with the Ethnic Schools Board and the Ethnic Schools Association of South Australia and also a member of the Federation of Maltese Language Schools Inc. (Australia). The Maltese school was established in February 1982.
The students and teachers together with Father Gabriel Micallef during the presentation of the books at the Maltese Cultural Centre, Beverley.
GOZO – MALTA’S SISTER ISLAND
The Maltese archipelago lies at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta being 93km south of Sicily and 288km north of Africa. The archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo & Comino with a total population of 400,000 inhabitants. From the natural sights and caves to the oldest temples in the world, Gozo has a long history to offer. As a deeply religious popluation, churches and other religious attractions are also abundant on the island. Lace is the most widespread doorstep craft. It was introduced on a large scale after the 1840’s. The craft soon proved its worth for the product was sold to the higher classes of society and even abroad. It was very common, especially in the afternoon, to see mothers with their daughters sitting on empty wooden lemonade crates with a lace pillow in their lap rested against the wall, their hands moving bobbins swiftly and deftly creating the most intricate and delicate of designs. Gozo lace is an object d’art and it continues to flourish despite competition from machine made lace.
Men make lace of a different variety: silver filigree, twisted into miraculous pieces of jewellery. And there is fabulous glass, with remarkable shapes in subtle shades of blue and green. Pottery is widely available, ranging from decorative pots and statuettes to imaginative house name plaques and door numbers.
Crafts that are rarer still include palm work, palm leaves that are woven into sun-hats or baskets, cane work, especially practised by fisherman during winter during winter to make cane curtains, carvers or sculptors, working the local stone or papier mache, producing statues and other objects to their own design, wood-workers that can construct anything from frames of grandfather clocks to limitation antiques chests of drawers and guilders, a craft that is gaining popularity.
Change is slow in Gozo, which adamantly sticks to its tortoise-like pace. Gozo has still succeeded in retaining its dream-like qualities of peace and solitude.