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Features

  • Pointy bras and Sunday gloves

    Pointy bras and Sunday gloves

    “You should have visited your chiropodist at least a week ago for a beauty treatment to your feet. And a manicurist for your hands,” wrote Paula the Times of Malta fashion correspondent on the eve of Independence Day in 1964. She went on to...

  • ‘September 21, 1964 was my father’s happiest day’

    ‘September 21, 1964 was my father’s happiest day’

    Fifty long years have passed since the father of Malta’s Independence, former prime minister George Borg Olivier, ceremoniously received Malta’s new constitutional instruments from the hands of the UK’s Prince Philip. Alex Borg Olivier, now 68,...

  • My mission, my country... my Fiat 500

    My mission, my country... my Fiat 500

    President Emeritus, former prime minister and independence campaigner Eddie Fenech Adami tells Herman Grech why he decided to do his bit in 1964. Just over 10 years ago, Eddie Fenech Adami stood on a podium at the Granaries in Floriana, with a...

  • Capturing the moment

    Capturing the moment

    It was an emotional day that will remain etched in the memories of the thousands who took part or attended the Independence Day ceremonies between September 20 and 21, 1964. It was the crowning glory of then Prime Minister George Borg Olivier. The...

  • Waving the Maltese flag for the first time

    Waving the Maltese flag for the first time

    Charles Farrugia remembers the very first time he waved the Maltese flag when the island gained independence 50 years ago. And he was not alone. Hundreds of other children around him enthusiastically waved the red and white cloth that had now...

  • ‘It was just unbelievable’

    ‘It was just unbelievable’

    Many have seen the iconic photo of former Prime Minister George Borg Olivier holding up the Constitutional documents when Malta gained independence from Britain on September 21, 1964. But what was it like to live the moment? Three people share...

  • The arduous road to independence

    The arduous road to independence

    It was December 1957 when in a rare show of national unity, the Maltese Parliament unanimously approved the Break with Britain Resolution. By then talks with the British government over then prime minister Dom Mintoff’s plan to integrate Malta...

  • Independence was a godsend

    Independence was a godsend

    The Malta Labour Party boycotted the 1964 independence celebrations in Floriana, although a rowdy crowd of its supporters turned up to boo. But the party was not against independence, according to former Labour minister Vincent Moran. It just...

  • The constitution’s wordsmith

    The constitution’s wordsmith

    Now that the 50th anniversary of independence is fast approaching I often, in my old age, think of those exciting days. Two things in particular stand out in my retentive memory. First, how well I recall the protracted negotiations, for all of...

  • Malta has not become another Cuba

    Malta has not become another Cuba

    Like EU membership 10 years ago, talk about the island’s independence split the nation. Former Times of Malta editor Victor Aquilina recalls the arguments made against this political goal. Few, if any, would dare say today it might have been...

  • The write man

    The write man

    A moving letter addressed to the Maltese and written in former Prime Minister George Borg Olivier’s own hand on the occasion of the island’s impending independence has recently been unearthed in the storage rooms of the Nationalist Party’s...

  • Around the world in 1964

    Around the world in 1964

    In 1964 the highlight for the Maltese was Malta’s road to independence from the British – the journey to becoming a nation State. But a lot more was happening around the world in that year. Kristina Chetcuti takes a trip across the globe. “I want...

  • Malta then and now

    Malta then and now

    We all know Malta has undergone vast social and economic changes since 1964. But what does that change look like in simple terms? Ivan Martin digs out the figures to expose the contrasts between Malta 50 years ago and today. Population 1964 -...

  • Malta and Me, 90 years later

    Malta and Me, 90 years later

    I first read Eric Shepherd’s Malta and Me clandestinely, in my middle teens, same as I did Table Talk by the arch-heretic Martin Luther and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, that treasonable tussle with the sixth commandment. I was sure that my father...

  • The church of Our Lady of Liesse and its legend

    The church of Our Lady of Liesse and its legend

    The church dedicated to Our Lady of Liesse is located on the waterfront of the Grand Harbour of Valletta at the end of the street that leads to Victoria Gate. The original structure was built in 1620 at the expense of Fra Giacomo Chenn de Bellay,...

  • Home alone

    Home alone

    Last week, a family brought in their three-month old male cross-breed puppy, Pluto, for his second round of shots. During the discussion that ensued, I was asked how much time was OK to leave him home alone and what they could do to make the wait...

  • Does a dog see a glass half empty or half full?

    Does a dog see a glass half empty or half full?

    It can be quite hard for us to understand the thought process in a dog’s head because we use totally different languages and we have very different goals in life. Some people believe dogs look only as far as their next meal or the next power nap...

  • The commemoration of the Great Siege of 1565

    The commemoration of the Great Siege of 1565

    The proliferation of siege maps depicting the epic siege of 1565 published in the major cities of Europe throughout the duration of the siege is enough indication of its magnitude and its significance to the Christian states of Europe. Historians...

  • Gregory the Great and Francis – two popes for our times

    Gregory the Great and Francis – two popes for our times

    My first encounter with San Girgor (St Gregory) was when I started to attend the Catholic Action, and thence I became an altar boy. There was no statue of St Gregory. As teenagers, we imaged the saint as a stern, ascetic and rather pompous pope on...

  • I don’t want to go to school

    I don’t want to go to school

    What do you do if your children absolutely hate school? Most times, children have a valid reason for doing so, psychologist Cher Engerer tells Veronica Stivala. Children generally have a very valid reason for hating school, because school in...

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