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Features

  • 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...

  • Back to the school bullies

    Back to the school bullies

    Bullies were responsible for the end of Martin Holder’s life, aged 16, after a lifetime of torment at school and online. In an emotional interview, his mother Marj Hamlett-Hughes tells Helen Raine how her family is finding the strength to use his...

  • Coping with difficult situations

    Coping with difficult situations

    Valerie Brincat has three children. Her twin 10-year-old daughters have communication impairments which make reasoning and storytelling difficult for them. It’s therefore challenging for them to talk about incidents that have happened during the...

  • Shining through the shyness

    Shining through the shyness

    There was a girl in my catechism class who never said a word the entire first year before our Holy Communion. Other children played, chattered among themselves and made friends, but she just didn’t. Twenty-odd years later, if you were to ask any...

  • Back in their school years

    Back in their school years

    “School is a word that almost always triggers a reaction: some say it was the best time of their lives; others hated it with a passion; while others, knowingly or unknowingly, sailed through it and left it at that. But when one considers that...

  • A little praise goes a long long way

    A little praise goes a long long way

    No matter how old we are, praise and encouragement helps us feel good about ourselves. It boosts our self-esteem and confidence and helps us push for more. This is behind the psychological basis of every school prize day. Children are awarded for...

  • The pursuit of SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau, the Malta garrison and German POWs in 1914

    The pursuit of SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau, the Malta garrison and German POWs in 1914

    In the early 20th century, Germany had no colonies or naval bases in the Mediterranean. However, two years before the outbreak of World War I, the German Imperial Navy sent two cruisers to the Mediterranean. So after the outbreak of the war, the...

  • Heraldic coats-of-arms in Birgu and Santa Venera

    Heraldic coats-of-arms in Birgu and Santa Venera

    In his article ‘Revisiting the memories of Birgu’s medieval Collachio’ (The Sunday Times of Malta, July 27), Lino Bugeja featured the armorial shield of Grand Master Fra’ Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam carved in local stone, in the grounds of...

  • Birth of the Gozo diocese

    Birth of the Gozo diocese

    On September 16, 1864, the islands of Gozo and Comino were separated from the diocese of Malta and established as a separate independent diocese. So this year the diocese of Gozo commemorates its 150th anniversary. The movement in favour of this...

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