Half a century ago, the employment situation was not very rosy in Malta. The days when Britain subsidised our economy were long gone, industrialisation had not yet taken off and tourism was still in its infancy. The University was still, by and large, the exclusive preserve of a small privileged class. The best many could aspire to was a dull, but safe, government job.

Therefore, when Malta Drydocks, the ship repair yard carved out of the old naval shipyard, decided to reactivate its apprenticeship scheme and issued a call for applications, the response was overwhelming and hundreds of young men, including some of the best and brightest of their generation, hastened to apply.

After a battery of innovative and searching tests, a group of 80, followed by a smaller, slightly older, group of 20 trainees were selected.

In September 1964, 100 eager young men, the 64 Entry, started their studies and training in the various trades practised at the shipyards. For some, it was the start of a job for life; for others, it was just the first step to other varied careers.

Close bonds of comradeship and friendship were formed that have lasted down the years. Many have kept in touch, even from the far-flung corners of the earth. Sadly, some have passed away.

September 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of this important event in the lives of those 100 young men and some of us would love to mark it with a reunion. Getting in touch is not that easy; people have changed jobs, changed addresses, lost touch.

We want to hear from members of the 64 Entry, their relative and friends to make contact with as many as possible.

Please e-mail on victorl@maltanet.net or visit our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/357015184332932/ .

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