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Francis Ebejer remembered

On August 28, 1925 Francis Ebejer first opened his eyes and cried his first cry in the little village of Dingli. The local council thought it fit to commemorate the birth of such a gifted person who became a giant in the literary world. The event was held just in front of the monument dedicated to him in the main square of the village.

The programme was intended to, in a way, bring to life some of the features of his work besides his philosophy on his native land in relation to his soul.

The occasion was given a good send-off by the Dingli girl guides and boys scout.

The literary programme started with the screening of a talk Mr Ebejer had made on TV (courtesy PBS) way back in 1983 entitled Jien U Arti, which highlighted the love he had for nature and how he despised the development of land at the expense of the environment. He preceded Natura 2000.He cried and implored his audience to respect our valleys, our cliffs and the natural beauty that adorns our islands.

The audience was then treated with a well-chosen sample of his works.

Actress Therese Gauci gave us a good rendering of parts of two of his plays and a children's story Mr Ebejer wrote for The Children's Own, a paper for school children . She even broke into authentic Għargħurian accent in one of her renderings.

This was followed by a discussion by four well-known personalities who recounted their different experiences in relation to the literary life of Francis Ebejer. They were Ms Gauci, Josette Ciappara, Joe Farrugia(Dulli) and Victor Fenech. Each recounted their experiences with Mr Ebejer and spoke about him both as a person and as a playwright.

Stefan Buontempo, shadow minister for local government, addressed the audience congratulating the Dingli council for holding the cultural event and for commemorating such a worthy son of the village and of Malta.

The event was brought to a close by a short speech by the mayor of Dingli, Ian Borg, who thanked all those present for accepting the invitation, thereby demonstrating that Mr Ebejer was still loved in his native village. He also thanked those who participated in the discussion on Mr Ebejer and his literary life. Praise was also given to Mario Micallef, a Dingli man himself, who compered the event in a very professional manner.

Last but not least, he congratulated Connie Bonello, councillor in charge of education, culture and art, who organised the event.

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