J.F. Marks Day

Now that May Day is almost upon us I think it is time the government let the public know who really introduced May Day to these islands: John F. Marks, my father.

Back in 1927, when president of the Labour Party in Senglea, he organised the first celebration of Labour Day (celebrated as May Day). Then, in 1929, he managed to persuade the party executive to have May Day included in the statute book as an annual celebration.

I remember, in the mid-1930s, lunch being organised at St Paul’s Bay. Labour leaders of the day, William Savona, Paul Boffa and Dom Mintoff followed suit in celebrating the day.

Later, the Church celebrated the feast of St Joseph on May 1, and the government declared it a public holiday as Workers’ Day.

All those who are mentioned today as organising May Dayin Malta and Gozo are only doing what my father started, but the ‘father’ of the day barely gets a mention.

I wonder if May Day should also be called J.F. Marks Day.




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