Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 3(1961)2(19-23)



1957. October 10: Dr. Carmelo Caruana, LL.D.; Rev. V. Sultana, O.F.M.Conv.; Rev. Alphonse Sammut, O.F.M.Conv., S.Th.D.; Mr. John Bezzina.

1958. January 27; Col. J, Abela, K.O.M.R.; Mr. E. Tonna, O.B.E.; Mr. J. Zarb; Captain O.F. Gollcher, O.B.E.; Prof. Frans D'Amato.

April 23; The Hon. Mr. Justice .A.J. Montanaro-Gauci, LL.D.; Noble J.A. Sant Manduca; J. Gatt Esq.

1960. January 19; Dr.'J. Mifsud Bonnici. LL.D.

May 18: Mr. V. Toledo, B.Sc.; Mr. Martin Vella Haber.

October 21: Dr. Marjorie M. Edwards; Mr. Reginald Vella Tomhn.

1961. February 22: Mr. Walter Bellizzi; Rev. E. Cardona.

April 7: Mr. V. Ciancio, Ph.C.; Dr. J. Spiteri Maempel; Archivio di Stato (Messina); Mr. Peter Richards.

1961, October 2: Major A. Samut-Tagliaferro, M.B.E., P.M.A.


30th January, 1956. — The twenty-third General Meeting was held at the Aula magna of the Royal University of Malta, at 5.15 p.m. The President, Mgr. A. Bonnici, was in the chair. Then the President read an address on the activities of the Society during the year 1955, the most notable being the celebrations held in honour of our historian Gianfrancesco Abela in the third centenary of his death. The Hon. Treasurer gave his report on the Society's finances during the year. The election of the Committee for 1957 was then held. Mgr. A. Bonnici was confirmed as Chairman by acclamation. The following gentlemen were elected by secret ballot Members of the new Committee: Prof. J. Galea, M.D.; Mr E.R. Leopardi; Rev. B. Fiorini, O.F.M.Conv.; Dr. A. Ganado, LL.D.; Rev. A. Vella, O.P.; Chev. V. Bonello; Canon Prof. E. Coleiro, D.D., and Mr. Jos. Cassar Pullicino.

22nd January, 1957. — The twenty-fifth General Meeting was held at the Library of St. Francis Friary, Valletta, at 5.30 p.m. The President read his annual report on the work of the Society. The Treasurer gave an account of the financial position of the Society. Prof. J. Galea spoke on the importance of publishing a special issue of "Melita Historica" dedicated to articles on Abela. Mgr. Bonnici was elected President by acclamation. Prof. J. Galea, Rev. B. Fiorini, O.F.M.Conv.; Rev. A. Vella, O.P.; Dr. A. Ganado; Chev. V. Bonello; Mr. J. Cassar Pullicino; Can. Prof. E. Coleiro and Mr. E.R. Leopardi were elected Members of the Committee.

29th January, 1958. — The twenty-ninth General Meeting .was held at the National Museum (Auberge de Provence), Valletta, at 5.30 p.m. The President read his annual report. As the Hon. Treasurer was not present, it was decided to proceed with the election of the Committee for 1958. Mgr. Bonnici re-elected by acclamation. Committee Members were elected: Rev. B. Fiorini, O.F.M.Conv.;

Mr. E.R. Leopardi; Mr. J. Cassar Pullicino; Prof. J. Galea, M.D.; Rev. A. Vella, O.P.; Prof. S. Zarb, O.P.; Chev. V. Bonello and Prof. P.P. Debono. Prof. P.P. Debono resigned and his place has been filled by Rev. Francis of Sliema, O.F.M. Capp.

[p.20] 9th January, 1959. — The thirty-sixth General Meeting was held at St.Francis Convent, Valletta, at 5.15 p.m. The President read his annual report on the work of the Society during 1958, which has been very active. The Hon. Treasurer read his financial report. Receipts during the year amounted to the sum of £87. 6. 11, while the expenditure was £54. 5. 6. Balance in hand amounted to £33. i. 5. Then Mgr. Bonnici was confirmed by acclamation as Chairman. Committee Members were elected: Mr. E.R. Leopardi; Prof. S. Zarb, O.P.; Chev. V. Bonello; Rev. B. Fiorini, O.F.M.Conv; Prof. G. Galea; Mr. J. Cassar Pullicino; nDr. A. Ganado, LL.D., and Rev. A. Vella, O.P. Prof. J. Debono was then commemorated.

19th February, 1959. — Thirty-seventh General Meeting held at the -University Hall. A paper was read by Prof. J. Galea, M.D., Vice-President of the Society on "The Order of Malta since the Treaty of Amiens".

28th April, 1959. — Thirty-eight General Meeting held at the University Hall. Mgr. Prof. J. Lupi delivered a lecture on the subject "Planning a Liturgical History of Malta".

30th June, 1959. — Thirty-ninth General Meeting at the University.' Lecture delivered by Prof. S. Zarb, O.P. "Rewriting the History of Malta".

16th November, 1959. — Fortieth General Meeting at the University. Dr. E. Cesareo, M.D., spoke on "The French Revolution as it affected the Order of St. John".

21st December, 1959. — Forty-first General Meeting at the University. Rev. A. Vella, O.P., delivered a talk on "The Varieties of History".

29th January, 1960. — The forty-second General Meeting met at St. Francis Convent, Valletta, on Friday, 29th January, 1960, at 6.00 p.m. The President read his report on the work of the Society. The Secretary informed the Committee that on the same day a reply to a previous letter had been received from the Government:

OPM. 334/59.
The Palace - Valletta. 27th January, 1960. Sir,

I have the honour to refer to your letter dated i4th December and to inform you that the Government would be glad to appoint a representative of your Society to sit on the Antiquities Committee. It would, therefore, be appreciated if you will furnish the name and address of the Member whom you wish to see so appointed. As regards the Royal Malta Library Committee, it is regretted it is not proposed to add more members on the Committee.

I have the honour to be,
Sir, Your obedient servant,
for Administrative Secretary.

The Treasurer read his report on the financial state of the Society. Receipts during the year 1959 amounted to £65. 17. 8, while the Expenditure during the same period was £48. 3. 7. Balance in hand amounted to £50. 15. 6.

[p.21] Mgr. Prof. A. Bonnici- had been proposed by Chev. Bonello, and seconded by Prof. J. Galea, as President of the Society. The motion was approved unanimously. Then Mr. J. Cassar Pullicino, Prof. J. Galea, Fr. B. Fiorini O.F.M.Conv., Mr. E.R. Leopardi, Prof. S. Zarb, O.P., Dr. V.A. Depasquale LL.D., Chev. V. Bonello and Dr. A. Ganado were elected members to form the Committee.

19th February, 1960. —Forty-third General Meeting. A lecture was delivered at the University by Prof. S. Zarb, O.P., on "The Cult of St. Paul, Particularly in Ecclesiastical Liturgy".

27th January, 1961. — The forty-fourth General Meeting was held at the Catholic Institute, Floriana. The President read the following report:—

Dear Gentlemen,

This General Meeting is closing the year 1960, and inaugurating the new year 1961. The year 1960 marked for us the completion of the loth anniversary of our Society. We did not celebrate the occasion with feast and pomp. We had enough of festivities and celebrations during the past year.

During the same year the Committee met five times and we held two General Meetings, one in January -in which the election was held and the other in February, when Prof. Fr. S. Zarb spoke of the Cult of St. Paul, particularly in Ecclesiastical Liturgy. A third meeting was fixed for the month of December, in which Mgr. Prof. G. Sapiano had to read a paper on the Study of History. This lecture was not delivered owing to lack of attendance of members. Only four members were present. The Pauline celebrations had been a long time over!

From this Report one argues that during the past year we have been slackening too much in vigour: but let us not forget that the greater part of the Committee Members, as well as other members of the Society kept. themselves very busy in the Pauline Centenary celebrations. A Society like ours could not keep aloof of these national manifestations and historical commemorations.

Suffice it here to mention that myself and Chev. Bonello, from January to June, were planning, organizing and working out the Pauline Exhibition, which was a show of a national character both from the historical and its artistic point of view: and consequently we may consider that grandiose display as a product of our Society.

Our Secretary, Fr. Fiorini, published during that period several articles of interest in the Italian Vatican paper "L'Osservatore Romano", in connection with the Festivities. Prof. F'r. Zarb was busy editing a special number of his periodical "Scientia".

An ex-member of the Committee and member of the Society, Mgr. Prof. E. Coleiro, was the moving spirit of all the celebrations, for which work he was honoured by Her Majesty with the O.B.E. I take this opportunity to congratulate him on behalf of our Society.

Other members of the Society played an important role in those celebrations:

Fr. Orr achieved a huge success with his pageant play on St. Paul's Shipwreck in Malta.

Mr. Biagio Galea delivered a series of historical talks on St. Paul's stay in Malta. Chev. J. Galea' published a Biography on St. Paul's Shipwreck in Malta. Other members such as Mgr. Lupi, Chev. Prof. J. Galea, and Dr. E. Sammut sat on Committees or Boards of the celebrations.

[p.22] As in previous years, with the beginning of the year we received a new number of our journal "Melita Historica". This is the ninth number. We thank the collaborators and particularly Mr. J. Cassar Pullicino, the Editor.

With regard to the latter, I regret to inform you that Mr. Pullicino has decided to relinquish this editorship. We cannot but appreciate the great sacrifices he made and the time he devoted to set our Journal on its feet and to keep it on a high level. I am sure that Mr. Cassar very reluctantly as he himself has written in his letter of resignation relinquishes this post and for this reason I did not try to persuade him to keep it any longer at the expense of his personal and family interests. With the help of God, the Committee will try to appoint another Editor, who would keep up the standard the Journal had reached.

This is all I had to report in my Presidential Address. This year we arc freer than in 1960, and consequently we can work more vigorously and more directly with our Society. God bless us and help us in our efforts.

The Hon. Treasurer read his report on the financial state of the Society. Receipts during 1960 amounted to £54. 17. 0, while the expenditure during the same period was £47. 8. 10. Balance in hand amounted to £58. 3. 8. The following members were elected to form the Committee for 1961: Prof. J. Galea, M.D.; Fr. B. Fiorini, O.F.M.Conv.; Mr. E.R. Leopardi; Prof. S. Zarb, O.P.; Chev. V. Bonello; Dr. A. Ganado, LL.D.; Rev. Fr. Francis of Sliema, O.F.M. Capp.; Mr. Victor Denaro.

2nd March, 1961. — Forty-fifth General Meeting. Mgr. Bonnici delivered a talk on the subject: "Catacombs in Malta". The General Meeting then approved the affiliation of the Society to the Anti-Communist League. Mr. Biagio Galea has been elected internal representative of the Society to sit on the Anti-Communist League Committee.

20th April, 1961. — Forty-sixth General Meeting. Rev. Canon Zammit Gabarretta delivered a talk on the subject: "The Nomination of Mgr. Labini to the See of Malta", at the Catholic Institute, Floriana.

24th May, 1961. — Forty-seventh General Meeting. At the Catholic Institute, Floriana, Mr. Guido Lanfranco delivered a talk on: "The Cart Ruts Theories".

26th June, 1961. — Forty-eight General Meeting. Mr. J. Cassar Pullicino delivered a talk on "Aspetti Storici di Alcuni Cibi Maltesi del Secolo XVII", at the Catholic Institute, Floriana.

7th November, 1961. — F'orty-ninth General Meeting. At the Catholic Institute, Floriana, Rev. Philip Callus, D.D., held a lecture on "The Rising of the Priests".

4th December, 1961. — Fiftieth General Meeting. At the Catholic Institute, Floriana, Mons. Prof. G. Sapiano, D.D., Ph.D., H.E.L., held a lecture on "'to Scetticismo Storico".


CALLUS REV. PHILIP, D.D. — The Rising of the Priests. Its implications and repercussions on. ecclesiastical immunity. Malta University Press. 1961, pp. XI, 119.
CASSAR DR. PAUL, B.Sc., M.D. — Documents written on Wood during [p.23] the Plague of 1813 in Malta; Malta (reprinted from the British Medical Journal, August 5, 1961, Vol. II, pp. 337-8).
FIORINI P. BONAVENTURA, O.F.M.Conv. — Il Convento e la Chiesa di San Francesco di Valletta (Malta) dei Frati Minori Conventuali, in Miscellanea Francescuna, Roma t. 57, (1957), pp. 95-117.
Id. L' Arcidiocesi di Malta attraverso i Secoli, nell’ "0sservatore Romano", Città del Vaticano, 6 Febbraio, 1960.
Id. La Madonna e Malta, ivi, 9 Giugno, I960.
Id. Destino o Provvidenza, in Orizzonti, Roma, Luglio 1960.
Id. San Paolo e i Cavalieri di Malta, in "Lehen Is-Sewwa", Numero Speciale, Luglio 1960.
Id. La Biblioteca Reale di Malta, in "Osservatore Romano", 5 Sett., 1960.
LANFRANCO GUIDO — The Cart Ruts Theories, in "Times of Malta". Various Authors,
ClANFRANCESCO ABELA, Essays in his honour by members of the Malta Historical Society on the Third Centenary of his death (1655-1955). Department of Information, Malta, 1961.
VELLA REV. A., O.P.Le Origini della Università Reale di Malta, nell’ '"Osservatore Romano", Città del Vaticano, 3 Settembre 1960,
VELLA-TOMLIN REGINALD. — L-Istejjer ta’ Zewg Imhallfin, Cedghon u Sansun, Malta 1961.
ZAMMIT-CABARRETTA, CANON A., D.D., B.A. —The Presentation Examination and Nomination of the Bishops of Malta in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Malta University Press, 1961.