Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.
Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 8(1981)2(161-162)
WINSTON L. ZAMMIT, Tas-Sliema fl-Imghoddi, Lux Press, Malta, 1981, pp. 116 incl. illus.
This is a particularly welcome historical publication since, to date, almost nothing has been published about the origins and growth of what is now one of Malta's most densely populated areas. It is quite evident that Mr. Zammit has based his work on proper historical research going as far back as the seventeenth century and that he has tried very hard — with commensurate success — to present us with a history of the origins and growth of Sliema without including legends and doses of parochialism. The appendices and bibliography at the end of the book and the references at the end of each chapter are also to be appreciated.
I would, however, fault this work on two main sins of omission. Firstly, it does not contain an index and, [p.162] secondly, the period 1945 to date is skimmed over in just three pages of print. One might argue that the author's intention was to present a picture of Sliema's past history and that the post-war period is recent or contemporary. However, it is my personal opinion that, since the work was written in 1979 and published in 1981, the first two post-war decades should have been given a much treatment and thus a great contribution would have been made to the study of how Sliema became what it is today, essentially a tourist resort. Such an extension and the inclusion of an index would have considerably enhanced the value of the book, which is no mean contribution even as it is.
Personally, I also expected more illustrative material in a work of this kind and I would have preferred to read through Appendix B in Maltese instead of an English list and sources headed by an introduction in Maltese. However, further credit should be given to the neat printing, good quality paper and the attractive cover which depicts an old picture of the Strand.
On the whole, Mr. Zammit is to be congratulated on his initiative, effort and on the work he has presented. I have no hesitation in recommending the Melitensia lover to acquire a copy of this book.
Joseph F. Grima