Left to right: Mr Michael Farrugia, Mr Keith Gatt, Mr Gianluca Falzon, Prof. Dominic Fenech
Mr Keith Gatt and Mr Gianluca Falzon, who recently graduated B.A. Honours in History from the University of Malta, were jointly awarded the Farsons Foundation Prize for best History Honours thesis (2016). The Prize was awarded jointly as both obtained the same mark for their work. The Prize was set up in February 2014, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between Simonds Farsons Cisk plc, the Farsons Foundation and the University of Malta. The Award is funded by Farsons for the third year running. The selection of the winning thesis is made by the History Department.
Both enthusiasts of military history, Keith and Gianluca chose the Second World War as the subject of their research. Keith’s thesis, entitled ‘The Air Battle for Malta, 1942: Exploring the turning Points’, is a study of the crucial role played by the Spitfires and their pilots in winning the air battle over Malta, so pivotal to the eventual allied victory in North Africa. Gianluca on the other hand, in his thesis on ‘The Italian Air War over Malta: What really led to the defeat of the Regia Aeronautica during the siege of 1940-43’, turned his attention to the role of Italy’s air force in the war over Malta’s skies and investigated the reasons for its wanting performance and results. History Honours theses are based on original archival research.
Presenting the prize, Mr Michael Farrugia, Director at Simonds Farsons Cisk and Trustee on the Board of The Farsons Foundation, said that the award was evidence of Farsons’ and the Foundation’s commitment to educational achievement. Himself a graduate of History from Edinburgh University, he noted how useful to his own work he found the skills imparted by training in the study of History. He congratulated Mr Gatt and Mr Falzon for their success and wished them the best of luck in their careers.
Professor Dominic Fenech, the Head of the History Department, recalled that Simonds Farsons Cisk used to award a similar prize until the 1970s, adding that he was very happy that this had now been revived. Adding his congratulations to Mr Gatt and Mr Falzon, he thanked Mr Farrugia and Mr Kenneth Pullicino, Secretary to the Foundation, for this renewed association with the Department of History, and expressed an earnest hope that the Prize would continue to be awarded in the years to come. He was joined in this by Keith and Gianluca who confirmed that to both of them the Prize had been an incentive to work harder.
The presentation took place on 15 December in the Boardroom of the Old Farsons Brewery at Mriehel.