Gozo Lace Day 2005 The Lace Making Programme at the University of Malta Gozo Centre organised the annual event "Gozo Lace Day" for the ninth consecutive year. The event, held on 10 April 2005 at the Gozo Centre premises, consisted of a number of exhibitions and demonstrations of Maltese lace and a number of talks on matters related to lace-making. The event was introduced by Mr Joseph Calleja, administrator of the University Gozo Centre. Present for the event were Hon. Giovanna Debono, Minister for Gozo, Hon. Anton Tabone, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Ms Consiglia Azzopardi, coordinator of the Lace Making Programme.

In her introductory talk, Ms Consiglia Azzopardi mentioned the three-year course on Lace making, which has been offered at the Centre for many times. She stated that for the first time last year, lace studies have not only been approved by the University of Malta as a Certificate course but also as a Diploma. A certificate course in Lace Studies has already been offered last year, and this year a Diploma course is scheduled to commence this October, subject to there being a sufficient number of applicants. Ms Azzopardi said that the Diploma course in Lace Studies will cover areas in History of Art, Lace History in Malta & Europe, Economic Aspects, Lace Textiles in Costume and Vestment, Modern Design and Lace in Islands of Europe.

In his talk the Hon. Anton Tabone, praised the initiative taken by the University of Malta to approve the Diploma course in Lace Studies. He augured that the next step would be that of upgrading this unique course to a Degree. Hon. Tabone also referred to the history of lace making and argued that while the lace in Malta has lost some of its quality with the introduction of foreign and mass produced lace, the lace in Gozo managed to preserve its authenticity through time. Finally, he congratulated the students who successfully completed the Elementary and Intermediate Level course in Lace Making for which they were to be awarded by a Certificate.

Hon. Giovanna Debono mentioned a number of EU funded projects related to Gozo crafts in general, which the Ministry for Gozo has embarked on. One such project has the aim to set up an organisation to verify the authenticity of Gozitan craft products including lace. Hon Debono also praised Prof Lino Briguglio, Director of the University Gozo Centre, the staff of the Centre as well as Ms Consiglia Azzopardi for their work and the efforts in offering such courses in Gozo. The event then continued with the award of certificates by Hon. Giovanna Debono to a number of students.

Those present were then invited to visit the exhibitions of Lace Programme projects and textile crafts. Other exhibitions were mounted by the International Organisation of Needle and Bobbin Lace (OIDFA) and by the Malta Lace Guild. There were also demonstrations of pillow covering, card weaving, cord making by ATC and information about short courses in different aspects of Maltese Lace. A number of stands were mounted by the Koperattiva Ghawdxija tal-Bizzilla u Artigjanat with lace making materials.