University of Malta

Mr Michael Cassar
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19th Century Dockyard Creek Memories 

by:  Mr Michael Cassar      Date:   24th April 2015   


Description:  The old Porto delle Galere the Galley Port, became Dockyard Creek under the British. From the ousting of the French in 1800 to the beginning of the 20th century this historic stretch of water tells an exciting story as the birthplace of heavy industry and its effect on the Cottonera, as well as the perennial trade-off between prosperity, employment and the consequent loss of heritage and landing rights. 

Despite the ravages of war, much remains from the time of the Order of St John. Michael Cassar likes to think that the last grandmaster would not feel at all out of place at Dockyard Creek today, if one explains 19th century additions such as the bakery and the late 20th century yacht marina. The British period is like the proverbial stone thrown in a pond: it makes a splash and ever widening concentric circles that weaken and fan out to nothingness until the pond returns to its previous calm state.  

Michael Cassar (b.1949) has lived around the Grand Harbour for as long as he can remember, savouring its moods from the wild gregales and noisome sciroccos to the honey sunsets of late summer and the long, vivid shadows of winter.  

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Last Updated: 16 December 2015

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