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Title: Attard : the life of a Maltese casale
Authors: Frendo, Henry
Keywords: Attard (Malta) -- History
Issue Date: 1997
Publisher: Attard Local Council
Citation: Frendo, H. (1997). Attard : the life of a Maltese casale. Malta: Attard Local Council.
Abstract: Three main reasons convinced me of the need to write this book, and I am glad that my colleagues on the Attard Local Council were of the same mind and entrusted me with the task. My first immersion into Attard's history was provoked by the mistaken exclusion ofSant'Anton, the palace and gardens, from its historic confines, when local council boundaries were first drawn out by the central government authorities. That offended every acclimatised resident of Attard, as well as my own childhood memories, when going to Attard from Floriana meant a frolic and a picnic, feeding the swans and watching monkey acrobatics. Another hiccup had been the exclusion of a red quadrant from Attard's traditional coat-of-arms by a heraldic expert not conversant with the simmering strengths of local history. Both these inadvertant errors were later rectified, but not before or without a sustained engagement in battle, armed by the pen of course, not the sword. Another instigation to get started on at least a modest pioneering work of this kind came from the constant quizzing I was having to put up with about Attard from several new colleagues and friends at the Council of Europe as well as professional contacts I was beginning to make in other countries when on mission. Having headed Malta's Delegation to the Strasbourg-based Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe since its inception in 1994, I became much involved in this sphere of activity nationally and internationally. But what the Council of Europe always recognises and emphasises above all is the local provenance and the electoral base of members of the European Congress. In participation lists, speeches and reports I therefore invariably carried behind me, like a tail, the tag: "Mayor of Attard". Those who hardly knew where Malta was knew still less about Attard, but even among those who had come to Malta they would mostly remember the seaside tourist resorts or the casino, Valletta or perhaps Mdina, rather than a place like Attard, unless they happened to have stayed at the Corinthia Palace Hotel or been stopped by their tour coach at Sant'Anton for a walk-about in the gardens. Almost without exception, there was never a profile of the place or its inhabitants in their memories of Malta. While I was often presented with books or booklets by other Mayors or Councillors about their respective municipalities, I was never in a position to reciprocate such a gesture, nor of course could any of my Council colleagues if faced by a similar situation. The third and perhaps gravest reason for this little book however was the difficulty which many residents have had to identify the areas which made up Attard or to know where many of the streets themselves were located or what they were called. Often enough, for example, they would be unaware of the different areas that made up the place, and altogether unfamiliar with the names of the streets. Naturally my own work commitment in the context of the Local Council was itself an enriching experience on a human, operational and indeed an historical level. I too was on a learning curve, so I felt increasingly obliged and propelled to share that growth with fellow residents and citizens, but also to help Attard get out of its shell and be better known and appreciated, as it well deserved to be. In compiling data for this book I have relied on the generous assistance of so many people, mostly Attard residents. Too many to mention here, but I must at least list alphabetically all those who have kindly agreed to submit written notes, articles or pamphlets, or respond to queries of one kind or another. These have included, among others, Ms Joyce Abela, Mr. Edward Agius, Mr. Franco Azzopardi, Mr. Nicholas Azzopardi, Fra Andrew Bertie, Mr. Roger Vella Bonavita, Or. Giovanni Bonello, Mr. Lino Bonnici, Mr. Joe Borg, Ms Mary Ooris Borg, Mr. Norman Borg, Or. Mario Buhagiar, Ms. Maria Carmela Camilleri, Mr. Charlie Camilleri, Or. Paul Cassar, Prof. J. Cremona, Mr. Maurice Oegiorgio, Sour Anna M. Oemanuele, Mr. Justice Franco Oepasquale, Mr. Arthur Oimech, Mr. Carmelo Oingli, Mr. Mario Ellul, Mr. Michael Ellul, Rev. Carmelo Farrugia, Mr. Paul Fenech, Mr. Patrick Galea, Ms Maureen German, Mr. Herman Grech, Mr. Reuben Grima, His Eminence the Apostolic Nuncio Mgr. Jose' Sebastian Laboa, Mr. Carmel Mallia, Mr. John Manduca, His Excellency President Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, Mr. Joseph Muscat, Ms Evelyn Pullicino, Mr. Anton Quintano, Or. Joseph R. Saliba, Mr. Tony Sammur, Mr. Keith Sciberras, Mr. Michael C Spiteri, Dr. Oonald Sultana, Mr. TonyTerribile, Mr. Gerald de Trafford, Or. Horatio CR. Vella, Ms Josianne Vella Bardon, Mr. Abel Zammit, Mr. Frankie Zammit and Mr. Winston Zammit. I am most grateful to all the elected members of the Attard Local Council for their support, and for agreeing that the Council pay the printing costs. I am specifically grateful, for their local knowledge and contacts, to the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Gerald Borg, and to Councillor Joseph Mifsud, both of whom were born and raised in Attard. In thanking all the Council's members of staff I must reserve a special thank you for another 'native child of the village', our clerk Ms Marica Mifsud, who also typed in many additions and corrections to my draft texts. I am much indebted to the members of the Editorial Board for their technical advice and constant encouragement, especially Mr. Lionel Cassola, Ms Tanya Muscat and Ms Christine Vella Borda who also did the setting, while the first of these also took most of the photographs appearing here. Others were taken by the photographers Mr.Tony Mangion and Mr. Gino Galea as well as by Mr. Joseph Stellini from the office, and myself. Finally I wish heartily to thank all those officials of Artard's constituted bodies and their assistants who responded to the call for lists of their respective club presidents so that these could be included as appendices in a comprehensive manner between two covers for the first time. Naturally, I assume full responsibility for any oversights or errors in the text.
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