Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Early Maltese emigration, 1800-1914
Authors: Attard, Lawrence E.
Keywords: Malta -- Emigration and immigration -- History
Issue Date: 1983
Publisher: Gulf Publishing Ltd.
Citation: Attard, L.E. (1983). Early Maltese emigration, 1800-1914. Valletta : Gulf Publishing Ltd.
Abstract: The Mediterranean is a sea known for its sunshine and history. To those like myself, who have been born and bred a few yards from its waters, the Inland Sea brings memories of swimming and fishing, of warm beaches and clear moon-lit nights. I was born in the Maltese town of Birgu where most of the inhabitants were able to enjoy the good things of a Mediterranean civilisation. However the Mediterranean has also been a very unstable area of our globe and wars have often tarnished the beauty which nature has so generously bestowed upon it. During the years immediately following the Second World War the people of Birgu and of many other towns and villages used to witness a peculiar sight which had little to do with beauty or sunshine: large passenger ships leaving Maltese waters with hundreds of migrants on board straining their tearful eyes to catch the last glimpse of their homeland. Those of us who stayed behind either waved to them from some vantage point or hired small boats to accompany the emigrants' ship till it was impossible to keep up with the speed generated by its powerful engines. Separation from those you had grown to love has been an aching reality to many Maltese. It has divided families and split old friends. Grandparents talk about nephews and nieces they have never fondled. Very few Maltese can claim that they have not been touched by the vast emigration movement from their islands. In 1959 I left Malta for Europe. For the next ten years I lived and studied in universities abroad. When in 1969 I returned home I began my work 'with the Emigrants' Commission. This involved me in correspondence with various societies organised for the benefit of Maltese emigrants, with religious leaders, with editors of newspapers published for the Maltese ethnic groups and with men and women who were responsible for radio programmes particularly those in Australia and in Canada. Since 1972 I have been collaborating with others to produce a local radio programme which still commands a significant number of listeners. "Migrants' Magazine" is a link between Maltese at home and those settled in various parts of the world. My weekly contributions to Migrants' Magazine have led me deeper into studying the development of emigration from Malta from the first years of this present century. This led me to write a number of papers on this subject of which some were read on the radio and others were published in local reviews and newspapers. It seems fairly obvious to me that the study of emigration will in future constitute an important and highly interesting section of Maltese history. This may also prove to be somewhat controversial because some traditionalists would still relegate historical research to the usual irrelevancy of dates and battles. More interest must be generated in the less glamorous aspects of Maltese history, that type of history which is not made by famous men and women but by those who, because of their underprivileged status in life, had to struggle very hard to provide for themselves security through hard work. This book is about1the hopes and failures of the largely unemployed men and women of
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCWHMlt

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
8.01 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.