ANTON F. ATTARD
Gozitan writer, translator, folklorist and poet.
Anton F. Attard was born in Victoria, Gozo on the 14 February, 1943, the son of the late Emmanuel Attard and the late Angela nee Gatt, farmers.
Between 1948 and 1956 Anton F. Attard attended the Victoria, Primary School. This was followed by his Secondary Schooling at the Lyceum Gozo between the years 1956 and 1961. Then he followed with success a two-year course (1963-65) at St Michael’s Training College, at St. Julian’s, to become a teacher in Government Schools.
Between 1968-1973 he followed an evening course at the Universityof Malta and graduated B.A (Gen.). Between 1973 and 1975 he pursued further studies and obtained an M.A. (Qualifying Examination) Certificate.
Anton F. Attard started his work career by joining the Government Service as an Emergency Teacher in 1962 and he worked at Marsa Boys’ till October 1963, when he was admitted to college.
Between 1965 and 1968 he worked as a Regular Teacher at Zejtun Boys’. In 1968 he was transferred at his request from this school to Marsa Boys’ where he remained on the staff of this school until the end of August 1977.
In 1977 he sat for a public examination for graduates to become an Administrative Officer in the General Service of the Government and was successful. On 1st September of that year he was appointed Administrative Officer and was assigned the duties of Secretary to the Housing Authority. He carried out these duties successfully until 1982, when he transferred as a Administrative Officer to Craig Hospital in Gozo (now the Gozo General Hospital) where he served for seven months.
He was transferred back to the Housing Department where he performed the duties of Acting Housing Secretary between 1982 and 1983.
In August 1983 he was elected Secretary of the Public Service Employees’ Section of the GWU and carried out Trade Union duties for two years (1983-1985). He was the first Government officer to be granted leave without pay on grounds of public policy to be of service the Government Employees. During these two years he also represented the GWU at an international conference of European Unions in Vienna. Besides taking part in discussions held, he also read out a country report on the development of Health Services in Maltaand Gozo.
After two years at the GWU, Anton F. Attard went back to the Housing Department and was appointed again Acting Housing Secretary. In 1986, he was transferred to Gozo at his request where he performed the duties of Administrative Officer at the Gozo Secretariat between the years1986-1994.
During this period, more precisely in 1987, he was responsible for the opening of two new Sections of the Department of Social Services in Gozo: The National Insurance Contributions Section and the Reconciliation Section to bring back office work to Gozo for Gozitan Clerks.
On the retirement from the Public Service in April 1993 of Mr V. Vella Muscat, Secretary Gozo Affairs, he took over the whole responsibility of the Gozo Secretariat. In 1994 he was appointed as Acting Director of Customer Services with the Ministry for Gozo. Initially he was directly responsible for five (5) sections and indirectly for some twenty other sections. On 1st January, 1996, some 20 other Sections were transferred under his direct responsibility.
In 1996 was appointed Director of Customer Services, in which capacity he served until 7th February 2000. (For duties performed and initiatives taken one can see the Annual Reports of Government Departments – Department of Customer Services).
Anton F. Attard ended his career with the Government in October 2002, as Officer in Grade 5 with the Education Office in Gozo. He retired from the Public Service on 14thFebruary 2003, on attaining the age of 60.
Member: Gozo Cultural Committee (1977 – 1987; 2004- ); Malta Society of Arts Manufactures and Commerce; Malta Historical Society; Leone Band Club and Aurora Theatre; G. W. U.; Akkademja tal-Malti; Administrative Council, Gozo Cathedral; Philatelic Society, Gozo; Philatelic Society Malta, Circolo Gozitano, and others. He also served on several other Government Committees.
Anton F. Attard is also a writer, translator, folklorist and poet. He published his first poem in Maltese Aħjar Bqajt Żgħir on 21 March, 1959, after he had just turned 16. It appeared on page 7 of a humorous local paper Il-Joker and was followed by other writings both in verse and in prose. These simple writings were the prelude to numerous other articles in the local press on various topics such as Gozitan affairs, folklore and history. Numerous articles published in Il-Joker, It-Torċa, L-Orizzont, Il-Passa, It-Tromba, L-Egħjun, Il-Ħajja f’Għawdex, Tagħna t-Tfal, Programmi tal-Festa ta’ Santa Marija, Għawdex; The Museletter, Il-Qronfla, L-Aurora, Ħbieb il-Presepju, Gozo Philatelic Newsletter, and occasionally on other news papers such as In-Nazzjon, Il-Mument, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Malta Independent, The Malta Independent on Sunday and other papers. As a prolific writer, Mr Attard also contributes to the media (radio and television) on cultural subjects.
His writings are mainly addressed to the general public. He also translates foreign folk-tales and ancient apocryphal writings from various languages into Maltese. As a poet he usually writes both lyrics and other poetry for special occasions and commemorations. In fact he is the author of the official anthem of the General Workers’ Union Magħqudin! and the village of Għarb,Innu lill-Għarb. He also contributes regularly to Poetry on Gozo with poems relating mostly to old Gozitan folk traditions and customs.
Anton F. Attard has also several publications to his credit.
Logħob Folkloristiku ta’ Għawdex, 1969,(Gozitan Folk Games); Mill-Folkore ta’ Għawdex – Ġabra ta’ Għanau Taqbil folkloristiku (From the Folklore of Gozo – A collection of Rhyming Stanzas and Nursery Rhymes), 1986; Mill-Ħajja ta’ l-Imgħoddi, 1991, (From the Life of Bygone Times); Mid-Dinja tas-Seher u tal-Folklor, 2002, (From the Land of Enchantment and Folklore).
Il-Leġġenda ta’ San Sidoer, Bidwi, (2001), Il-Leġġenda ta’ Samer u l-Għoġol tad-Deheb (2002), Il-Leġġenda ta’ Santa Barbara(2003), Il-Leġġenda ta’ Santa Margerita (2003). Il-Passjoni ta’ Ġesu’. Innijiet, Poeżiji u Leġġendi dwar il-Passjoni ta’ Ġesu’ (2004).
Hundreds of articles in the local press, especially in L-Orizzont (February, 1982 to October, 1986), Il-Passa and Passa-temp and Il-Ħajja f’Għawdex (since October, 1998) and Tagħna t-Tfal (October 1996 to June 2008).
Other Publications:L-Atti ta’ Pawlu u Tekla, (1986) (The Acts of Paul and Tecla); Sunetti, (1985) (Sonnets); Ras il-Wardija u t-Tempju Puniku-Ellenistiku Tagħha (1987), (Wardija Point with its Punico-HellenisticTemple); Festi Titulari f’Għawdex, (1994) (Titiular Feasts in Gozo); Sacra Roman Rota – Decisio in Causa Gaudisien. – Unionis et Administrationis – Sentenza ta’ Kawża Għawdxija ta’ l-Unjoni u l-Amministrazzjoni (Translated from Latin Original), (1998) (Translation of a Gozitan Sentence of the Roman Sacra Rota); It-Twaqqif ta’ l-Ewwel Baned f’Għawdex (Includes transcription and translation of original deeds), (2000) (The Establishment of the First Musical Bands in Gozo); L-Arċi-Matriċi li qatt ma kienet, (2003) (A historical critical study); Il-Passjoni ta’ Ġesu’ (The Passion of Jesus Christ, Poems), (2004); It-Teżi Psewdo Storika tal-Parroċċa t’Għawdex – Part One (2008), Part Two (2009), Part Three (2010) (A historical critical study); Maltese Language Series: The Dual in the Maltese Language (2008); The Sound Plurals –an or –ien (2008); The Maltese Toponym Forn il-Ġir, (2009); Sensiela dwar l-Ilsien Malti. ID-DEĊIŻJONIJIET 1 tal-Kunsill Nazzjonali ta’ l-Ilsien Malti. Kemm huma tajbin? (2010).
(i) Diskors Kommemorattiv ta’ Jum ir-Repubblika 19.12.81; (ii) Housing Authority Annual Reports (1979-81); (iii) Public Services Section GWU Report for the Years 1983-85; (iv) Rapporti ta’ Ħidma – Dipartiment tal-Customer Services, Ministeru għal Għawdex (1995-1999); Annual Reports of Government Departments – Department of Customer Services (1995-99),
Other Publications Jointly
Folklore in the MalteseIslands,Qala Local Council, 2010.
Trades and Crafts in the MalteseIslands,Qala Local Council, 2011.
GOZO The Isle of Joy on Stamps. Nature and Culture.
RICHARD ELLIS. THE PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTION. Malta & Gozo. Edited by Ian Ellis. BDLPublishing First Edition 2011.
Several Captions: p. 92, numbers 40, 41; p. 93, numbers 46, 47; p. 94, numbers 48, 49, 50, 51; p. 95, numbers 57, 58, 59; p. 96, numbers 60, 61, 62, 64; p. 97, whole article; p. 98, numbers 71, 74; p. 99, 81, 82; p. 100, number 84, Gozo Boats whole article.
p. 239, Acknowledgements: I list alphabetically Anton F. Attard, etc.
DVD. – L-ISPTAR IL-GDID TA’ GĦAWDEX – SPTAR ĠDID – ĦIDMA ĠDIDA
Kitba: Anton F. Attard. Qari: Mario Borg. Filmat: Philip Cassar. Muntaġġ: Philip Cassar.Produzzjoni: Gozo Vision Studios – Sannat; ħin: ċ. 26 minuta.
IT-TWAQQIF TAL-PARROĊĊI FID-DJOĊESI TA’ GĦAWDEX,Santa Marija, 2012.
IL-MAZZA, Folju Anti-Psewdostoriku Għawdxi. Nru 1. Ottubru, 2002.
IL-MAZZA, Folju Anti-Psewdostoriku Għawdxi, Nru.2. Diċembru, 2002.
Labour Post,22ndSeptember, 1983, p. 23. Idem, 25thMarch, 1984, p. 6. Gozo Year Book, 1984, p. 4. Sunetti – L-Ewwel Parti – Back Cover (1985). MaltaWho’s Who (Progress Press 1987) p. 10; Michael Galea,Dizzjunarju ta’ Kittieba Maltin u Għawdxin (Bugelli Publications 1995) p. 10. First Sunday – The MaltaIndependent Magazine, December, 1997, pp. 11-14, “Echoes of the Past. Gillian Martin in Gozo speaks to Anton F. Attard, Poet and Local Historian about his life and Christmas Past”. Mid-Dinja tas-Seher u tal-Folklor – Back Cover. KullĦadd, 16 ta’ Marzu, 2003, p. 38. L-Arċi-Matriċi li qatt ma kienet – Back Cover. “Gozo in the 50’s and 60’s Recollections of a Gozitan” (Anton F. Attard), An Assignment for the M.A. Degree Course presented to the Universityof Maltaby Mr George Borg. Michael J. Schiavone (Editor), Dictionary of Maltese Biographies (2009).
Other information can be obtained from Internet: Search Anton F. Attard.