In the past 50 years or so, Balzan has experienced the sad fate of all other Maltese villages. A once idyllic little village (one of the three in the centre of the island) with its rustic charms and citrus gardens, came face to face with ‘progress’. That being said, it has managed to keep (more or less… not without a struggle) its village core.
Balzan-born and bred Carmel Bezzina is old to enough to remember the picturesque village he grew in and which he has loved with a strong genuine fervour that has remained undimmed. It is a fervour born out of a reasoned appreciation he has cherished since his youth. These 3 books (in Maltese) are the result of 50 years of constant research, which has been going on since his early 20s. Bezzina’s wise decision was to bring his writings together in an extremely elegant publication, handsomely produced with the significant contribution of some excellent photography by Joe Borg.
Bezzina’s books are therefore a sort of history of Balzan which places great importance on its demographic, social, artistic and religious aspect. Moreover, the author writes in an impeccable and easy linguistic style that makes reading the book a constant pleasure. For Balzanin then, the book is a must-have. – Louis J Scerri