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‘Apart From This Article, We Knew Nothing’: A National Geographic Magazine From 1969 Was One Of Malta’s First Calls To Mediterranean Fame

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Malta in 1969 must have been a gloriously reminiscent time. Remember those old photos we got our hands on of Malta in the ’70s? The same Belgian couple has unearthed a National Geographic publication from 1969 and it really hits home the true staples of Maltese culture in history.

The images contained are a valuable insight into what ought to be preserved for time immemorial.

Malta from above, 1969 | National Geographic

There’s an air of calm over the island, pictured above, that’s enough to give anyone reading the full article a sense of relaxation.

From showcasing the Paola market, and the day’s special: fenek

To a showcase of Kathleen Farrugia, Miss Star of Malta 1968.

Farrugia wore a traditional Maltese lace ensemble of the time to the Miss Universe finals in 1968.

The article also gives an insight and opinion into Malta’s independence, five years after their victory.

“Some did better, some did worse,” the interviewed responded. “It’s still too early to tell yet.”

There’s even a whole page spread on Carnival festivities and the histories behind them.

When Jean-Pierre and his wife sent this over, they gave their own views on what had drawn them to the island all those years ago.

“Apart from this article in NatGeo, we knew nothing. There was no Google, and the Encyclopedia still said this was England.”

“For me, this island was something like Gibraltar. They’d drink their tea with milk!”

Obviously, some of these quirks are still remnant of Malta’s current cultures, but back then they were still shaking on each side of the fence – the Maltese had just won their independence and finally had an identity of their own to start forging.

“A stronghold of the British Empire, governed on and off for 20 years by peculiar men, we knew nothing of the terrible fate the Maltese had faced during the World Wars – being bombed because of the flag…”
“When we walked alongside the rubble on the flanks of Valetta it wasn’t difficult to see that war had raged just 15 years ago and independence only for five… You’ve come along way since then.”

What do you think of Malta’s huge NatGeo spread?

READ NEXT: Step Back In Time With Us As We Visit Gozo, Valletta And Azure Window In The 70’s

 

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