George Cross medal on display in Gozo over this weekend
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On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the award of the George Cross to the Maltese Islands, the original medal will be put on display at Banca Giuratale, Independence Square in Victoria, this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, the 1st and 2nd of September.
The George Cross was instituted on the 24th of September 1940 by King George VI, due to the strong desire to reward the many acts of civilian courage during the height of The Blitz on Britain in 1940-41.
King George VI awarded the George Cross to the island of Malta in a letter dated 15 April 1942, addressed to the island’s Governor Lieutenant-General Sir William Dobbie, so as to “….bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people.”
The King’s decision was made at the height of the enemy’s air incessant attacks by means of wave after wave of bombers. It is held that they were more intensive and longer than those mode over London.
Owing to the great danger of air raids, the ceremony of the handing over of the medal was not made immediately but had to wait till there was a decrease in the frequency of the raids. It was therefore on the 13th September, 1942, that the Chief Justice Sir George Borg received the George Cross in the name of the Maltese people from the hands of the new Governor, Lord Gort.
On Sunday, the 2nd of September, as part of the Victory Day celebrations in Victoria there will be a short reconstruction of when the George Cross medal was first brought to Gozo 70 years ago.
Opening hours to view the George Cross Medal are between 8am and 1pm and between 6pm and 10pm.
Photograph of the George Cross – Heritage Malta.