When will a crematorium be built in Gozo and Malta?

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When will a crematorium be built in Gozo and Malta?Readers Letter – “Can you please tell me when they are going to build a crematorium in Gozo and Malta, as this is needed very badly for foreigners living on the islands?

Does anyone know when?”

Miriam Mcelwee,


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    21 Responses

    1. anthony zammit says:

      Dearest Miriam Mcelwee, you surprised me with such a direct question. How dare you come to our island and demand something with so much vigour “as this is needed very badly for foreigners living on the islands” The foreigners should go and die in their land if they want to be cremated.

      Yet, it would have been more sensible if you asked why there isn’t a crematorium on the Maltese Islands. First of all the Maltese who have always been in their majority Catholics were not allowed to be cremated. It was forbidden for Catholics to be cremated around the World if you were Catholic. Cremation has been permitted in the Catholic Church since 1963, and 54 years are not enough to establish such a trend when burial has been in our Culture for millennials.

      But the most important issue here is that Cremation of a dead body is carried out at a temperature ranging between 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit or 870–980 °C and the furnace could cost up to $400,000 to buy and install, as of 2008, according to BioSAFE Engineering. Modern cremation furnaces are controlled by a computer that ensures the furnace adheres to mechanical and electrical standards for each cremation. Not only should your space be able to support a crematory furnace, it should also be zoned for cremations. Your ideal facility should also have a refrigerated area to store bodies until cremation.
      It is not expensive to fuel a Cremation because it is estimated at around $30.00 but to get it up to the required temperature and keep it running is something else.

      The answer I got when I asked why we haven’t a Crematorium yet is that it is not FEASIBLE TO RUN! Dear Ms Mcelwee, unless you gather all the foreigners living on our little Catholic island and together buy and build up a Crematorium for yourselves, you will never have one here. Only a tiny % of Maltese would want to be cremated so no one is going to invest half a million Euros to burn a foreigner once in a blue moon! And if the Government would dream of building it, I will be the first man to object in building something from our tax money to please such a few!

      There is another alternative, Ms Mcelwee; I know of many foreigners who have donated their body to the University for study and also donated their organs. I am one of them. Bye and Happy New Year.

      • miriammcelwee says:

        Sir I think you are so wrong in what you say there are people dieing all over the world not just malta and gozo to say that they should be cremated in there own country is so wrong of you to say all I said is that in time to come there will be no more room to bury these people and a crematorium is needed in malta and gozo you must move in with the time this is 2018 and yes the Catholic Church did cremate people in time gone by look up your history I am so sorry for you if you do not agree as a lot of Maltese people like me agree with what I said

    2. Greg Chappell says:

      Anthony Zammit,

      Just to let you know, Mrs Mcelwee is a Maltese born catholic.

    3. Lino DeBono says:

      Mr Zammit, the Crematorium isn’t built yet due to number limitations, thus the sauce will be costlier than the food. It isn’t a matter of who wants it or not – or if it’s a foreigner or local. Personally I do know of locals who would desire to be cremated instead of burial. If businessmen consider the project is viable no Catholic believes will hinder or stop them from investing.
      Whether one is local or a friend living amongst us as we do in other countries,is totally irrelevant when deciding on a crematorium or not. Six feet under ground or burned to ashes, who bothers. Nobody will feel, see or come back to haunt the living.

      • anthony zammit says:

        ‘isn’t build yet due to number limitations’; seems that you have hope that one day it will be built. You and I are both with a leg under, we will never know!. When I mentioned the Catholic Beliefs I was presenting the fact that if the Church would not have changed her views on Cremation 54 years ago, the businessmen would not have had many clients for sure! Catholics obey the Church when it comes to Eternal Life or Eternal Damnation. It has been the tool of the Church for many years and still is. Why did so many leave their wealth to the Church? I do not believe in an afterlife (even if I did) so I put my body for donation to the University. Yet, one cannot, not give value to Traditions and Culture. The burial and after burial, visiting the buried, cleaning the tomb, celebrating Masses in the Cemetery, selling flowers and candles. These are all in the heart of the Maltese as the fireworks and the band marches of the village fiestas.

      • miriammcelwee says:

        Very well said sir

    4. Charlie ( NY-Malta) says:

      I have read the comments as a returned migrant i feel that the Maltese and Gozitans alike should come out of that hard shell of theirs and move on with the Times. its 2018 and not the 1930’s, many are still living the days of the Ark Grow Up friends and think of the environment & Hygiene as far as i am concern the death live/remembered in your heart and not 6 foot under. bare that in mind and you can’t go wrong. Religion has nothing to do with it. Period.

    5. anthony zammit says:

      Charlie and Doris, what is it with you that you knock down the Church when 45 years ago Cremation has been permitted in the Catholic Church since 1963? In this case, the Church has gone up with the times. It has come out of its shell. The fact remains that Cemetary Culture or traditions have gained roots and having these roots in our hearts is not staying in the shell. We love our tombs, we love visiting the dead, looking at the photos etc. It is something to do every November and it is nice. Nothing wrong with it, nothing shelly about it. It is a tradition which has a meaning for us as it has meaning in other countries. Cremation is also a tradition in other countries and copying it does not get us out of our shell. Burial is hundreds of thousands of years older than cremation. Anyway, why am I wasting my time with you?

    6. miriammcelwee says:

      Very well said what are they going to do when one day there will be no more . Space to bury people cremation is very hygienic and cheaper in the long run don’t you agree

      • anthony zammit says:

        Cremation creates smoke and ash. Ash can go back into Cemeteries or on a fireplace mantle in a special urn. Cemeteries are difficult to be full because the occupant is removed after some time and deposited in a communal deposit. SO one day there will be no space, I doubt it. If there will one day be a developer who would want to invest in a Crematorium he has to think of a 100% filter of smoke emissions. Neighbours would not like to have their clothes dry on the roof and get smoked with body ash smoke.The technology does exist to sequester carbon. Its lack of adoption would probably be due to a combination of cost. Someone once wrote: Firsthand information here, many crematoriums run in the middle of the night so that the smoke isn’t obvious. Also, if a really fat person is being cremated, it’s not unusual to see flames coming out of the stacks. The smell is negated (from what I’m told) by the super high heat of the furnaces which vaporize anything that would smell.

    7. Yvonne Cox says:

      Anthony Zammit, flames coming out of stacks from the cremation of a fat person, really !!! In the UK, people have a choice, just because cremation occurs in the UK does not rule out the choice of burial, we also respect the choice of all faiths that reside in the UK, we do not tell them to go back to their own land. You obviously hate us foreigners that have settled on this lovely island.

    8. anthony zammit says:

      Dear Yvonne Cox.
      I do not take kindly to your statement ‘You obviously hate us foreigners that have settled on this lovely island!’ You had no right to deduct that. My best friends are foreigners and I was a foreigner myself in many countries for many years including the UK.
      You cannot put on me the statements others say even if I repeat them as in the case of ‘a fat person’ Here I repeat the quote for you, which are not my words and I stated it clearly “SOMEONE ONCE WROTE”. Firsthand information here, many crematoriums run in the middle of the night so that the smoke isn’t obvious. Also, if a really fat person is being cremated, it’s not unusual to see flames coming out of the stacks. The smell is negated (from what I’m told) by the super high heat of the furnaces which vaporize anything that would smell.
      posted by ColdChef at 8:14 PM on March 10, 2007
      So dear Ms Cox, you can point your finger at Mr. or Ms. ColdFChef who wrote such and posted it on ask.metafilter.com. I used that post/question of ColdChef because it mentioned that although there is a smell it could be evaporated with the super High Heat, I doubt that if it is built in Gozo it might have some missing components to save money and it might smell as the residence of Ghajn Qatet street could well tell you of the stinking smell which used to intoxicate the neighbours of the Gozo General Hospital when they, each night, used to burn dead tissues and what have you, even you could sometimes smell it from Sannat.
      I never said to foreigners ‘to go back to their own land.’ But I said that as things are at present if someone (meaning foreigner or local) wants to be cremated, they should go and die in their own land because there is no cremation here! ‘The foreigners should go and die in their land if they want to be cremated’ Then I continued to explain that it is next to impossible that a Crematorium would ever be built here, not because I do not want one or I do not agree with it but because 1st we have a strong, holy, old and embedded tradition to put our loved ones beautifully prepared, dressed and all, under the ground… So Tradition and neighbors would object to a Crematorium to be built in their neighborhood because of false information of smell, and a Crematorium will never be built in Malta or Gozo because the demand is very very low. In Malta, we have 2 deaths per day and in Gozo 5 every fortnight. 96% of these would want to be buried which leaves us with (you make the sum)
      The only body who could build this service is the Government but again I am sure that it will not be voted for because the majority of residents in Malta and Gozo prefer to be buried. Does this mean that I hate the foreigners? I love many foreigners and I do not like some who are always present when there is an exhibition opening offering free finger food and free wine! I do not like foreigners who book the whole year dinners at the Qala Catering school because it is so cheaper and they feel as experts to give their criticism on the meal, feeling that the locals are not able to do so, I do not like foreigners who try to belittle locals and criticize everything. Yet, I wouldn’t send them home, they have many good things to offer and when I say that I do not like, I do not mean the person but their actions, like I do not like what they do or how they look at us and believe me, these are but few! I love for example and admire the editor of Gozonews and I believe his wife, who are foreigners and do so much work to get news over to us here and around the world. I love the foreigners who train children in sports and run establishments. I like the foreigners who donate their time and dedication to others. There is a foreigner who goes out every day and collects garbage all around Gozo. I love foreigners from all over the world and I host them free of charge in my house for many days through Hospitality Organizations like the Couch Surfing, Workaway and Hospitality Club. How dare you say that I hate foreigners when I open my house to foreigners? I even hosted foreigners whilst I was not in Gozo! I do not know of anyone who does that except in house swapping. So please take it back.

    9. miriammcelwee says:

      Well said saying that they all want our money we spend in malta and gozo why do they hate
      Us so much

    10. miriammcelwee says:

      Anthony zammit is very hateful towards the British by the sound of his words has he forgot the war when the British was there for them think again
      Mr .zammit

    11. anthony zammit says:

      I cannot hate the British because my grandma was born there with UK parents from both sides. Can’t fathom how you ended up with this conclusion. Well, I guess I do not know how to explain. Yet, Understanding is much deeper than knowledge.Remember dear Miriam, ‘Those who judge will never understand and those who understand will never judge.

    12. anthony zammit says:

      p.s. If the Knights of Malta never came here, there wouldn’t have been The Great Seige, and if the British did not use Malta as a Naval Base World War II would have only been something for us to read about.

    13. miriammcelwee says:

      I became a British subject and I am very proud of Britain and the British people they have got more respect.

    14. Johann Camilleri says:

      Malta may finally get its first crematorium and a memorial park where ashes may be scattered in a garden, buried beneath a newly planted tree or stored in above ground niches.

      Camilleri Funeral Directors International have submitted an application to the planning authority for Malta’s first funeral home which will include a crematorium, a private mortuary, viewing rooms etc… The funeral home will be part of a memorial park set on an area of over 8000 square metres located behind the Addolorata Cemetery.

    15. anthony zammit says:

      Hope it will finally be a reality

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