Monsarrat loved Gozo, paying tribute to it in the Kappillan of Malta
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The latest edition of Il-Kappillan ta’ Malta, was launched yesterday in San Lawrenz, Gozo. The novel, originally written by Liverpool-born Nicholas Monsarrat, was translated into Maltese by Wistin Born, the well-known author of Is-Salib tal-Fidda.
The Minister for Gozo, Justyne Caruana, and the Mayor of San Lawrenz Noel Formosa, were present for the launch.
An original manuscript with Monsarrat’s jottings for the plot of the novel, bequeathed by Monsarrat’s widow to the village of San Lawrenz, was on display for those present.
The Kappillan of Malta was written by Nicholas Monsarrat while he was residing in the locality of San Lawrenz.
When the novel was published in 1973, Wistin Born acquired the author’s permission to translated into Maltese to have it read on Rediffusion by Charles Arrigo. The reading was done during the last months of 1974 and the beginning of 1975.
“Gozo has always offered a warm welcome to Maltese and foreigners alike, who required the peace and unique benefits of Malta’s sister-island,” said the Minister for Gozo, “and continues to do so with open arms.”
This first edition in Maltese of Monsarrat’s famous novel, was edited by Mark Montebello, a Dominican friar like Wistin Born, and issued by SKS Publishers. The novel has also been translated into Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.
“Monsarrat lived at San Lawrenz as part of the community,” said Noel Formosa. “He did not keep apart, even carrying all the expenses for a yearly Christmas party organised for the children of the village.” The mayor concluded by encouraging all foreigners residing in Gozo to integrate with the community.The launch took place close to the former residence of Nicholas Monsarrat at San Lawrenz. He lived here with his wife Anne for ten years until his death in 1979.
Fr Mark Montebello, the book’s editor, said that Monsarrat paid special attention to include Gozo in the novel. “Monsarrat loved Gozo, and did not want to leave the Gozitans out of his tribute to the Maltese people.”
The book is priced at €12.99 and is on sale from all major bookshops.
Photographs and video by Joe Grech