28 March 2010

Mary Meylak (1905-75), Gozo, Malta

In 2005, the centenary of the birth of Mary Meylak (or Meilak), the first woman poet in the Maltese language, a mass was held in her honor in St George's Baslilica, St George's Square, Gozo, Malta. Attending were the President of Malta, Dr Edward Edward Fenech Adami, and the Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Nicholas J Cauchi, headed the congregation. Meylak - who preferred that name to Meilak - was of the parish of St George.

After mass, a bronze plaque of Meylak mounted on a large marble tablet was unveiled on the opposite side of the square to the basilica. The proposal to erect the monument, which joined a pre-existing one of Monsignor Giuseppe Farrugia, was encouraged by Meylak's nephew, Canon Joe Mejlak, and the bronze likeness was made by artist Joseph Chetcuti, and the marble and engraving by A.F. Ellis (Marble) Works Ltd of Gozo. The image represented is of the Romantic poet in her youth, and the plaque bears some of her verses.

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