It was a very interesting morning at the Old Parish Church of iż-Żejtun, when on the 5th July a sizeable audience met to listen to eight different historians presenting their researched work on this particular event in Maltese history.
The symposium was opened by Hon Dr Owen Bonnici, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government. In his speech, the Minister encouraged Wirt iż-Żejtun and other similar NGOs to continue working in the promotion and appreciation of our heritage.
Giulia Privitelli presented the research which she carried out through different archives when she tried to unveil the true story of the Turkish raid. Charles Debono gave a historical account on what happened after the Turks left Marsascala Bay and how they have landed at Mellieha before sailing to North Africa. Sandro Debono shared the information which he gathered on three altar paintings which somehow are related to this historical event. Dr Anton Bugeja presented his research about Clement Tabone which is thought to have been one of the local heroes during the assault against the Turks at Buleben.
Fiona Vella shared her thoughts and writings about the folkloristic myths gathered around the story of this last raid. Godwin Vella analised the impact of frequent raids by the Turks and corsairs on the shaping of the rural community living in the south east of Malta in the early 17th century. Profs Stanley Fiorini, in a very logical manner, presented his findings on how the people living in the south east of Malta tried to defend themselves from these frequent incursions. Dr Stephen Spiteri described how the Hospitaller Order improved the coastal defence of the island after this raid.
Dr Joesph Buttigieg, Chairman of Heritage Malta, closed the symposium by an analysis on the facts presented by the different speakers.
Wirt iż-Żejtun will be publishing the proceedings of this symposium.