New book showcases memories of Dockyard workers

Heritage Malta publication based on more than 100 interviews.

Heritage Malta has just launched a publication offering unique insight into one of Malta’s most iconic industries – the Malta Dockyard, through its famed skilled craftsmen’s own words.

Over the past four years, more than 200 hours of memories from ex-Dockyard workers have been carefully documented by Heritage Malta’s Digitisation Unit, as part of the agency’s biggest intangible heritage project to date.

The first 100 recordings are now being presented in this publication, entitled The Dockyard from the Workers’ Perspective – 100 Interviews. Its contributors have poured their hearts out in these recorded narrations of their days working amidst the clamour of the workshops and in the depths of the docks, as part of a whole community of men with skills of every shape and form, who challenged death daily.

Snippets from each interview, which can also be enjoyed fully by scanning a QR code, interlaced with a myriad of donated precious photos and other national collection items, introduce the reader into the Dockyard world, welded by a deep sense of brotherhood.

The book, however, has much more in store. Lesser known facts, such as that women too walked the Malta Dockyard’s grounds, and quirky curiosities drawing a common line between seemingly unrelated cohorts such as the cast-iron lamp posts at Castille Square and Senglea’s beloved Jesus the Redeemer statue, amongst others, promise a tantalisingly enjoyable experience while flipping its pages.

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