The Gozo Regional Development Authority launched the book 1948 Tragedy in the Gozo Channel – The Untold Account to commemorate the 75th anniversary since the tragedy that occurred in the area known as Ħaġret iċ-Ċawl, limits of Ħondoq ir-Rummien in Qala. In this tragedy, 23 soles lost their lives. Only 4 made it to shore.
GRDA CEO Mr Mario Borg, during the book launch stated that this book summarises the hardships that Gozitans, until very recently, had to endure to cross the channel, and return home.
Borg stated that the tragic events that followed marked a whole generation of Gozitans. ‘’It represented not only the difficulties that nature poses, but also the lack of understanding and empathy of decision makers on the main island of Malta.’’
In this new publication, Mgr. Dr Joseph Bezzina, the author of the book as well as relative of one of the victims, provides a detail account of what happened on that tragic night of 30th October 1948 while devaluing interesting facts that were kept under wraps through this time.
Assistant national archivist at the National Archives Gozo section, Mr John Cremona, said that after all this time, all 23 victims now can be known by a photo picture, thus putting a ‘face’ to each of them. The victims until now were only known by their name, surname locality and nicknames.
“We identified relatives through nicknames in the police reports, who in turn referred us to other relatives who might have a photo of the victims. We obtained the photos from Gozo, Malta, and as far as Australia and Canada’’ said Mr Cremona.
Both Mgr. Dr Bezzina and Mr Cremona thanked the Gozo Regional Development Authority for its contribution in commissioning the book and sponsoring the exhibition.