Letters, MaltaToday, 4 December 2016

Letters in MaltaToday on Sunday

4 December 2016, 11:51am
The men would gather dockside around dawn, in their dozens, hoping to be picked for a day’s work. The lucky chosen few would give a cut of their day’s wages to the Mob. They were muscle-bound burly types, who thought nothing of pulverizing a golf-ball in the pit of their elbows. The men would stand in awe, frozen in terror at the mercy of the picker’s whim for their daily bread.

Nothing like Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront captured the mood and the atmosphere of the 1950s New York docks. I had forgotten, long ago, this spellbinder of cinema art.

Forgotten, until I stumbled on Malta’s GWU Community Work Scheme.

Joe Genovese, Birkirkara

Walking a shameful route

I invite the Parliamentary Secretary for Local Councils and the mayor and deputy mayor of St Paul’s Bay Local Council to take a walk along this route: from where Triq il-Pijunieri ends on the side of Bay Square, turning on the right towards the Church, and then to proceed along Triq it-Turisti up to the end of it near Qawra Palace Hotel.

Through this letter, they no longer have an excuse that they are not aware of the pitiful state of the road. Do they intend to have it repaired in eight months’ time, when again it will be the peak of the tourist season? If I were in authority like they are, I would be ashamed of myself to see our esteemed visitors making fun of us for tolerating such negligence.

If these honourable representatives of the people do take my invitation to walk along the route I mentioned, they will arrive near the Qawra police station. There, they will see the public garden in front of the Dolmen Hotel encircled behind a hideous boundary wall. This enclosure is a symbol that it is nobody’s business as to what is happening behind it. Here we have a hotel originating in the sixties, when at the time it was a pleasant mix of hotel rooms and a much larger area of open space. Today it is a massive built-up unit with hundreds of beds and not even any planned parking facilities. The owners expect the taxpaying public to make available to them more land than they had already encroached; their beach is a glaring example.

Is the boundary wall a symbol that the small remaining public garden is to disappear as well? Can the authorities please enlighten us?

I intentionally grouped together the Parliamentary Secretary who represents the central government in office, which is Labour, with the mayor and the deputy mayor, from the opposite political camp, who were elected under the Nationalist Party flag to be directly responsible for the local government in Qawra. Incidentally, the deputy mayor runs radio programmes to promote himself as a candidate for the next general elections. One method he uses is the Donald Trump tactic: demeaning individuals from the other political camp to gain political mileage among diehard party supporters. In my view as a floating voter, he stands a better chance of being elected if he gives more to us, common people, in his role as the deputy mayor of the Local Council. He disappoints big time.

Writing this piece as a common citizen, my calculation is that neither one nor the other of our grand political parties has much to be proud of when it comes to meeting our aspirations for small mercies.

David Borg, St Paul’s Bay

 

Faith is what cynics need

Mr. J. Guillaumier’s failings are most consistently, miserably and vulnerably exposed and apparent when he quotes the likes of Robert G. Ingersoll and Omar Khayyam. Now tell me, who are these men compared to the stature and credibility of St Paul, let alone Christ?

Let’s consider only St Paul. “Now if Christ is preached as risen from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead neither has Christ risen and if Christ has not risen, vain then is our preaching, vain too is your faith.” A loud and clear message and doctrine.

This fact of Christ’s Resurrection has been established (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20). The apostles bore witness to it constantly; in fact, it formed the basis of their entire preaching. (e.g. Acts 2: 24-32, 2 Corinthians 5: 15, 2 Timothy 2: 8). Not only is it the pledge, pattern and example of our own resurrection but Christ’s death is never divorced, in Christian thought, from the triumph of the Resurrection.

Unsurpassed is the title of my letter on the same day in another paper “Faith is still indispensable” which I accidentally stuck completely unaware of Mr Guillaumier’s letter “Celestial promissory notes”. Faith is the adherence of the intellect, under the influence of grace, to a revealed truth beyond the limits of man’s intellect.

This substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that are not seen (Hebrew  11:1) is too  difficult for  Mr. Guillaumier to  comprehend  what  may,  perhaps  be  regarded  by  Mr. Guillaumier as flash points of fanaticism  where  a foolish faith  can go  astray. It is only that “indispensable” faith which can completely expel the fear of the unpredictable, the spontaneous, the supernatural,  which all genuine charismatic phenomena represent.

The above line of thought is only a corollary appendix to Christ’s teachings and prophecy on the subject which is “indisputable”.

John Azzopardi, Zabbar