In the bygone days of social philantropy where hobnobbing and charity went hand in hand and when the development of one’s very own coterie depended on the discovery of a just cause for which to raise funds, in those halcyon days, Ladies’ Circles were foremost in this noble activity of dosh-dishing. The Lions’ Club never really developed the Lions’ Maids (would have been quite a story) but I did find that these organisations had a slightly male chauvinist approach to society. The men were busy Presiding, Secretary Generalling and all that while the Ladies would be a-bakin’ the cakes so that later they could be manning the sales stands and raise those few pennies for the paupers.
This unequal distribution of tasks between the males and females of this species persisted right through the eighties and early nineties and has a surviving element with the President’s wife’s role in the national charity. While President whoever goes about Presiding (which from a distance seems to imply sitting on a funny chair in St. John’s Co-C. whenever some big mass is being said) the wife of said President is dragged into the social scene in the Community Chest Fund.
Anyways. After this interesting observation I feel confident enough to inform you that I do not remember what kicked off this rant in the first place. Consider it a morning tick that just came to me when I read di-ve’s news item stating that Mme Giovanna Debono has declared 2007 an outstanding year for Gozo. Long gone (by a century or so) are the days when someone could confidently state that Mme Debono’s would better serve the country a-bakin’ than a-minsterin’ (and thank G for that). Less distant are the days when the hypocrytical division of labour hid behind the face of charitable enterprises conjured up for the bakers to bake and sell.
So what? So what I am saying in a most convoluted way is that in the politically correct, emancipated 2000s we can only disagree with mme GD. – without implying anything further. Mme GD is happy that Gozo will have an outstanding year. Why?
1. The hospital will get a better dining room and thus health services on the island will be improved.
2. More courses for Gozitan citizens at the Gozo ministry (expect a Daphne remark about the Bachelor’s Degree in Dog Mutilation for Farmers)
3. Then there’s the funny one. “Referring to developments of the physical environment of the island” GD tells us that many of the main roads will be given attention (including Ramla Road). Some Nationalist ministers still believe that by throwing in the word “environment (ambjent)” they can get away with anything. While road resurfacing is a welcome activity it is not exactly environmental in the green sense of the word.
Having concluded the whirlwind view of the projects for an outstanding year for Malta Giovanna adds that these are only highlights of the projects that are inline for Gozo. Scary isn’t it? I mean the island’s economy is not exactly flourishing, the transporation to and within the island is a disgrace and the only thing the Minister can come up with is flower pots in roundabouts and a dining room for the sick. Much as I admire the verve with which GD had taken on the political fortunes of the island that deserves a party of its own I am afraid that ideas have long run dry in the island of strange occurrences.
An intelligent green business plan linking all sectors of the economy and an even greener would have been more of a boon for Gozo. It’s not that opportunities are not lacking.
Daphne seems to have that permanent chip about Gozo. Giovanna does not seem to have any concrete ideas for improvement. So much for the Gozo Ladies’ Circle!
P.S. And for that wonderful leap into 21st century womanhood read this letter from Veronica Berlusconi to her husband – published today in La Repubbica.