Members of the Maltese National Commission for UNESCO together with the Commission’s chairman, Professor Henry Frendo, gathered round on Saturday 8th March to plant a rare indigenous tree in the Kitchen Garden of Sant’ Anton Palace in Attard. This was followed by a special tour of the Palace and Gardens led by Brigadier Claude Gaffiero. The tree planted is the Maltese hawthorn, known in Maltese as Żagħrun (Crataegus monogyna).
Professor Henry Frendo stated that the occasion was intended as a lasting gesture by the Commission to instil respect for the Maltese native flora and for the benefit of future generations. In addition the planting of the rare tree will serve as a farewell to the outgoing President, Dr George Abela, who opened the Kitchen Garden and made it accessible to the public, including the many children who now frequented it.
Members of the Commission each added some soil brought from their respective area of residence marking the event with a congenial national quality. Professor Frendo thanked the tree’s donor, Mr Sammy Vella who is the Commission’s executive secretary as well as an agricultural expert. The members of the UNESCO National Commission were given a tour around the garden by Brigadier Claude Gaffiero who is well familiar with the Sant’ Anton Palace and its surrounding gardens having served as ADC for many years.
Professor Frendo added that for educational purposes a lectern explaining the history and qualities of the Maltese hawthorn will be erected next to the UNESCO plaque identifying the tree, which directly faces the entrance to the Kitchen Garden. (www.unescomalta.org)