The Falcon Trophy

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The International Air Rally of Malta has built up a collection of major trophies originally ‘commissioned’ by sponsoring companies, the Malta Rally, or its Members. When some firms withdraw their support, fresh sponsorship has to be found among other companies or the Malta Rally itself. Pages 14 and 15 give details of two ‘categories’ of Trophies presented during the International Air Rally of Malta. Winners of major trophies are presented (and photographed) with them, and are given keepsakes to take home. Trophies won outright are taken by winners. Traditionally, major trophies were taken away too – some significantly adding to aircraft weight! – and had to be recalled. Apart from being costly for winners, who paid postage and insurance, this often proved problematic. Two winners refused to return their trophy, while innumerable trophies arrived damaged – some beyond repair. Nowadays, after the Prize-Giving Ceremony and Gala Dinner, the Rally Committee collects and retains all the major trophies.

The following account appeared in the 2000 Malta Rally brochure:

‘THE major trophy is surely the FALCON, presented to the Overall Winner.Fortunately, last year’s Prize-Giving Ceremony was attended by Mr Gerald Falzon – the very man behind the Falcon! This was pure co-incidence, and materialised thanks to his son Mario and co-ordinator Joe T Vella, who were then colleagues.

Mr and Mrs G Falzon (right) with Prof Josef Bonnici Minister for Economic Services, the Chairman, the Administrative Secretary – and, of course, the Falcon Trophy! (1999)

Mr Gerald Falzon was born in 1930 at Paola, and now resides at Santa Lucija. He married Josephine Hibbert in 1955, and they have four children and seven grandchildren. Gerald Falzon received his secondary school education at the Lyceum – the leading boys’ school on the Island at the time. After training as a teacher at St Michael’s Training College, he taught primary school children at Marsaxlokk and Paola.

Over a number of years, Gerald Falzon – whose ‘forte’ is arts and crafts – attended evening lessons on a wide variety of Special Crafts. These included Pottery, Weaving, Fabric Printing, Leatherwork, Bookbinding, Enamelling, Mosaic, and traditional ‘leaded’ Stained Glass. In 1959, he was awarded a scholarship to ‘Specialise in the Teaching of Art’ at Hammersmith College of Art and Architecture, then taught Art in local Secondary Schools until 1974. From then up to his retirement, he held Workshops for the Rehabilitation of Handicapped Youths, and introduced Painting by Mouth to Malta. Gerald Falzon’s vast experience and various skills proved especially invaluable to these Youths, enabling them to earn a living thanks to what they had learnt from him.

The (former) Malta Government Tourist Board had issued a call for trophy designs, specifying only that it was to include a falcon. Gerald Falzon prepared and submitted a six-inch model in ‘Plasticine’, and was soon informed by Mr John Pollacco that his design had been chosen. Within one week, a clay model of the Falcon – with its talons on an aircraft – had to be produced. Mrs Falzon took the children away to their summerhouse to allow her husband to finish the work on time – using the domestic oven to dry the clay model! He prepared a mould and made a plaster of Paris Falcon for the founder, who then made a wax model. This was returned to Gerald Falzon to ‘correct’ before the Falcon was finally cast in bronze. Both the lower part of the bronze trophy and the base of theFalcon were inspired by the fortifications in Malta, notably those round Mdina, Valletta and the ‘three cities’. The base is made of ‘zonqor’ (very hard coralline limestone) and took a whole week to sculpt entirely by hand.

A most sincere ‘thank you’ to Gerald Falzon for the Falcon Trophy, and to him and to Mrs J Falzon for attending the 1999 Prize-Giving Ceremony and giving us the opportunity of meeting them.’

The Organising Committee would like to again thank Mr and Mrs G Falzon, and their son Mario, for making it possible to reproduce this article.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2018 05:59
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