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5 Liri 1979, Malta

in Krause book Number: 35a
Years of issue: 30.03.1979 - 17.03.1986
Signatures: Deputat Gvernatur: Mr. Lino Spiteri
Serie: Third Series
Specimen of: 30.03.1979
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144 х 75
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Liri 1979




Allegorical head of Malta - Melita.


5 Liri 1979

Statue Of "Culture", symbolizes the rich culture of Malta.

Map of Malta is on top left.


Maltese coat of arms is in top right corner.

This coat of arms was adopted on the 11 July 1975, seven months after Malta became a republic. It showed a coastal scene with the rising sun, a traditional Maltese boat, a shovel and a pitchfork, and an Opuntia. All of these symbols are somewhat connected to Malta. Underneath the image the then new name of the state "Repubblika Ta' Malta" (Republic of Malta) was written. This coat of arms was controversial and it was replaced by the current coat of arms soon after the Nationalist Party won the 1987 election.

A dgħajsa (pronounced dysa in Maltese) is a traditional water taxi from Malta. The design of the Dghajsa, like that of another Maltese boat, the luzzu, is believed to date back at least to the Phoenician times. It was mainly used in the area of the Grand Harbour, to carry passengers and small baggage from ships to shore. It was usually propelled by one man standing, facing forward, and pushing on two oars. The high stem and stern pieces seem to be mainly ornamental but they are useful in handling the boat and in the boarding and disembarking of passengers. The decorative symbols vary from boat to boat.

Nowadays Dghajjes are no longer used as water taxis but as tourist attractions. They are sometimes motorised with diesel engines. The Dghajsa is one of the symbols of Malta and it appeared on the coat of arms of Malta from 1975 to 1988.

Opuntia, also known as nopales or paddle cactus, is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae. They are found in the Mediterranean region of Northern Africa, especially in the most northern nation of Africa, Tunisia, where they grow all over the countryside, and southern Europe, especially on the island nation of Malta, where they grow all over the islands, in the south-east of Spain, and can be found in enormous numbers in parts of South Africa, where it was introduced from South America.

On the island of Malta, from the fruit of the paddle cactus, is the liqueur produced (Ambrosia Bajtra 21% vol.), which is the national alcoholic beverage.

Pitchfork and shovel on the shore are the symbol of agriculture.

The eye of god Osiris, painted on the bow, has a particular importance. It is considered here as a symbol of happiness.

On the right side are seven vertical lines for the visually impaired.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. In center in words.


5 Liri 1979

Aerial view of Marsa industrial Estate.


In the inner part of the Grand Harbour there are the well-protected creeks of Marsa, an important place since olden times. In the map of Malta that Jean Quentin published in 1536, there is indicated the place Marsa Hortus. Since the oldest times, the place was known as Il-Marsa, an Arabic word that means a port where ships anchor themselves. The creek was also known as Taz-Zewg Marsiet, one with the name Marsa z-Zghira, and the other with the name Marsa l-Kbira. The former was also known as Xatt il-Qwabar, which started near Bridge Wharf up to where the Gas Works were built. Qwabar is the plural of the world qabru, which is an amphibious organism like the crab, and sometimes the Qabru was called a freshwater crab. It might have been common in this area. We also find snails having the shape of a heart, with a black shell, which used to be found in the creek and was called arzell tal-Marsa. In the inner part there is the Marsa l-Kbira, which ends up near the church of Cejlu. It had also become known as Portu Novu. The two creeks are separated from the Gholja tal-Gizwiti, behind which there is the large plain land that goes up to the outskirts of Hal Qormi. Here, one can notice the low level of the land and valleys, one called Wied is-Sewda, and the other Wied il-Kbir, which both end there.

Besides Marsa there are four other places in our country whose name consists of the word Marsa joined to another word. These are Marsamxett, Marsaxlokk, Marsascala, and Marsalforn. Each have something to do with the sea, and all make part of a harbour, if they themselves are not harbours. Il-Marsa was so known as doubtlessly it controlled the inner important port. The megalithic remains in Kordin and close by areas, as well as other Phoenician and Roman remains on the Gholja tal-Gizwiti indicate clearly that the harbour was regarded as an important necessity by these people.

With the opening of the Suez Canal, Malta was given an importance greater than it had. Therefore this required a larger seaport, and this was to be built on the Marsa side. In 1800 the Government had already shown interest as a seaport could be built there so as to serve as shelter to ships during storms. During the time of Governor Le Marchant (1859), the project wa taen seriously and it was estimated at a price of 250,000 pounds. Work started in 1861. So as to make way, all plains, pools and marshes had to be removed. Many worked on this for six years. While working on the land, they discovered many ancient objects, amongst them marble columns, statues and pottery jars. Stone baths which were also used for fish were found. Remains of a large building in the beginning of Kordin hill was excavated. When the Portu Novu was completed, a dock basin having an area of 38,000 square yards was added to the main construction having an area of 170,000 square yards. The work for this new construction, which was under the control of contractors, was designed by architects Andrews and Galizia.

The Admiralty paid its share of 187,110 pounds, and the Maltese Treasury paid 73,610 pounds, besides several other expenses that it made. The Government Council, had to pay another 660 pounds for the work on the port, lamps, and gas. The Portu Novu had a customs house and stores that costed 7,312 pounds. In the area in which the lawyer Guzeppi Zammit had built the Madonna tal-Grazzja church, some businessmen had constructed their own storehouses, factories, or homes. Some merchandise tents and coal magazines were also built. The seaport consists of high quays and wharfs. Later on a metal bridge was constructed, and this went to the path that led to the inlet. This was constructed under the direction of engineer Fredrick Jones.

Monticola solitarius

On the left side is The Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius). It is a species of chat. This thrush-like Old World flycatcher was formerly placed in the family Turdidae. This species breeds in southern Europe and northwest Africa, and from central Asia to northern China and Malaysia. The European, north African and southeast Asian birds are mainly resident, apart from altitudinal movements. Other Asian populations are more migratory, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, India and southeast Asia.


In top right corner is the Bank's of Malta coat of arms.

Heraldry is essentially a system of recognition by hereditary devices developed among the knights of mediaeval Christendom. The majority of the symbols employed in heraldry have their own technical terms with French and Latin used principally in the description.

The establishment of the Armorial Bearings and Supporters of the Central Bank of Malta was a lengthy process involving registration in the official records of the College of Arms in the United Kingdom. By authority delegated to them by the Sovereign since the fifteenth century, three officers of the College, that is, the Kings of Arms, grant arms in a document called Letters Patent.

The Armorial Bearings of the Bank were duly established by Letters Patent. A formal application, known as a Memorial, was lodged in 1969 with the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, at the College of Arms. This was done through the Windsor Herald of Arms, acting on behalf of the Bank. This Memorial gave details of the Bank's constitution, its history and the law under which it was set up. Evidence of this was provided by the Central Bank of Malta Act 1967 and the Bank's Bye-Laws.

Once the Memorial had been submitted and agreement reached regarding the design, the Letters Patent were prepared on a large piece of vellum, or fine parchment, on which were shown the Royal Arms, the Arms of the College of Arms, and those of the Earl Marshal. The text of the Patent was hand engrossed, and contains a formal description of the Bank's Arms illuminated by hand. The document is officially signed and sealed by the King of Arms.


A preliminary sketch for the Armorial Bearings of the Bank was made by the well-known Maltese artist, Chevalier Emvin Cremona. The College suggested certain re-arrangements of the original design, and on the basis of these exchanges a final version was prepared and sent to the United Kingdom. It contained, in Latin, the motto, "Fiducia Fortis" - "In Confidence Strength," and "1968", the date of the Bank's foundation.

In designing the Armorial Bearings, the artist sought to capture an element which was not only original but also expressive of the spirit of Malta. The Bank's arms incorporate items then found in the official arms of Malta. These include the mural crown surmounting the crest - symbolic of Malta's historic role as a fortress; the Maltese national colours, red and white, on the shield; the George Cross, awarded to Malta for bravery in April 1942 by King George VI, and reproduced on the Bank's shield by authority of the Prime Minister of Malta; the dolphin on the head of the key, a fish known in classical Mediterranean literature and often appearing as a prime heraldic figure; and the laurel and palm branches, symbols of honour and peace, respectively, supporting the mural crown. The horizontal key on the shield is appropriate to the Armorial Bearings of the Bank, the governing financial institution in Malta and a key to economic progress and security.

The two supporting Knights of Malta are a unique feature. The granting of supporters to Armorial Bearings is a privilege allowed only to major institutions. In the Bank's case they have a very special significance. The Knights represent confidence and strength, the two virtues which are incorporated in the Bank's motto. They also symbolise some of the greatest pages in the Country's long military history, when for more than two-and-a-half centuries Malta was ruled by the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. The plumed helmet of a knight which surmounts the shield also has a special connection with Malta. It is modelled on one found on a monument in the sixteenth-century Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta, built by the Knights.

The official copy of the Bank's Armorial Bearings contains colours reflecting Malta's historic past. The Knights on either side of the shield are of a steely blue colour. The feathers composing the plume on each helm on the Knights' heads are in red and white, while the blades, quillons and the pommel of the two-handed swords, together with the cords and tassels hanging from them are in gold. This is also the colour of the mural crown above the crest.

A black and white design of the Armorial Bearings was first used in the Bank's Annual Report for 1970. A library painting of the final version of the Armorial Bearings and Supporters was displayed at the official inauguration of the Bank on 13 February 1971. An embossed fibre-glass version in colour now hangs in the Bank's Board Room.

Denominations in numerals are in top left and top right corners, also lower. Lower, more to the left side, in words.


The third series, called the CBM 3rd series, was issued on 30 March 1979, and has kept the same denominations of £M1, £M5 and £M10 as the previous one.