In Memorium Antoine Randich
Image by Scootzsx
A short walk along the Cliffs at Xlendi Bay there is this narrow pathway that leads down to a cave.
I first came here in late August 2003, but it was only during this visit that I stopped for a moment to notice this plaque cut into the wall In Memory of a young Maltese man called Antoine Randich who died here in 2001.
I remember feeling very saddened and was somewhat hesitant about whether I should photograph this or not, but it was only when I came to edit this shot recently that I realised this significance of the date of my visit – which was, in fact, the 7th anniversary since Antoine Randich’s death on 30th August 2001, aged just 26 years-old.
All this got me thinking about the life of Antoine Randich and the tragedy of how he came to die here at such a young age. I learnt through online research that Antoine Randich was not a native Gozitan but came from Marsascala, a fishing village in the south east of Malta, where the local Council have dedicated the Garden Antoine Randich (Ġnien Antoine Randich) in his memory.
He was also a keen member and a Superior of The Society of Christian Doctrine M.U.S.E.U.M. (Magister Utinam Sequatur Evangelium Universus Mundus translating to "Master, that the whole world would follow the Gospel) where he began a teaching hospital, which is based at the Chapel at Blata l-Bajda on the outskirts of Valletta dedicated to the Blessed Saint George Preca who was the founder of The Society of Christian Doctrine and beautified by Pope John Paul II on a visit to Malta only weeks prior to Antoine Randich’s death.
I have now learnt that it was on that fateful day in 2001 that Antoine was leading a group of 40 children on a day out to Xlendi Bay on Gozo when some of the children experienced difficulties in the water, and if I understand the translation correctly, he valiantly came to their rescue saving one child and diving to rescue another but tragically drowned.
I never knew this young man but in posting this I hope anyone who views this picture will now know there once lived a young Maltese man called Antoine Randich who tragically died very young, heroically sacrificing himself to save others.