The Friggieri Family

Vol 1.4                                                                                                                                    November/December 1999



Welcome to the last issue of the year (not the century or millennium - that's next year!) which puts the spotlight on our Australian cousins. Since the last edition, both my letterbox and email in-box have received regular packages of Family data. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. As soon as new information arrives, I meticulously cross-reference it for entry in the database. As you will appreciate, this is quite a time-consuming process. I always try and acknowledge receipt but inevitably a small backlog has built up. Please accept my apologies if I have not as yet responded to some of your letters.

The past two months have been hectic. We shipped our eldest son Robert off to University in September. He has started a degree in Broadcast Journalism at Leeds University. The deadline for completion of my assignment at the BBC was October month end but in the meantime, I had an invitation to go to Malta for my cousin Robert's wedding to Tanya on October 17. I'm pleased to say that I had a great week in Malta and still met my deadline. Apart from the wonderful wedding, which was like a mini-Reunion, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet with some of the 'elder statesmen' of the family. Thanks to Godwin Camilleri, I spent an evening with Melita Mamo, who at 95, has the distinction of being the oldest living Friggieri on record. I also met with John C. Friggieri and visited Edward and Agnes with their son-in-law Edward Lentini.

Please keep looking for those old photographs. In particular, I am keen to receive wedding photos as my next project is to set up a website dedicated to Family weddings.


Have a

Happy Christmas & Prosperous New Year




This photograph shows Rosina (nee Tonna) who was born in Floriana in 1853 and died on 7/11/10, flanked by her sons Raphael (b. 3/4/1877 d. 1916) and Ruggiero (b. 11/4/1886 d. 31/8/25). The identity of the little girl is unknown but she is probably one of Rosina's granddaughters. Rosina married Vincenzo Friggieri on 6/10/1872 and between 1873 and 1893 they had 14 children.

Raphael (b. 1873), Maria Dolores (b. 1874), Alfred (b. 1875), Raphael (presumably the firstborn had died), Marianna (b. 1879), Joseph (b. 1880), Philomena (b. 1882), Maria Carmela (b. 1883), Lucia (b. 1885), Ruggiero, Carmelo (b. 1887), Vincent (b. 1889), Dolores (b. 1891) and Emmanuele (b. 1893).

Photo courtesy of Carol Eves, great-granddaughter of Raphael






Carmena Friggieri (nee Camilleri) passed away on June 5 in Malta. She was born on 12/9/17 and was married to Giuseppe (b. 25/4/14 d. 30/7/78). Giuseppe was the son of Raphael pictured above.




The profiles below were both extracted from the book entitled 'Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century' compiled by Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri. In total, there are seven family members included in this reference book.


On The Ball - Vincent Friggieri (b. 15/10/14 d. 1/3/74)



Son of the great Maltese footballer Ruggiero Friggieri (I]-}ib;a) and Maria Sammut and brother to Pawlu Friggieri, another famous Maltese footballer, Vincent is considered by his contemporaries as the greatest Maltese player of his era. His career was both long and eventful.

A spitting image of his father, he was rather short and stout and gave the impression of being slow and cumbersome. But this was only an impression and he more than made up for his lack of height with his great skill and intelligence.

In a career which spanned more than 17 years he played for six clubs, winning all the honours that the local game could offer. He started his career with Sliema Wanderers in 1933-34 at halfback. With Sliema he won his first League Championship medal but the next season he joined Floriana. In four glorious seasons with the 'Irish' he won the league and FA Trophy twice and the Cassar Cup once.

In 1938-39 Friggieri joined St George's but since he was in the Navy he was not allowed to play for civilian clubs. After the war he joined Valletta with whom he won another championship medal. During this period he also played for the Pick Navy and Naxxar Lions. Friggieri spent the last four seasons of his career with Hibernians, helping the Poalites to reach the 1948 FA Trophy final.



John C. Friggieri - Author (b. 27/4/1915)

  Relaxing in his garden

Uncle John and I at Villa Mdina

 I was first introduced to Uncle John in 1966 when I was 8 and my most vivid recollection of that meeting is that he asked me if I knew a word in the English language that contained all of the vowels in sequence. I met him again last month at my cousin Robert's wedding and made a point of reminding him of the encounter telling him that the word is 'facetious'. Without a pause and with a twinkle in his eye he advised me that I could also have used the word 'abstemious'. It is truly inspirational to meet an octogenarian with such a nimble mind.

John C. Friggieri was born in Floriana and studied at St Albert Central School and the Dockyard Technical College. Starting as a storehouse-boy at the RNA depot (1931-35), he then joined the dockyard as a clerk in 1935. In 1964 he was appointed civil secretary to the admiral superintendent, a post he retained till his retirement in October 1975. John was president of the G[aqda Letterarja Maltija (1953-73 and 1976-78), editor of Forum (the G[aqda's magazine) and presenter of the radio literary programme Mill-:nejna Maltija. In 1978 he was nominated honorary president of the G[aqda.

John was also active in other fields. He was instrumental in the formation of Lija Athletic FC and he was its secretary and president (1948-59). In 1951 he joined the clubs of the third football division with those of the second and first divisions within the MFA. Together with Mabel Strickland, he formed the Lija branch of the Malta Playing Fields Association. He was also co-founder of the Lija Civic Council (1954) and editor of the magazine Villa Lija (1975-79).

John has written essays, short stories, poems and radio plays. His publications include X'Tistenna l-Knisja mill-:enituri Insara (1962), Daqqu l-{dax (1982 - short stories) and Da[k bl-Ir[is (1979). He translated from English the two novels by A.E. Wilson, F'Idejn Tiberju (1970) and It-Tradiment (1987) and Wisq aktar minn Makna from the Italian of Fr A. Ronco. He is also co-author of Meta Kellmitna Marija (1983).



Australian Connections

Immediately after the Second World War, Malta was faced with the dual problems of the population explosion resulting from the consummation of delayed marriages and unemployment arising from redundancies made by the British Forces. The government's solution was to orchestrate mass emigration to countries like Australia, which needed large numbers of workers for important State projects. Members of the Friggieri family were part of this exodus and in my research I have made contact with several of the branches in Sydney and Melbourne.

My first contact with an Australian offshoot of the family was in August 1998 when I discovered Lisa Friggieri listed as a Child Care Co-ordinator on The University of Sydney website. Her grandfather Vincent (see On The Ball) emigrated to Australia in 1951 with his wife Beatrice and had four children - Dolores, Margaret, Roger and Anthony. Dolores married Edward Bonnici on 26/3/66 and they have two children Kim (b. 6/8/70) and Matthew (b. 29/3/76). Margaret married John Haynes on 5/9/70 and they have two daughters, Melinda (b. 6/2/71) and Jamie (b. 12/3/77). Roger married Barbara Renshaw on 17/7/65 and their daughter is Jacqueline (b. 15/5/67). Anthony (b. 12/6/49) married Jacqueline Culley on 18/7/70 and their daughters are Lisa (b. 12/1/71) and Donna (b. 21/6/74).

Family picture taken at the wedding of Donna Friggieri (b. 21/6/74) to Rob Colless.

Lisa is standing fourth from the right in the back row.



One of my keenest research assistants in Malta has been Joseph Friggieri (b. 5/1/49). His grandfather was Ruggiero Friggieri (profiled in Issue 2) and his brother is another Roger (b. 26/4/39) who emigrated to Melbourne with his wife Rosette in 1974. They have three children. Lydia (b 6/7/62), Jesmond (b. 7/5/64) and Mario (b. 25/10/67).


Godfrey Sultana

(b. 20/7/44)


Following a visit to the Family Tree website, Godfrey sent me an email to introduce himself. His great-grandmother was Maria Friggieri, daughter of Filippo and Paola Manzoni who married in Gozo on July 28, 1838.

Godfrey emigrated to Sydney in June 1964. For the last 25 years he has worked as a Contracts Accountant/Administrator on major engineering projects mainly in the power generation area. Godfrey is an active member of the Maltese Community in Sydney. He is the President of the Maltese Welfare (NSW) Inc; Vice-President of the Maltese Community Council; Founding Member and Treasurer of the Association of Lyceum Past Students and member of the La Valette Social Centre. He is also a keen genealogist and runs a small business supplying Maltese Family Crests.

Godfrey is married to Antonia Vella and they have two children, Patrick (b. 3/9/67) and Michelle (b. 1/5/74). Patrick is a Mechanical Engineer and is married to Adele Simone Encarnacao. They have two children, Stephanie and Andrew. Michelle graduated in Economics in 1995 and next year will complete her Law degree at Sydney University.


Jane (b. 29/9/1932) is the daughter of Alfred Friggieri (b. 29/11/08 d. 23/11/98) who had emigrated to England in 1949. Jane married Joseph Bugeja in 1954 and in 1961 they emigrated to Australia. After a very short time they realised that they preferred life in England and returned the following year. However, her two younger sisters Rose (b. 10/4/35) and Elizabeth (4/8/37) remained in Melbourne where they both live with their families. Rose married Ronnie Rich in 1954 and they have five children - Robert, Michael, Roslyn, Alfred and Christopher. Elizabeth married Tony Scicluna in 1963 and they have two daughters, Julie and Rhonda.





Jane visited her sisters earlier this year and while in Melbourne made telephone contact with another branch of the family in Sydney. Margaret Mercieca is the granddaughter of Philomena Friggieri (b. 1882 d. 1936). Following Jane's call, Margaret interviewed her mother Stella Muscat (b. 25/2/1917) and mapped her memories on to a very comprehensive chart, which Jane kindly forwarded to me. Jane's grandfather Raphael (b. 3/4/1877 d. 1916) was one of Philomena's brothers. Margaret's chart also provides information on another of Philomena's brothers, Emmanuele (b. 27/9/1893 d. 5/2/47). He had a son whom he named Roger (after his brother Ruggiero) who emigrated to Australia in 1958. Roger now lives in Sydney with his wife Carmen and has four children - Charles, Mario, Miriam and Alexander. Coincidentally, last month Alex came across my address on the searchmalta website and subsequently sent me an email with details of his immediate family. He is married to Connie Vanderpal and their children are pictured below.

Jarrod Ian, Anne-Margaret, Sarah Elaine,

Mark Alexander & Krystal Lee.


Emmanuele had another son named Charles (a.k.a. Nenu) who also emigrated to Australia but apparently changed his surname to Villa. Emmanuele also had a nephew (by his sister Maryanna and her husband Carmenu Scicluna) known as Nenu who emigrated to Melbourne with his wife Lucy and had three children named Rose, Doris and Bascal.

The Internet really is a wonderful place. This month I received email and ICQ messages from Linda Evans whose great-grandfather Giuseppe Friggieri (b. 4/9/1874 d. 7/3/56) was also my great-grandfather. Therefore, Linda and I are second cousins. Sadly, Linda's elder daughter Caitlin died earlier this year. For those of you with Internet access I recommend that you visit her tribute website and sign the guestbook.



Caitlin Joeann Evans

b. 30/8/92

d. 28/7/99


Linda is married to Peter John Evans and they have another daughter named Tierney Erin (b. 1/6/98). Linda's mother Annie Friggieri (b. 29/3/34) first entered my database as a result of the correspondence I had with her sister Francis (b. 13/7/24) who lives in Grimsby, England.


Last April at the Malta Family Reunion, I met Cheryl Friggieri (b. 14/6/70) who lives in Melbourne. Her great-great-grandfather Lorenzo (b. 26/9/1814) was Filippo's brother. Filippo was my third great-grandfather which makes her my fourth cousin once removed (I needed my computer to work that one out). Cheryl has two brothers, Brandon and Anson and a sister named Charmain. Cheryl's father Saviour (b. 29/10/45) married Maria Dolores Vella on 15/8/69 in Australia. Two years earlier, his brother Anthony (b. 13/10/46) had married Miriam Attard by proxy.


I hope that the information provided in this newsletter helps to reconnect some of the family branches that have lost touch over the generations. Please feel free to write to me if you need help in contacting a long-lost relative.

Published by:         

Vince Friggieri                    

1, Church Croft, Edlesborough, Bedfordshire LU6 2HU England

Tel: 00 44 1525 220735                 Email:

 ICQ: 28393449