Centennial Chronicles

Atlas Insurance traces its roots back to several small insurance agencies, some dating back to the 1920s. Over the course of the last century, these have merged to form what Atlas is today. To mark this centenary, we are showcasing and celebrating Malta’s remarkable commercial history through this exhibition.

Exhibition Dates: 18th April till 28th May 2024 | Monday to Friday 8.00 till 16.30
Location: The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Republic Street, Valletta.

Through a curated collection of clients’ anecdotes and artefacts, we pay homage to some key commercial narratives that have helped to shape Malta’s economic and social landscape today.

We will be hosting various talks and tours over the course of the exhibition.


Curatorial Tours

Daily drop-in tours

From 22nd April – 28th May
Monday-Friday at 13:15pm (no booking required)

Evening Tours

Thursday 2nd May
Tuesday 7th May
Tuesday 14th May
5:30 – 6:30pm


Expensive Insurance Premiums and Maltese Corsairs – Liam Gauci

Saturday 4th May, 9:30am

Malta’s location at the centre of the Mediterranean Sea determined much of its destiny. Boasting a harbour so large that it could service any fleet, by the mid-18th century the available facilities could assist commerce, work and corsairing. The very nature of the business of corsairing was harsh, dangerous and often violent. When in 1768 Captain Cavazza was accused of murdering a Greek merchant captain, he was immediately imprisoned upon the protests of Buzzacarini himself. In chains and presumably sick in hospital, the letters of Buzzacarini lambast the corsair captain and his business, condemning the savage way he had captured the prize in the Levant. That violence gave many a corsair a bad reputation, which was often well founded. This kind of behaviour drove insurance prices up, and made life a somewhat unsure for many a merchant.

Liam Gauci the Senior Curator of the Malta Maritime Museum will be sharing such stories about how the local Maltese corsairs drove the insurance economy into overdrive.


Valletta: Memories are Made of This
– Dr Philip Farrugia Randon

‘Memories are made of this’ is a thirty-minute lighthearted, fast-paced string of personal recollections by Philip Farrugia Randon on Valletta. Eccentric characters who coloured the streets of the city and warmed the author’s heart; is-Suq tal-Belt, Porta Reale; the haunting statue of an enslaved person in the staircase of St Joseph School in Zachary Street; the forgotten swarm of cars that infested the heart of Valletta; change of banks; jazz artists who emigrated from Strada Stretta to budding hotels and restaurants across the island; the golden heart of Strada Stretta ladies who generously coaxed their clients to donate for the Student’s Charities Campaign; the restoration of Valletta; the life-changing discovery that the Latin inscription over the Main Guard’s portico contains a grammatical mistake; and a very personal Valletta meeting that changed the author’s life.


From Imperial Fortress to Export Platform: Malta’s Economic Development, 1945-1959
– Dr Mario Brincat

A major theme of ‘Centennial Chronicles’ is the way in which both Atlas Insurance (and its predecessors) and Malta evolved over the years, especially in the economic field, where dependence on British principals (in the case of the insurance business) and military or naval spending (in the case of the Maltese economy as a whole) gave way to independence and self-reliance in both areas. For the Maltese economy, the period from 1945 to 1959 was pivotal in this transition, and it was then that the foundations for the export-led, foreign direct investment financed model that we follow to this day were laid down.

Dr Brincat’s presentation will trace the evolution of official thinking about the Maltese economy from 1945 to 1959, from early expectations that the country could revert to something like the pre-war status quo (with some improvements), to the proposal for Malta to be integrated in the UK, to the conclusion that Malta was going to have to rely on its own two feet, chiefly by looking at significant official documents published in those years.

Tuesday 21st May, 6:30pm


Further reading:

Feature on the Times of Malta: “A 100-year legacy is a momentous one. It embodies the intertwining narratives of countless lives traversing the corridors of time, the stories that speak volumes of human endeavour, the march of progress and myriad events.”   Read more


Explore six vignettes of Malta’s commercial history. Read more

Artefacts & Snippets:



Justine Balzan Demajo

Archivist and Researcher
Nikolai Debono

Atlas Executive Director and Project Lead
Catherine Calleja

Exhibition Design
Tracey Sammut
Andrew Borg Wirth

Graphic Design & Photography
Lisa Attard

Historical Consultant
Dr Mario Brincat


Atlas Exhibition Team and Key Collaborators

Leo Busuttil
Catherine Calleja
Purdey Fava
Robert Micallef
Matthew von Brockdorff

Vinay Aarohi
Gordon Camilleri
Jake Cauchi
Mattea Cauchi
Ann Miceli Farrugia
Jesmond Farrugia
Gaetano Mifsud
Stacey Said Sarreo

Contributors and Lenders

Actavis Ltd
Alf Mizzi & Sons Ltd
Alfred Gera & Sons Ltd
Allied Newspapers Ltd
APS Bank plc
Attard & Co Ltd
Autosales Ltd
Mr Leonard Azzopardi
Mr Joseph Bajada
Baxter Ltd
Marquis Nicholas de Piro
Judge Giovanni Bonello
C Camilleri & Sons Ltd
Mr Keith Camilleri
Mr Walter and Mrs Patricia Camilleri
Central Bank of Malta
Charles de Giorgio Ltd
Chiswick House School
Mr Roger de Giorgio
Mr Nikolai Debono
Mr Matthew Demarco
Ms Becky D’Ugo
Eden Leisure Group Ltd
Faculty of ICT, University of Malta
Mr Alfred Falzon Sant Manduca
Fimbank plc
Dr Olga Finkel
Mr Albert Formosa
Foster Clark Products Ltd
Mr George and Mrs Joyce Grech
Mr Anthony Guillaumier
Halmann Vella Ltd
Heritage Malta – Malta Maritime
Ignazio Anastasi Ltd
International Hotel Investments plc
Jolly Ltd
Kindred Group plc
Lombard Bank Malta plc
Mr Michael Lowell
Magna Zmien
Magro Brothers Ltd
Mdina Metropolitan Chapter
Michael Attard Ltd
Mr Robert Micallef
National Archives of Malta
National Library of Malta
Notarial Registers Archive
P Cutajar Ltd
Mr Lawrence Pavia
PBS Malta Ltd
Playmobil Malta Ltd
Russell’s Antiques
Dr George Said
Mr Julian Sammut
Sigma Coatings (Malta) Ltd
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc
Società Filarmonica Maria Mater
Gratiæ Żabbar
St James Hospital
St Michael School
Testaferrata Group
The Malta Chamber
The Phoenicia Malta Ltd
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Malta Ltd
Vassallo Group Malta
Vee Gee Bee Ltd
Mr Sergio Vella
Mr Robert von Brockdorff
Xara Collection
Żabbar Sanctuary Museum
Mr Benjie Zammit
Zaffarese Signs + Display Ltd