On 12th April 1900, a certain Gozitan that went by the name of Guzeppi Grech was born and later grew up to be “the man who saved Gozitans from hunger during World War II.” Yes, even the most humble of people did great things during the trying times and Guzeppi can be considered as one of the unsung heroes of the war.
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The Ta’ Kola Windmill located in Gozo’s Xaghra is a windmill that dates back to 1725 initially built by the Fondazione Vilhena of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena and later rebuilt in the 1780s. Fast-forwarding a little to the 20th century, Guzeppi was one of the millers to have operated the windmill – the very last one in fact.
The Ta’ Kola Windmill’s Facebook page shared some fascinating information obtained from the magazine ‘Ix-Xaghra’ Jan-Mar 1987 edition. “He was an exceptional millwright, whose skills proved to be invaluable when a shortage of fuel during World War II rendered steam mills unworkable and the Gozitans had to turn to traditional beast and wind driven mills to grind their cereals. At the time, Ġużeppi helped numerous families carry out repairs on their mills which were crucial for their survival!”