Ten. nine. eight. seven. six. five….the countdown begins for Marlene Farrugia

Published: November 16, 2011 at 10:11pm

Marlene Farrugia has a problem. Before her divorce from Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando a few days ago, she had achieved fame and fortune as Marlene Pullicino (the Orlando is his personal affectation; his legal name is Jeffrey Pullicino).

Women who divorce in Malta, like women who separate at law (or for that matter, women who marry), have to decide whether they wish to be known by their married name or their birth name.

Marlene decided to go back to her birth name and is now Marlene Farrugia. This gives her roughly a year in which to rebrand herself under what is, in political circles and to her constituents in particular, her new name. It will be difficult, because people are notoriously slow on the uptake in such matters.

Marlene who?


Marlene Farrugia?

Qatt ma smajt biha.

Worse still, she’s going to have to deal with a situation in which her constituents check their way down the ballot sheet, don’t come across Pullicino under P, and move on.

People have enough of a time distinguishing between Marlene Mizzi (she’s the one with the chauffeured toys in the official car) and Marlene Pullicino in the same party. They’re going to have their heads done in when Marlene Farrugia enters stage left.

She doesn’t help herself, of course. On Facebook she’s still Marlene Pullicino, and in her piece today for therealbudget.com (Labour’s new website) she signs off as Marlene Pullicino, PL spokesperson for utilities.

But she’s started to get the word out, with this message on Facebook (that’s her Facebook profile picture, incidentally – yes, she’s wearing plaits like Heidi):

Marlene Pullicino
Dear friends,i hope you don’t mind,but I just got my old surname back so marlene pullicino is no more.I am marlene farrugia.Thank you for understanding.xxxxxx

18 Comments Comment

  1. john says:

    She’ll gain the electoral advantage of being higher up the list alphabetically.

    • John Schembri says:

      I agree with John , and may I add that next to her name on the ballot paper she can include her old surname and other ‘known-as’ in brackets.

      Marlene Farrugia (Id-dentista, Marlene, Marlene Pullicino Orlando, Marlene Pullicino).

      So if an illiterate person wants to vote for her and asks about her in her ‘old name’ the assistant commissioner will automatically refer to her and her picture.

  2. Dee says:

    What was she doing in that picture? Milking the cows?


  3. Paul Bonnici says:

    So Orlando is a made up name by Jeffrey? How pretentious.

    [Daphne – No. It’s his mother’s family name.]

  4. maryanne says:

    We forget that Marlene’s man is called Farrugia too. How convenient.

  5. Sarah says:

    “i hope you don’t mind” – that says so much about her character!

  6. Dads Army says:

    But Alfred Sant always referred to him as Pullicino Orland. Indeed I had never heard of a Maltese surname Orlando. Do you know which is the correct version?

    [Daphne – Orlando. He is Joseph Orlando Smith’s grandson http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1936/jul/02/malta-the-case-of-joseph-orlando-smith ]

    • John Schembri says:

      JPO should be proud of his grandfather Guze’ Orlando, he was a patriot. He was a victim of the Imperialists of the time, same treatment and worse was meted out by the internees Ganado , Bonello , Cini and many others before the war and after the war the same people tried to put in the pillory other Maltese men who surrendered their British passport to the Italian Fascist government .

      [Daphne – Victim of the imperialists? I gather you haven’t read the linked Hansard transcripts. That’s Strickland argung Orlando Smith’s suit in the House of Lords, and the political enemies in question are certainly not his party.]

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Not this again. You cannot fight a war with agitators and fifth columnists in your midst. Internment was standard practice during the War, and those internees deserved everything they got. Patriots indeed.

      • John Schembri says:

        As far as I know Guze Orlando was arrested together with others for owning seditious material and espionage. They weren’t rounded up by the Church or the PN , they were rounded up by the colonial rulers to ‘protect’ the British Empire’s interests.That’s why I compared Orlando with the war internees.

        [Daphne – John, I suggested you read the Hansard transcript to which I provided a link. Joseph Orlando Smith’s political enemies were ANTI-BRITISH. Given that this rules out his own Labour Party and Strickland’s Party, what does that leave? Do read it. Here’s a bit:

        “The remainder of the term of imprisonment was wiped out, but the fine was not wiped out and the costs were not dealt with, nor was the blackening of character by being in a position to be periodically pilloried in the anti-English Press as a spy, merely because he had given useful information to the British Secret Service. So far from the sentence having been wiped out, quite recently in Malta he has again been insulted in the Press as a spy, and although he has asked the authorities to put in motion the anti-libel law, and has asked the Maltese police to protect him, they have refused to take action.”

        Why would the ‘imperialists’ persecute and arrest him for giving “useful information to the British Secret Service”? There is no comparison with the Uganda internees, for many reasons and not just their diametrically opposed political views.]

      • John Schembri says:

        I thought the British had complete control of the ‘natives’ of Malta back in the thirties.

        [Daphne – They did not. There was the rule of law, and also separation of powers. The bread riots ran out of control on the infamous Sette Giugno because the (Maltese) people in authority refused to give the order for the police to control the situation, so the British sent out the army instead, with fatal consequences.]

        I promise that when I have time I will read more about Guze’ Orlando, and form an opinion.I have to read Strickland’s defence, and the other side of the story.

        @Baxxter: when people are rounded up you will always find that some of those who are interned or imprisoned where sent there by their enemies for different motives, and herded with real rabble-rousers under the same excuse.
        Pro-Italians were not necessarily Fascists.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        Pro-Italians were not necessarily Fascists. But they were, to use the current expression, wankers.

        If it weren’t for them, we’d be a British dependency. The whole “struggle for independence” was nothing but an expertly-executed switch from the struggle for integration with the Kingdom of Italy.

        Italy lost the War, and suddenly it didn’t seem like such a good idea. And the British were shedding their colonies fast, so colonial status was out as well.

  7. cat says:

    In a small country like Malta I don’t think that the change of surname will make us forget who Marlene is.

    In Malta we had also singers who changed their surnames probably as a relaunch and it didn’t make such a big difference. We still knew who they were and the funny thing is that people still refer to them with their old surnames.

    Still, I don’t agree that public figures should play with names and they should stick to the names everybody is used to.

  8. Casual Reader says:

    Marlene is a decent MP and I find her to be rational most times, but my word does she talk! There’s no stopping her.

    • John Schembri says:

      There’s no stopping her… interrupting others. I would say she would make a good minister of tourism by next year.

      She can make Heidi her second name.

  9. Yanika says:

    So she doesn’t have to marry her partner in order to have his surname, as she already does.

    Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.

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