One of the ships that was used as a ferry between Malta and Gozo was the 1926 twin screw steel built yacht HANINI. She was completed by George Brown & Co at Greenock, UK for Sir Richard A. Cooper as ALICE. In 1933 she was sold to Teodoro Morisini at Naples, Italy and in 1937 she was sold to Joseph Gasan, Malta and renamed her HANINI. Joseph Gasan was no stranger in the ferry sailings especially when he was involved in the Syracuse mail sailings between 1923 and 1936. In December 1944 she was sold to Emmanuel Magro of Victoria, Gozo retaining the same name with carrying passengers and small amount of cargo from Grand Harbour to Mgarr Harbour, Gozo.
In 1950 Joseph’s Gasan ship BANCINU had to drydock for her annual refit and Magro’s HANINI took over the sailings including passenger ones from Grand Harbour and in 1951 she was left alone on the Grand Harbour route supported by local auxiliary schooners who carried all the general cargo including agricultural products. No further changes took place until 1956 when the mail contract between Marfa and Mgarr was due for renewal with various owners made their preparations. In July 1956 HANINI was totally inadequate in size and not very pleasant to sail due to engine noise including vibration. So her Golden Years as a ferry from 1937 to 1956 came to an end.
On June 1964 she was sold to J.E. Caruana, Malta for harbour cruises.
On April 1974 she was sold to a Syrian Nationality Ghandom Mustafa and taken in hand for repairs and during 1978 she was laid up at Marsa Creek starboard side alongside Lighters Wharf at Grand Harbour. On Sunday 11th March, 1984 she was seen slipped at Marsaxlokk and on Wednesday 14th November 1984 she was spotted berthed at Store Wharf, Senglea wearing blue hull as well. She was scuttled off St. Paul’s Islands in 1986.
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Published – Tuesday 17th November, 2020.