Saturday 21 August 2021

The Herald without portfolio.

    The Personal arms of the Chief Herald of Malta with self granted noble additaments.

Further to my post yesterday, having had a long correspondence on messenger with Heraldry Society member Bernard Juby, Bernard has posted on Face Book that he has written to the Chief Herald of Malta. In our conversation yesterday Bernard stated that he had written "asking whether he is salaried or draws income from Grant, Registrations, etc  and whether his ofice [sic] is meant to be self-funding and whther [sic] any surplus fees go to Heritage Malta or to the Government?

Bernard also stated that he had "also told him that since he now holds a Governmentally approved Office ans[sic] since Malta abolished nobility some decades ago it is unwise - at the very least - to use any reference to nobility in any Letters Patent that he may issue."

Bernard has helpfully posted the response:

"Parliament has certainly formally ratified my position.  Secondary legislation has been drafted which merges my initial appointment by the PM with that created by parliament as well as detailing all my 'powers', including the granting of Arms to foreigners.   

The finances are also being dealt with by the Ministry in conjunction with the Treasury.  I will be salaried and not dependant on any income derived from grants/registrations.  At the moment I receive a commission, which, at my insistence, is paid directly to the association for Abandoned Animals in Malta.  The same goes for any fees I am paid for undertaking research for third parties. 

The matter of titles of nobility is specifically dealt with in the secondary legislation to the complete satisfaction of the Ministry.  We will be keeping  an armorial register which we may publish on line and perhaps in hard copy and I will give regular updates in our newsletter.  Also all Arms granted/registered will be regularly published in the Malta Government Gazette.   

The Government of Malta is behind the Office of the Chief Herald of Arms 100%."

I am grateful to Bernard, that sounds promising however, it does not excuse his behaviour. In his replies to potential clients, he is presently not telling everyone that secondary legislation is in progress and all will be well if they just hang on, he is actually behaving as though (and telling everyone that) legislation is already in place. It is a despicable deception. Here we now have it from the horses mouth that he has as yet no lawful authority to grant arms. I don't doubt that the Government is behind his office 100% but his actions are nevertheless, at this point in time unlawful. 

I do wish that from the outset he had done the gentlemanly thing and stepped down until legislation is actually in place instead of spending nearly two years trying to convince anyone who would listen that he was legitimate and already had the authority to act as a herald. Pity it was such a poor start. One thing is for sure, it can only get better.

To summarise, although we are now given the impression that legislation is on the way, it remains, as yet, that any acts by the Chief herald of Malta are still ultra vires; he is a Herald without portfolio. Anyone considering a grant of arms from Malta would be wise to wait until his acts have the force of law.

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