Frà Richard Divall awarded doctorate with high distinction
Sir James Gobbo AC CVO KStJ QC , Kairos Catholic Journal, Tuesday 20 May 2014
Frà Richard’s doctoral subject was a comprehensive detailed thesis and editions of 39 sacred works for voices and orchestra, composed for the Order of Malta for St John’s Conventual Church in Valletta, by Malta’s national composer Nicolò Isouard (1773-1818). All of the editions were based on unpublished manuscripts, newly found in France and Belgium. The reports from two international examiners praised the research, all from primary sources, as ground breaking, recognising its important contribution in this field of music and culture, concerning the history of our Order in eighteenth-century Malta.
A Mass was held at Newman College on Sunday 4 May, followed by a reception for Frà Richard’s many religious and academic colleagues, in the Oratory at the College, itself designed by Walter Burley Griffin. Eighty Members, colleagues from the college and from three universities attended including the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Ed Byrne AC and Allan Myers AO and Maria Myers AO.
Dr Divall has long been a scholar of the history of Malta and gave a memorable address in 1981 to the National Assembly of the Order of Malta on the history of the Order. The Cathedral was a fitting venue for the Graduation as it was the place where Frà Richard was received into the Catholic faith in 1989 in the presence of Most Rev George Pell, Sister Fabian Elliot RSC AO, Sir James, Lady Gobbo and Dame Joan Hammond DBE.