Yana Mintoff

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Yana Mintoff (right) receiving a biography book about her father Dom Mintoff by Josef Grech

Yana Mintoff (aka Joan Bland Mintoff) is a political activist, economist[1] and educator.[2] Mintoff was born on 21 August 1951, the daughter of the former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff and Moyra De Vere Bentinck, by whom she is descended from both Dutch and British nobility.[3]

In 1968, at the age of 17, Mintoff travelled to Czechoslovakia on her own, outraged by the Soviet occupation of that country and its harsh repression. She worked at Olomouc as a youth volunteer and opposed the Soviet military presence.[citation needed]

Between 1973 and 1974, while working as a teacher in Greece, she participated in the student protests against the military Junta that had taken power. She was amongst the students who were attacked by the army outside the Athens Polytechnic. Many students were killed and she was shot at three times before managing to escape.[citation needed]

In 1974 she contributed to the Granada television documentary series World in Action. The subject was a scandal involving British architect John Poulson and the building of a "white elephant" hospital in Gozo. Her research into the bribery and corruption of local officials led the trail to the British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling. He resigned after this documentary was broadcast.[citation needed]

As a teacher and an activist in Britain, she worked for workers' and women's rights, and was an activist for Irish and Palestinian causes.[citation needed]

On 6 July 1978 Mintoff took part in a demonstration in the House of Commons in London.[4] To protest against Britain's military presence in Northern Ireland,[5] three bags of horse manure were hurled from the public gallery during a debate on Scottish devolution. Mintoff and a John Mcsherry were arrested and she was later fined.

On her return to Malta, she helped establish the Association of Women of the Mediterranean Region, an organization to unite women in nineteen Mediterranean countries in the causes of justice, equality and peace. Mintoff helped compile four books of collected works:

  • Militarism in the Mediterranean, Malta 1994
  • Health in the Mediterranean, including interviews with Tuareg Nuclear test Victims, Malta 1995
  • Nobody Can Imagine Our Longing: Refugees and Immigrants in the Mediterranean, Plain View Press, Austin TX 1996
  • In Search of Peace, Plain View Press, 1998

An economist by training, her publications include an article published in the International Journal of Health Services, Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA.[citation needed]

In Texas, Mintoff worked with the Foundation for a Compassionate Society and was invited to speak at the UN Alternative Forum in Beijing in 1995 on the subject of women and peace.[citation needed] She also worked on a study of the health effects of military pollution at Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio Texas, where she won two Environmental Justice awards. In addition to being an activist in the cause of peace, Mintoff has been a teacher, administrator and the founder of two schools during the past thirty years.[citation needed]

Mintoff was the Superintendent of the Katherine Anne Porter School, a charter school in Wimberley, Texas, before returning to Malta due to her father's illness.[2]

She married David P. Bland in 1991.[3] Her children are Cetta S. Mainwaring and Daniel X. Mainwaring.[3]

Having returned to Malta to tend to her ailing father, Mintoff addressed the Maltese Labour Party's General Conference of 2012.[6]

Mintoff was a candidate in the 2013 Maltese General Election, but she failed to get elected to the House of Representatives.


  1. ^ Single Author Books – List by Author, Plain View Press
  2. ^ a b "List of staff". The Katherine Anne Porter School. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  3. ^ a b c Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), Vol., p. 3183.
  4. ^ "6th July – This Day in History". The History Channel. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  5. ^ "Ten Years Later: Coping and Hoping". Time. 1978-07-17. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  6. ^ "Labour general conference | Party showcases Mintoff pedigree and 'star candidates". Malta Today. 2012-01-22. Retrieved 2012-08-22.