Vittoriosa by candlelight
Articles in L-Imnara
Mr. Lino Bugeja honoured
Vittoriosa Day 2006
Articles in Lehen
il-Banda San Lawrenz
'Crow's Foot' at Vittoriosa
Attard O.P. participates
drawing exhibition at Caraffa
1530 commemoration dinner
second year the National Festivities
Committee in collaboration with the National Tourist Authority again
the special evening, Vittoriosa by Candlelight.
It was yet again another enchanting experience with the streets
Birgu, notably those in the Collacchio area and around the Square, lit
during this memorable night by the flicker of myriads of candles. The old buildings and auberges rose tall and
ghostly in the dim dancing candlelight.
The main theme for this year was Carnival during the Order’s
one could see actors masquerading in spectacular clothing and others in
contrast in tattered clothing. Thousands
of people came to Vittoriosa to enjoy the unique atmosphere and maybe
to eat a serving
of Maltese food that was on offer.
the annual journal of the Malta Folklore
Society which has been in issue since 1978.
The 2006 editions carries three articles written by members of
Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society, all dealing with
aspects of life and the social conditions of Vittoriosa in bygone years.
Mr. Anton Attard writes about “L-Ilma Gieri
fil-Birgu ta’ l-Imghoddi” (Natural Springs at Vittoriosa in the Past). He mentions a survey carried out by the
Order’s Administration in May 1645, carried out by the Grand Prior of
Fra De La Viriville, who found that at Vittoriosa there were at time
natural springs, some of which yielding potable water while others
brackish water which however was good for cooking and as drinking water
animals. Most of these springs, not
unexpectedly, towards the north side of the City close to the low
running along Birgu Wharf. This part of
the City lies at the foot of the two hills on which Vittoriosa is
Annunciation Hill and St Philip’s Hill.
It is no small wonder that with the presence of so many sources
water, the Phoenicians found it convenient to make the first known
on the Birgu peninsula, later to become the main City in the Harbour;
wonder that Birgu could resist three months of Siege in 1565 in the
summer. Though all trace of the springs
has now been lost and the water has dried up, the author tries to
article by Mr George Cilia is “Kitba ta’ Qabel iz-Zwieg”. He reproduces
notorial act, in Italian, dated 17 May 1928, whereby his grandfather
act of donation to his daughter, later to become the author’s mother,
of a matrimonial
house situated at nos. 4/5 Brittania Street, Vittoriosa.
The house was a ‘casa-bottega’ and was in
that part of Brittania
running parallel to Vittoriosa
the shadow of the old Clock Tower. This
was the City’s shopping centre before the area was destroyed during the
war. The house in question was also hit
though the small historic crucifix at one corner of the house
survived and can still be seen today.
This crucifix marks the place where public executions used to
during the middle ages.
contribution is by Mr Lorenzo Zahra entitled “Mill-Imghoddi” in which
mentions some old traditions at Birgu:
the pealing of churchbells every 11th of January in
the earthquake that shook the Island on 11 January 1693;
the pilgrimage with the statue of St Lawrence
to the Capuchin Friary at Kalkara; the
setting up by the Colonial Government in the first half of the 19th
century of local committees to provide cooked food for the poor which
as Soup Societies, which in Vittoriosa was called ‘il-kaldarun
author from Vittoriosa, Mr Lino
Bugeja, was awarded the prestigious Din
l-Art Helwa Award for Heritage Journalism 2006.
This was presented to Mr Bugeja by President
Emeritus, Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici. The
award is organized with the cooperation of the Institute of Maltese
Journalists. Mr Bugeja who is a regular
a Sunday tabloid received a silver trophy, a certificate and a cash
his feature entitled, “Birgu’s Historic Piazza”.
in previous years the Vittoriosa Local
Council put together varied programme to celebrate Vittoriosa Day, the
September, on the occasion of the Great Siege Victory.
The programme included band marches, a parade
along the streets of Birgu with the banners of the Order’s eight
dancing and poetry reading and the annual award of the trophy which was
year presented to centenarian Mr Peppi Gellel.
But the main highlight of the programme was the keynote speech
by Vittoriosa-born Mr George Peresso, followed by the laying of laurel
at the foot of the Victory Monument in Vittoriosa
Members from the Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society attended.
‘LEHEN IL-BANDA SAN LAWRENZ’
September-October issue of the magazine
carries two short features by Society Members. Mr George Cilia brings
memory of Can. Dean Anton
Zammit Gabaretta, who was also President
of the Vitoriosa Historical & Cultural Society.
The feature includes a poem of Dun Anton, has
he was popularly known, full of tenderness and patriotism about the Church of St Lawrence. Mr Lorenzo
Zahra makes a heart-felt plea to the people of Vittoriosa to be
what remains of the historic relics of their city and to preserve its
‘Crow’s Foot’, or as it is known in Maltese,
sieq it-tigiega, is a mark in the
form of an arrow (indeed its proper description is ‘Broad Arrow’) which
used by the British Admiralty to denote property belonging to the Crown. Committee Member Mr Denis Darmanin delved
into the subject and explains its heraldic origin in a feature carried
Sunday Times of Malta. This mark was
often seen in the Cottonera, notably around HM Dockyard.
At Vittoriosa it is still extant within San
Salvatore Gate forming part of the Cottonera Fortifications along St Edward
ATTARD O.P. PARTICIPATES IN CONFERENCE
international convention on migration from
Mediterranean islands to Latin America was held in Cagliari, Sardenia.
Speakers dealt with the historical, social and cultural ties
islands like the Balearics, Sardenia and Malta had with
South American countries. Malta was
represented by Vittoriosa-born Fr Lawrence Attard
O.P. who is a specialist in the subject
of Maltese migration history, having published six books on the subject.
DRAWINGS EXHIBITION AT CARAFFA STORES
exhibition entitled Children’s Views of the
World has been put up by the Malta Council for Culture at Caraffa
Stores at the
Vittoriosa Marina under the aegis of the United Nations with the
of children from around the world, including Malta. The exhibition
kicked off its world tour from Vittoriosa and will travel in many
until it ends up at the UN building in New York.
Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society
launched its cultural events programme after the summer break at the
Palace Hotel, Marsascala, during the annual get-together for members
which has been styled: 1530 Commemoration Dinner, evidently taking the
that memorable 26 October
1530 when the
Order of St John set foot at Birgu,
effectively turning the course of Maltese History.
In a short speech for the occasion Dr Louis
Lagana’, Committee Member and Systems of Knowledge Coordinator at the
University of Malta Junior College, harped on the artistic heritage of
Knights at Vittoriosa. Can. Paul Raggio,
President of the Society, thanked Dr Lagana’ for being instrumental in
organising last June at Couvre Porte an modern art exhibition by the
Education Art Students’ Association.