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August 2019
  Dear Members/Friends,    


Malta Day Celebrations Saturday 14th September in Waterlooville
September brings with it a number of festivities in Malta and a very significant one is the Feast of Our Lady of Victories – Il- Vitorja or as sometimes more commonly referred to as Il-Festa tal-Bambina. Celebrated on the 8th of the month dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady.  This dates back to 1565 when the Great Siege of Malta miraculously ended on the 8th of September that year.  Then more recently during the Second World War in 1943 when Malta was being starved of supplies it was on the 8th September that year when Italy capitulated which virtually ended the war for Malta. – So no wonder this feast is so significant to the Maltese people and a good reason to celebrate and thank the heavens for deliverance from such ordeals.        
Here in the UK we can only but try to simulate some of the excitement and traditions that this feast evokes.  For the past 18 years these celebrations took place in the Capital at Westminster Cathedral.  This year for reasons beyond our control we elected to shift the focus on Waterlooville and hold festivities there, so giving the opportunity to the Maltese Community in that area to celebrate this wonderful feast so dear to the Maltese hearts!      
The Maltese Culture Movement is once again preparing in earnest for this event.  All activities are being held at the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint Peter the Apostle Centre in Waterlooville.  The celebrations will start at 10.00 am with the St Sebastian Brass Band playing in the square and the official opening of the Fair by Her Worship the Mayor of Havant Cllr Diana Patrick.
Maltese Fair: Stalls selling Maltese products. - Here you will be able to purchase Galletti, Gbejniet, Twistees, Pastizzi, Imqaret, Ravjul, Kinnie, Cisk Lager, Maltese Wines Liqueurs and many other Maltese produce that we can lay our hands on.  Tip - those intending to buy frozen goods may want to consider bringing with them a picnic cooler. The fair closes at 2.00 pm.      
Maltese Kitchen serving Pastizzi, Timpana, Qassatat, Hobz biz-zejt, Bigilla, and other Maltese delicacies such as Kannoli, Imqaret and much more …      
Bar serving ice-cold Cisk lager, beers and wine, the fabulous Kinnie and other drinks.      
Concelebrated Mass: Holy Mass will be celebrated by the Rev. Monsignor Canon Jeremy Garratt, the Parish Priest, together with other Maltese Clergy. This will be a cantata Mass with the Joint Choirs of Sacred Heart directed by Soprano Tamsin Stevens.  The Mass will end by singing of the Maltese National Anthem at about 3.45 pm.      
Outside Celebrations: After the Mass we will bring out the Statue of Our Lady of Victories, il-Bambina in the church square to the sounds of peeling of bells for a programme of Tributes and Salutes.  The St Sebastian Brass Band will play a fanfare and a Marian Anthem dedicated to Our Lady.  After a short firework salute, the choir will sing the Ave Maria.  After which, we will continue with a short procession with the statue around the square led by the brass band and followed by a muster of Banners, Colours and Characters in Maltese Costumes.  We conclude by a gathering in front of the church for a final blessing and the chanting of the Salve Regina.  The celebrations will end with a finale of fireworks and the return of the Bambina Statue into the church.       
Entrance is free and everyone is welcome!  All activities will finish by 6.00pm.    
We now ask you to come and join us celebrate this wonderful feast together with your family and friends, for a fun filled, exciting day and a true taste of Maltese culture!