Senglea proudly relives its maritime tradition

06 Jun 2011
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Different eras from Senglea’s long maritime tradition will come to life between Friday, 17 June, and Sunday, 19 June, 2011, for the Senglea Marittima 2011 festival – an activity organised for the third consecutive year by the Senglea Local Council with financial support from the Parliamentary Secretariat for Consumers, Fair Competition, Local Councils and Public Dialogue through the Initiatives and Activities Scheme and the Malta Tourism Authority.

Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Chris Said joined Mayor Joe Casha and other members of the local council to announce the programme for this year’s festival, which includes attractions for all ages and interests.

The maritime link remains constantly in the forefront, without forgetting other notable elements from this promontory’s rich history within GrandHarbour and as part of the Three Cities.

Among the highlights of this year’s festival are parades and colourful drills by the Sbandieratori Floridia and the Gran Corteo Settecentesco from Syracuse, Sicily, with four appearances on Friday at 7 p.m.; on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 7.30 p.m.; and on Sunday at noon.

A number of lectures grouped into themes are being held on Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Macina. French Ambassador Daniel Rondeau will introduce the lectures on Saturday from 2 to 4 with Charles Xuereb speaking on the French connections in the Cottonera; Simon Mercieca on the French Origins of the Nomenclature ‘L-Isla’; and Contre Amiral Bellec on The Impress of the Maltese cross upon the French Navy.


The lectures on Sunday from 3 to 5 are by Terrence M.P. Duggan on Exterior Paintwork and Restoration; Victor Wickman on Malta’s Lifeline – Maritime Trade; and Joseph Abela on La Sengle.

The Historical Re-enactment Group Malta will be recreating battle scenes with HMS Alexander’s Marine Grenadiers and the Maltese Militia marching and battling against the French on Friday at 6 p.m.; and on Saturday at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. The re-enactment of the Grand Master’s entrance to L-Isla, La Sengle e l’in Guardia, will be held on Friday at 8 p.m. and a depiction of pre and post World War II culture by the Senglea Drama Troupe – War all out! follows at 9.

Several folk groups will be performing on Saturday and Sunday. The Simar Folk Group, supported by the Mellieha Local Council, will be performing on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Astra Folk Group will be performing on Sunday at 11 a.m. and the Nadur Folk Group, supported by the Nadur Local Council, will be performing from 1 p.m.

The maritime element comes into its own on Saturday. The Sea Cadets will be having task displays on engineering, communication, marines, catering, stewarding, navigation charge work, recruitment and choir drums from 9 a.m. to noon (apart from putting on a splicing and rope-work display on Sunday at noon). A fishing competition organised by Blue Sea Angling starts at noon and the Msida Sea Scouts will be marching around the main streets, squares and seafront from near the Macina from 9 p.m.


On Sunday the Birzebbuga Yachting Club will be having a sail along the shore from 10 a.m.; the Malta Canoeing Federation is holding canoe racing from 10.30  and a 4×4 canoe polo match at 12.30 p.m.; the Sea Cadets are having kayak racing at 1.30; and the Senglea Regatta is holding 500 m races from 2.30.

Not to be missed is the Malta Military Vehicles Convoy on Friday at 9.30 p.m., followed by Malta Command WWII – displays of a military member troupe, the Bofors and Bren gun in action, with rifle and foot drills. L-Isla tilqa r-Raħal Mellieħi, supported by Mellieha Council, on Saturday at 7 p.m. includes several artisans and craftsmen at work with a taste of traditional Mellieha food products beneath the Macina tunnel.

On Sunday at 10 the Żgħażagħ Salesjani are depicting the Macina at work through a socio-historic drama, The Macina at Work. Later, at 11, visual Senglean and non-Senglean artists will be at work on the seafront in an event, In-Nies qalb l-Arti.

There will be school visits to the Macina and around Senglea on Friday morning. The Macina is hosting several prestigious artistic, artisanal, historical and audio-visual exhibitions and displays. It will be open on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

On the ground floor there is a Senglea Regatta Exhibition; Senglea Local Council Awards; and St Lucia, Kerċem Projection. On the first floor there are displays of British Naval Coat-of-Arms and models by Gino Zarb; Sulle Tracce di Escher, the etching photographic collection of the Municipality of  Fara San Martino (twinned with L-Isla); The Victor Wickman Collection; the HMS Illustrious photographic collection; and the Għaqda Sajjieda u Barklori Isla exhibits. The second floor has an interactive display Message in a Bottle; Fotoamatori Siracusa maritime photographic exhibition; Galleria Bellomo, Il Caicio Museum, and Museo Marineria Cesenatico maritime exhibits; and a collective art exhibition by Antoine Camilleri, Antonio Mifsud, CS Lawrence, Henry Alamango, Joan Zammit Cutajar, Mary Clare Albanozzo, Peter Vella De Fremeaux and Tano Vassallo.

The Melita Train is doing a circular tour of Sengea from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday. The Knight’s Tavern – street theatre, is being held in Victory Street at 7.30 p.m. on Friday. The St John’s Rescue Corps are having displays and demonstrations on Saturday at 10 a.m. and there are parades by the San Gwann Scouts Band at 6.30 p.m. and the Mosta Scout Group on Sunday at 11.30 a.m. The Isla Youth Council are holding a treasure hunt on Saturday at noon and the Senglean and Mellieha football nurseries are holding a tournament at 5 p.m.

Senglea Artists and the Sea is an exhibition at the Gandlora by the Senglea Historic Society on Friday from 7 to 11 p.m., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A free health check in aid of the Grupp Gwardjola is offered by ATG Co. Ltd at Mitrovich Square on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fiat Club Malta hava a car display on Sunday at 4.00 p.m.

For more information call 2166-2424/2701-3004 or e-mail