HISTORY OF THE SOCIAL AND MUSICAL SOCIETY ‘ANICI' OF ĦAL QORMI
Most of the inhabitants of Ħal Qormi,
especially those parishioners called ‘Ta' Ħdejn il-Vitorja'
have always aspired to start a band club in this area.
Now, between the members and the central committee of the musical society
‘San Ġorġ Martri' that up to that time was the only musical club in the parish, arguments sprung up about the choice of jubilant marches.
The members here mentioned included those who later became the founder-members of
the new social and musical society ‘Anici'.
Tentatives for final agreement between the two sides collapsed,
so much so that one of our founders was banished from the musical society ‘San Ġorġ Martri'.
This happened after this member's advocate wished to appear together with him in front of the committee.
This same committee refused to accept this.
The truth was that after accepting a number of jubilant marches,
manoeuvers cropped up in the sense that the donated marches should not be welcomed
and instead only those marches would be played that had been composed by maestros
and bandsmen hailing only from Ħal Qormi,
according to the adage: ‘by Ħal Qormi men for Ħal Qormi parishioners'.
This happened after the presentation of the marches,
because it would have been obvious that if this decision had been taken before the presentation,
those marches composed by outsiders would not have been submitted.
It was customary that every donated march should first be accepted by the bandmaster,
so that, afterwards, he would recommend it to the committee.
It was here that manoeuvers began.
Besides this, the committee was ordered, according to the Society's statute, to publish the list of its members.
This was an onus that the administration ignored.
So it was the committee itself that was disobeying its Society's statute,
an attitude which irritated most of its members.
Hence the determination of our founders and their collaborators didn't stop here,
and they continued to work hard for a magnificent feast amongst all the parishioners.
our founders decided to resort to the only choice,
namely that of a new band-club.
Their preference favoured the building of the Qormi Rockers'Football Club.
Further to this feat,
was added another one,
namely: nine bandsmen, the best amongst those at the St George Martyr's band-club, left the latter to form the new band-club.
It was September 1987,
when the founders of our Society,
four in number,
namely Prof. Antoine Agius,
Chev. John Mary Spiteri and Messrs Carmelo Spiteri and Salvu Debono,
met more than once with the committee of the Rockers'Club.
These meetings were held at no. 115, Pinto Str., the private residence of Mr Paul Apap who at that time was president of that club.
Here a final agreement was arrived at. This news was enthusiastically received by those residing at the upper area of our parish.
One has to point out that although the committee of the Qormi Rockers truly existed, the club, that was found in the area called ‘Ta' ħdejn il-Vitorja', didn't function well.
Besides, it was also closed. Hence there was a great commotion at the news of a new band club to those at the ‘Vitorja' area, according to their former incessant wishes.
It is interesting to note that in 1947 inhabitants from this area offered a bouquet of flowers to St George Martyr at the parochial church on the occasion of this saint's feast, and on it there was written: “The forgotten inhabitants”. This showed these people felt that the feast organisation in this ‘upper' area left much to be desired.
Now our founders together with the leaders of the Qormi Rockers' F.C. and other volunteers, met to form a provisional committee with the approval of Chev. George Portelli and Messrs Paul Azzopardi, Vincent Mifsud and Carmelo Mallia that immediately began working to pave the way for the new club.
The Band's name
The founders wanted to give a name to this band and undoubtedly had in mind the link with the Patron Saint. was precisely the name of Anici which is St George Martyr surname. This made to demonstrate the full commitment of the Association to the Patron Saint, who so loved.
This Socio-Musical Association Anici, was great to St George Martyr love and to her native city and to the dissemination of culture and feast. These were the main purposes.
Meanwhile, one of the founders, namely Chev. John M. Spiteri started working on the design of the weapon hand, ready and approved. Thus now the Society also had its official emblem.
The founders also thought to designate the first bandmaster and the choice fell on the Maestro Frank Galea F.L.C.M. who manages the band lasted until its first decade in 1998, but also thought to make to the standard for the band. It became one with white stripes and black cross surrounded by a bay, and stars-ray on the Cross. This is precisely the weapon of Anici surname, and it was constructed in Dingli Mrs Mary Grech. This was the first standard of the band that is still mounted in the hall Carmelo Spiteri. Another addition was made as we will show hereafter. As instruments, the band was ġdiġà had the set of percussion ie 'katuba', Piatti and drums.
This provisional committee insisted on the change of the club's name, i. e. from Qormi Rockers' F.C. to ‘Anici Band & Social Club' which was approved. The premises of the old club were at No. 2, Triq Pinto now changed to Triq Dun Ġwakkin Schembri, a priest from our parish, a biblical scholar and theologian, greatly loved by the people. He died on 1st November 2006.
The committee insisted it was time the band begins to sound its voice, which bore fruit on December 1987 when the band was invited by the National Festivities Committee for the feast of the Republic Day of Malta. This event was truly received with great joy. This was not all. On this same occasion, the La Vallette Band was also invited to take part. So, together with the Anici Band it marched along from the Presidential Palace to Valletta's Gate. This occasion further encouraged our new born Society.
This meant that from its first performance our band showed great confidence in participating together with such a prestigious band on a national day. A great honour indeed. But this could succeed only thanks to the hard work of the two band delegates, namely Messrs John Spiteri, Victor Ciangura, togeher with Chev. John Mary Spiteri. Moreover, since the bandmaster had to be hospitalized, the band was enthrusted to Mro Saviour Fenech who, besides, directed the preparing concert for this occasion.
While some instruments were bought, others were donated. This means that from its first birth pangs, our band had no less than 32 musical instruments, and since students were also being admitted, these instruments were all being used.
The Carnival Band
Another invitation arrived from the National Festivities Committee for our band
to participate in the Maltese Carnival that in that year resumed its former date,
namely February.The band greeted this invitation.
Through the hard work of Chev. John Mary Spiteri, Director General, and of Mr Alfred Mangion, Hon. Member, a new costume was prepared and a chariot was built. The theme adopted was ‘The First Expensive Pint of Wine'. At the parade, the charriot followed the band. This move showed the Society's enthusiasm, which still persists today.
During this Carnival, i.e. between Friday 12th and Tuesday 16th February 1988, our band participated four times and won the third prize in the three following categories: the band, the chariot and merry-making. The latter was organized by our youth section.
The Official Inauguration
At last the long awaited day arrived. It was Saturday 23rd April 1988, the liturgical feast of St George Martyr, when those inhabitants of Ħal Qormi that had St George Martyr at heart paraded through the streets of their own town. They gathered at the church parvis to witness the Anici Band, now known as ‘Tal-Istilla', playing home for the first time. The march began at about 7.30 pm at the end of the church functions; then it pursued its meandering route towards the Club, accompanied by the devotees of the great saint.
In front of the club, there gathered a large crowd to assist at the launching of the new premises. The elation of the inhabitants continued to increase at the appearance of His Excellency Mr Paul Xuereb, acting President of the Republic of Malta. At his arrival the band played the Maltese National Anthem. Afterwards, the Society's president, Prof. Antoine Agius, delivered the speech. That of the President followed suit.
Now it was the acting President's turn to inaugurate officially the club's premises by unveiling a commemorative plaque that was followed by a heartfelt applause. Mrs Xuereb was also present.
The blessing was carried out by the Archpriest of St George's parish, Can. Karm. Aquilina, Lic. D., followed by the Band's hymn.
At this ceremony participated also the Parish Priest of St Sebastian's, Dun Vinċenz Deguara, the vice Parish Priest of St George's parish, Dun Lawrenz Zammit, besides other priests. For this occasion others were invited, such as ministers, parliamentary secretaries and the deputies of the sixth district from both houses of Parliament. The other two bands of Ħal Qormi, namely that of St George and Pinto Band were also invited. The latter was represented by its president Mr Sebastian Debono, BA, PL, and by its secretary, Mr Vince Peresso. They presented donations in the name of their Club. Together with the inhabitants of Ħal Qormi, all the societies were also invited, besides other musical societies of Malta. It was truly a memorable day when the local inhabitants of good will engraved this date in their heart with golden letters.
The club offered also a week of activities such as a billiard darts'competiton. The finalists were regaled with prizes presented by Prof. Antoine Agius who also donated to the Qormi F.C. a set of vests and other objects connected with football. The latter then reciprocated by offering donations to our Society. Additionally, a disco party for youths took place. The spiritual director of our Society, Archpriest Dun Karm Aquilina, met our members. A football game was also played at the local ground between youths and old members of the Qormi Rockers F.C.
Feast of St George M. in 1988
The band made its appearance on St George's feast when it played on the last day of the Triduum, Friday 24th June 1988 and on its feast day, two days later. Although it had been only established since a few months, it all the same succeeded to publish an occasional feast book of 36 pages that continued to be published yearly in a bigger size. The directors did this to show its members and admirers what they had prepared for that year's feast. The editorial board was composed of the President and chairman Prof. Antoine Agius, Chev. John Mary Spiteri, Director General, and the editor Dr Carmel Bianchi, Honorary President.
The Band's hymn
When the founders thought of beginning a band, they also thought of having an official hymn.
For this purpose, they asked Mro Frank Galea, FLCM to compose the music to the verses of Dr Carmel Bianchi, which were ready on 7th October 1987. Both the music and the lyrics were accepted.
This hymn was first played on Saturday 21st April 1988 on the liturgical feast of St George, the same day of the official openeing of the club.
Dr Carmel Bianchi published his verses on a parchment and presented it to the President, Prof. Antoine Agius during the opening ceremony of the Society.
The first committee
On Sunday 22 May 1988, the first general meeting was held and the first statute was approved.
The following administrators were also approved: Prof. Antoine Agius, LL.D., PhD (CPU, Calif.), Kt ASGM (President), Mr Vincent Mifsud (Vice President), Mr Carmelo Spiteri (Secretary), Mr Paul Apap (Vice Secretary), Chev. George Portelli, KTL (Treasurer), MrCharles Micallef (Vice Treasurer), Mr Salvu Debono and Mr Carmelo Mallia (Members), Mr Joe Spiteri and Mr Victor Ciangura (Band Delegates), The Most Rev. Archpriest Can. Karm Aquilina, LicD (Spiritual Director), Mro Frank Galea, FLCM (Bandmaster), Mr Kenneth Frendo (Assitent Bandmaster) and Chev. Paul Saliba, PL (Legal Consultant).
The First Bandsmen
The commencement of our club was favoured by the first seven bandsmen who, together with Mr Carmelo Spiteri as leader, formed the first group.
These were: Messrs Joe and George Spiteri, Charles Calleja, Alfred Mallia, George Agius, Victor Ciangura and Raymond Debono. These were later joined by Messrs Angelo Caruana and Emmanuel Bezzina.
In 1989 the music teachers succeeded in introducing the first eleven bandsmen. One of them was Mr Godwin Pace who was so well instructed that he formed part of the band in Libya as hinted at later on.
The First Phase in the Building of the New Club
Now the committee felt the need to change the club which up to then was not fit for the purpose it had to be used.
The members agreed to this, since they felt that the club verily needed this change owing to a possible aggrandisement. So it was time to have a suitable building.
As planned by the committee, the first old stones began to be removed by Messrs Alfred Borg, Frans Saliba, Members, and by Mr John Borg, Honorary Member, together with Chev. John Mary Spiteri, Director General. For this work offered his service Mr Joseph Attard, a draughtsman from Ħal Qormi who prepared it according to the committee's wish. Youths that frequented the club helped in this work. The committee held that for the better operation of the club one had to build first and foremost the inner part of the first floor, then one could handle that of the other part together with the second floor according to financial availability. All this would allow the members to continue frequenting the premises regularly.
When the first phase was ready, the committee strived to obtain new funds for the second phase. Mr Spiru Seguna was contracted, who, together with the rest of the workers, hailed from Ħal Qormi and were already members of the club.
The Band During Feasts
After only a few months from its foundation, the band had two more invitations: on Wednesday 10th August 1988, the feast of St Lawrence of Vitoriosa and on Thursday 25th August, the feast of ‘Marija Reġina' at Marsa. These two were the first invitations for feasts celebrated outside Ħal Qormi. Such invitations increased in number from year to year. This showed that the band was securely established.
The Band plays outside Malta
The committee thought of having some rest, but this was not to happen because it was invited by the Parliamentary Secretary Hon. John Dalli in collaboration with the Libyan Embassy, to play in Libya on its National Day. Properly speaking, this invitation was addressed to the three bands of Ħal Qormi but only the Anici Band and the Pinto Band accepted the invitation which had to bring them to high esteem later on. They had to play on the feast of the Libyan National Day.
Both bands left Malta at 11.30 am on Wednesday 31st August 1988 and arrived in Libya at noon where they played together on 1st September 1988, meandering along the streets of Tripoli and Misrata. The duration of this stay was five days. The crowning of this activity was met with on 1st September in the Red Square when the highest local authority was present. It's worthwile mentioning here that in this square there is a sculpture of St George Martyr on horeseback on one of the bastions surrounding the square. Thus Anici Band was the first from St George's parish that played outside the Maltese Islands.
One has to add that all the above mentioned activities occurred in less than one year from the official launching of our Club.
The march: ‘Demm Ġorġjan'
One of the most beautiful band marches in the archives of our society is the one named: “Demm Ġorġjan” composed by the Gozitan bandmaster Sunny Galea and donated to our society, at the club's launching, by Chev. John Mary Spiteri, one of the founders and Director General who had formerly received it from the composer on Saturday 30th August 1986.
In 1998, Dr Carmel Bianchi was invited by the committee to compose the verses for this march which was heard for the first time on Saturday 23rd April 1988. This march together with the Easter waltzes, the Band Hymn and the cantata ‘L-Apothéosi ta' S. Ġorġ M.', also known as ‘L-Innu l-Kbir' (The great hymn) are inscribed in a legal document and in the club's statute as our club's official compositions.
The Band on Good Friday
The inhabitants of Ħal Qormi have Good Friday procession at heart. The directors of Anici Club intended to establish an agreement with the Church authorities to publish a deed stating the Anici Band, as a parish band, shall have the right to participate in the Good Friday procession. In fact this happened on Good Friday, 24th March 1989, when for the first time the band marched in front of the artistic statue of Jesus at the Mount of Olives, i.e. following the statue of ‘The Last Supper'. The band appeared in full form playing diverse funeral marches from its repertoire. This it has been doing year after year.
Assistant band master and music teacher
At the beginning we had the service of assistant band-master Kenneth Frendo who, owing to uncontrolled circumstances, had to quit after six months. This post was then occupied by bandmaster Andrew Calleja who also taught music to students using copper instruments. This happened in 1989. On the other hand, Mro George Agius coached students who played reed instruments. But even he had to quit. His post was then picked up by Mro Vincent Bonnici in 1989.
Between 20th and 25th of June 1989, the band played four times on the occasion of the titular feast.
Another memorable event for our society was on the day of Pentecost, when the Anici Band, that represented Ħal Qormi at the 56th National Congress of the ‘Xirka tal-Isem Imqaddes t'Alla' that was organized at Ħal Qormi on 13th May 1989, played sacred hymns along the streets, beginning from St Sebastian Parish Church to St Francis Square in St George's parish area. On this occasion, which centred on prayer and singing, presided the Vicar General Mons. Annetto Depasquale.
The First Funeral
It was Tuesday 30th April 1991, about 5.15pm, when sad news arrived:
Mr Carmelo Spiteri was dead.
So our club lost its first bandsman who was also its first secretary and one of its founders.
This put our club in mourning.
Hence on Saturday 4th May 1991, the funeral procession left our club towards St George's church.
At this funeral participated the Anici Band including the representatives of all branches of our Society.
The other two band clubs of Ħal Qormi were repesented by their directors.
A number of musical societies from Malta and Gozo also took part, including other societies in the parish.
A group from the Armed Forces of Malta, of which Mr Spiteri was a member, participated.
After the mass, the Anici Band continued its funeral procession up to the cemetery.
There, the soldiers of the Armed Forces fired 21 shots while sergeant Raymond Cremona sounded the Last Post.
Blessing of the Golden Sandals
On 22 June 1991, the Anici Club performed at the festive inauguration of the golden sandals of St George M.
It also played marches along the streets towards the parish church. The idea relative to the golden sandals was the initiative of the External Feast Committee on the occasion of the 250 anniversary from the first inauguration of Pietru Felici's statue of St George.
The first vocal and instrumental program
The first vocal and instrumental program by our Society was organised in front of the club's premises on the above-mentioned occasion, i.e. on Sunday 23 June 1991. This program was directed by Mro Frank Galea.
Before the performance, a one minute silence was kept to remeber Mr Carmelo Spiteri who died on 30th April 1991.
The first composition played was ‘Romanze' by the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827);
the second composition was the symphony ‘Nabucco' by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901);
then came ‘Halleluja' by rhe German George Frederich Handel (1685-1759) arranged for the occasion by Mro Frank Galea.
The highlight of the program was the debut of the cantata ‘L-Apotéosi ta' San Ġorġ Martri' with verses written by Dr Carmel Mallia, Hon. Member, and put to music by our band-master Frank Galea, with the participation of the choir ‘Ite ad Joseph' from St Joseph the Worker parish in B'Kara and directed by Dr Godwin Grima. Also participated Tenor Brian Cefai together with the Bass Athony Montebello and Soprano Joan Cassar.
This hymn, that was worthy of our Society, was greatly applauded. Afterwards, admirers of our Club exchanged mementos.
After this ceremony, Dr Carmel Bianchi read his short poem entitled: ‘Rigal xieraq lil S. Ġorġ M. – a memory.' A worthy closing was the gratifying salutation to the Anici Band of the Band Hymn, put to music by the director Mro Frank Galea to the verses of Dr Carmel Bianchi who also compered the programme. All in all this programme not only pleased those present but there were those who wondered how this society, born not very long ago, could present such an artistic program with such poise and grandeur.
Anici Band in Gozo
Besides the nine invitations at Ħal Qormi, our band had about seven others from diverse parishes outside Ħal Qormi. It had moreover a prestigious one from the Philarmonic Society ‘La Stella' of Victoria, Gozo, where our Society participated for the first time on Friday 19th July 1991 with a jubilant march alternated by ‘La Stella Band' parading with the statue of St George Martyr.
From that time onwards, the Anici Band continued to render service at this popular Gozitan feast, and from 1992 it continued to play its marches on the morning of the feast day which falls on the third Sunday of July.
The Second phase of the building
At the extraordinary general meeting of the 8th September 1991, our committee announced the beginning of the second phase of the club building.
This consisted in the construction of the ground floor on the outside part and of the second floor.
The facade had to contain spaces between the stone-slabs.
This announcement was received with acclamation, the clapping of hands and approved.
It was also announced that the club's plan had to be unfailingly adhered to.
The design of the facade was prepared gratis by Mr Joseph Attard from Ħal Qormi. For this purpose it was proposed and unanimously decided to ask for contributions in envelopes distributed to the parish homes.
It was decided the construction be continued by the contractor Mr Spiru Seguna.
The frontispice was carved out by our member Mr Charles Mallia and was put in place in 1993 by the members Messrs Alfred Borg, Francis Saliba and the Director General Mr John Mary Spiteri. On the other hand, Mr Ninu Ciappara finished all the sculpture on the facade, while the sculpture on the gallery was carved out by Mr Charles Mallia.
The youth section
It's worthwhile to mention that in 1988 i.e. at the beginning of our Club's existence, the youth section (Żgħażagħ Stillieri), the first of its kind in our club and at Ħal Qormi, elected Chev. John Mary Spiteri, one of the founders and Director General, as its first chairman.
The committee never looked back and it continued to establish more branches in our club to help in different sections, and thought also of establishing a sub-committee for philanthropical activities.Unfortunately this sub-committee disappeared shortly after.
The sports section
In 1990, the Sports Section was inaugurated.
Its team won the Billy Apap championship in 1989/90.
This section never looked back winning various honours during the years, f. ex. it was the national winner for two consecutive years of the American Pool, knockouts and the Super Cup organized by the Malta Pool Ass.
Owing to unforseen circumstances this section had to be dismantled in 1999.
One has to bear in mind that sports activities in the club never ceased.
The administrative committee decided to elect a person for the post of sports delegate from amongst the members of the same committee.
This was Chev. Saviour Mifsud.
In this manner this move replaced the sports'section.
Interest never waned.
In fact, besides sports activities in the club, the Pool time continued and played several times in the Premier Division. It was not the first time that our Society contended with two teams: that of the Premier and the 3rd Division.
Section of Active Women
In 1992 the section ‘Soċi Nisa Attivisti' (Women Activists) was established having as its first chairperson Ms Ludgarde Pace. As with the youths section before, these quickly began to work with optimal results.
The Gozitan Band ‘La Stella'
On the occasion of the feast of St George Martyr of 1992, our Anici Society invited ‘La Stella Band' of Rabat, Gozo, to fuse in one band in a march on the morning of the feast day at Ħal Qormi.This invitation continued yearly up to 1993.
Our Club's participation elsewhere
From its beginning, the Anici Band took care to record on cassettes and later on CD both joyous and funeral marches.
As from 1991, our Band accented its presence in the titular feast of St George with five times participation.
A committee from both parishes under the chairmanship of the Archpriest and Parish Priest, was created for Ħal Qormi Day, when bands alternated from year to year. Saturday 25th May 1991 was the date for the Anici Band to play on the occasion of Ħal Qormi Day.
One has to add that after 1994 the government of the day introduced the Local Councils.
So the festivities of Ħal Qormi Day became the responsibility of the newly established Local Council.
The latter wished to see the unification of the three bands.
It seemed that at first this idea was not accepted, but when the Local Council organised a march by the three band clubs together on the occasion of Christmas, this march was undertaken only by the Anici and Pinto bands in 1994 and 1995.
This means that the St George's Band decided to seceed.
The Local Council was not happy with this situation.
So a new method was adopted, namely each band was to perform separately, which solution was now accaptable to St George's Band. Hence the other two also accepted this method, and thus they showed they always cooperated in the interest of Città Pinto.
A contract was enacted between the Local Council and the three Band Clubs for three years and, after that, this agreement had to be reviewed.
Now the Christmas activity was so organised that on the Sunday preceeding Christmas the three bands played apart in different streets and at the end they united in front of one of the clubs while the band master of the club, in front of which the bands played, directed the three Christmas songs together.
This system was introduced on Sunday 29th december 1996 when the three bands were directed by the band master of Anici Band, Mro Frank Galea.
Our Society was always represented by its administrative committee and diverse sections at funerals, both in our parish and outside it, after pirotechnical fatalities and at funerals of our society's friends. This held good also regarding funerals of priests from our parish as f. ex. that of Auxiliary Bishop, His Excellency Mons. Annetto Depasquale (on Wednedsay 30th November 2011), that of Fr René A. Cilia (on Tuesday, 6th November 2012) and that of Can. Michael Zammit (on Thurday 22nd November 2012).
For history's sake, one shouldn't forget that Anici Band played on the occasion of Pope John Paul II presence, who passed through Triq l-Imdina on Sunday 26th May 1990.
It's interesting to note that a black-out occurred at Good Friday procession of 2nd April 2010, but the Anici Band had no problem owing to the artificial light purposely prepared, that helped it to continue its service. It was the only band that succeded in doing this in Ħal Qormi.
The Health Centre
Among the special occasions for our band in 1992, featured the opening of the Health Centre at Ħal Qormi on Thursday 17th February. After marching along the streets of Ħal Qormi, our band stopped in front of the Health Centre where it joined the other two bands in playing together the Maltese National Anthem.
The Parochial centre
Another special occasion for the Anici Band occurred on 25th November 1992 when it participated at the opening of the Parochial Centre of the St George Martyr's parish. The band started playing from the parish church parvis till the Centre .Both parish bands participated by playing marches in an alternate manner. The Centre, built on the initiative of the Archpriest Can. Carmel Aquilina, Lic.D., was inaugurated and blessed by Mons. Giuseppi Mercieca, Archbishop of Malta.
First at Easter procession
The directors always dreamt the Anici Band would participate at the Easter procession.
This would have crowned its aspirations in all parish services.
This wish became true, for on 17th May 1993 the Archbishop's Curia, through Vicar General Mons. Annetto Depasquale, decreed the Anici Band may begin participating at the Easter procession.
Besides, this decree also stipulated the Band, participating at the Good Friday procession, should march in front of the Christ's statue in the Olive Garden and at Corpus Christi.
Hence the first appearance of the Band at Easter took place on Sunday 3rd April 1994.
Now, this required a set of joyous waltzes.
On the initiative of the committee, the musical director Mro Frank Galea was commissioned to compose said waltzes.
So, ten of them were composed in June of that same year.
These were sponsored and donated to the club by Prof. Antoine Agius, one of the founding members and the first President of our Society. According to a contract between the club and the composer, the Anici Band had the sole prerogative to use these waltzes.
The Theatrical Co. ‘Lydda'
Another initiative cropped up.
On Sunday 25th April 1993, a committee meeting approved a new theatrical company with the name ‘Lydda' (where St George was martyred).
Its first presentation took place on Friday 28th May 1993 at the ‘Oratorju Festiv Sagra Familja' in Ħal Qormi.
This company undertook other representations even outside Ħal Qormi. Sad to say, this company was abolished in 1999 on account of difficulties met with, especially because the store for its theatrical wardrobe was taken away from it.
Corpus Christi Feast of 1993
The first time our social and musical club participated at Corpus Christi was Sunday 13th June 1993, when the band played religious hymns on the church parvis and along the procession path. The committee representatives marched after the Blessed Sacrament. This custom was repeated year after year.
On our island every society displays a pole with a flag.
For this purpose, the Anici Club bought a pole to brighten the occasional festivities and that costed Lm 765.
Of it Lm300 were donated by Messrs Silvio & Charlie Debono.
The rest was paid by our club.
This mast was produced by Mr Joseph Schembri from Żurrieq and put in its place on Thursday 30th September 1993.
This mast is seen from various parts of Ħal Qormi. Here one has to add that the section ‘Soċi Nisa Attivi' helped a lot to collect the expenses for the large flags our society collects.
First Band Commission
In 1994 the first Band Commission was elected having as chairman Chev. John Mary Spiteri.
Up to this year, the band was taken care of by two band delegates together with the aforementioned Chairman. The Committee felt the foundation of a Band Commission was most important so that all structures may work better.
Adieu to Mons. Gerald Frendo
As a band from Ħal Qormi, it didn't refrain from bidding adieu to the eks-Archpriest Mons. Gerald Frendo on Monday 26th December 1994, playing funeral marches from the church to the parish cemetery.
Mons. Gerald Frendo served as Archpriest from 1955 to 1978.
Adieu to Can. Lawrence Saliba
On Friday 20th January 1995, the death was announced of our Hon. President, Can. Lawrence Saliba. Through the Committee our Society bade him adieu by participating at the funeral cortege on Sunday 22nd June 1995.
The Election of Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla, S.Th. L.
On Saturday 18th February 1995, the parish honoured the election of a new Archpriest, i.e.that of Dun Frans Abdilla, S.Th. L.
The Anici Band participated and at the same time saluted the ex-Archpriest Can. Karm. Aquilina, Lic. D.
The handrail of the principal staircase
On Tuesday 19th June 1995, a new handrail was put in place.
This was worked out in mahogany and lustred by Mr George Debono.
The Committee continued to embellish this work by ordering 40 pieces of sculpture in a star form that were included in the middle of the arches between the columns. The latter work was carved by Mr Christopher Magro from Qrendi and lustred gratis by Mr Mario Grech.
Vocal and Instrumental Program
On 18th June 1995, at the square in front of our Club, a vocal and instrumental program was performed by our band to commemorate the tenth anniversary from the inauguration at our parish church of the dais and the pew of the titular statue of St George Martyr.
This program was performed under the patronage of Malta's President, His Excellency Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici. In this program, the following musical works were performed:
In the first part:
The Popular Hymn, ‘Fjur tal-Martri', composed by Mro Giuseppe Camilleri to verses by our national poet, Mons. Dun Karm Psaila;
‘I Martiri' (Preghiera) composed by Mro Carmelo Pace and arranged by Mro Frank Galea, FLCM. The soloist was the local bandsman Mr Alex Portelli;
‘Fantasia Rhapsody' by our Director Mro Frank Galea, FLCM, with the just mentioned soloist;
‘Radetzky' (Military March) by Johan Strauss Senior;
‘Jesus Christ Superstar' (Selection) by Andrew Lloyd Weber;
‘Air & Variations'by our assistant band-master Chev. Andrew Calleja, A. Mus. V.C.M., K.T.L.
In its second part:
‘Aida'(Grand march) by Giuseppe Verdi;
‘L-Apotéosi ta' San Ġorġ', put to music by our Band Director Frank Galea to verses by Dr Carmel Mallia, Onor. Member of our Society;
The band winded up its program with two hymns: the Band Hymn put to music by Mro Frank Galea to verses by Dr Carmel Bianchi, Hon. President; after that, the Maltese National Anthem, music by Mro Robert Samut to verses by our national poet, Mons. Dun Karm Psaila.
The Band was directed by Mro Frank Galea, FLCM, and compered by Dr Carmel Bianchi, with the participation of Tenor Brian Cefai, Base Anthony Montebello and Soprano Joan Cassar. The choir accompanying them was the ‘Ite Ad Joseph' from the parish of St Joseph the Worker at B'Kara.
Between 17th April and 3rd May 1996, the Anici Band had its second visit this time in Canada and the United States.
It was in June 1995, when an Hon. Member of our society in Canada, i.e. Mr Louis Sammut, was on holiday in Malta.
With him he carried an invitation by the St George's Association of Toronto for our band to play in Toronto, Canada and Detroit, USA.
The Administrative Committee studied this invitation well and discussed it.
The person elected was the Director General Chev. John Mary Spiteri, who accepted the responsibility with courage and determination, and who in front of him beheld only the band's success.
One has to add that the Anici Band was the first band from Ħal Qormi that had the honour to play in the USA. Not only, but of all the Maltese and Gozitan bands that visited Canada, the Anici Band kept the record, at least up to the writing of this history in hand, of the greatest contingent that was ever actively involved, i.e 90 participants.
The visit began on Wednesday 17th April 1996 when everybody met at the airport together with a statue of St George Martyr, an artistic statue made by Chev. Alfred Camilleri Cauchi and sponsored by another Hon. Member of our society living in USA, namely Mr George Scicluna who, besides, was of great help during this visit.
The contingent left Malta on the Lufthansa to Frankfurt, Germany.
After a day in Frankfurt, the group crossed the Atlantic and arrived in Canada, where the band was welcomed by the Maltese there. The Band's adventure continued to execute various concerts in Maltese clubs and in the Air Malta pavilion during the Tourism Fair in Toronto and at Square One.
The band, besides participating in the feast of St George Martyr in Toronto, played also in St Paul's church and in the procession with the statue of St George Martyr that left the same church, and continued to pursue its march in Dandos Street and in the church of St Theresa, Port Colborne.
The band played also in Detroit, USA, at the feast of St George Martyr.
The band was presented with various mementos, amongst which a banner by St George's Association and another of USA by the Hon. Member Mr George Scicluna who, up to some weeks before, was in Malta for Easter.
He donated another banner to our Society and a musical instrument offered by the Hon. Member Mr Louis Sammut.
Then, having arrived in Malta that same day in the evening, our band played along the streets of our town to show its success abroad.
On Tuesday 8th August 1996, works for the space between stone-masonry began on our club's facade. This work was delivered with great skill by Mr Ġorġ Borg. This also showed in all its beauty the work of the contractor who built the club, namely Mr Spiru Seguna.
On Friday 29th September 1996, this work was successfully carried out. Henceforth the committee continued with his plan. So, those two marble plaques on either side of the principal door were replaced by two black granite plaques engraved with golden letters. Later, the dado was laid on by Agius Marble Works of Mqabba.The doors were embellished with knockers in the form of a musical harp that surprized the onlookers and were made of bronze, carved out by the Hon. Member Alfred Mangion helped by Mr Rafel Aquilina. These knockers were designed by Chev. John Mary Spiteri, Director General. Six marble rosaces were added, two on each side of the doors and which were made also by Mr Ronald Pisani. The facade was embellished with other works by Mr Ninu Ciappara.
It was Thursday 17th October 1996 when the Anici Band together with the other two bands of Ħal Qormi played on the occasion of the official inauguration of ‘Ċentru ta' Matul il-Jum' (Day Centre) at Ħal Qormi itself. On this occasion, the band played a march along the streets up to the Day Centre when, after the inauguration ceremony, the Maltese National Anthem was played.
Towards the Golgotha
On Sunday 23rd March 1997, Palm Sunday, the Anici Band organised a musical program with the theme: ‘Towards the Golgotha' organised by our Band Commission at the hall of the secondary school Prof. Ġużè Galea at Ħal Qormi.
In the first part of the concert, the following musical works were executed:
Exodus' minn ‘Main Theme' by Ernest Gold arranged by K. Griffin;
‘Silenzio Militare', variation by Giacinto Giociano arranged by our band director Frank Galea;
‘Ombra mai fu' from Xerxes by George Frederick Handel and arranged by Mro Raymond Cremona;
‘In Memoria di Alberto Debono', a funeral march by Mro Emmanuel Bugeja;
‘Panis Angelicus' by Caesar Frank;
‘In memoria del Rev. Lorenzo Saliba', a funerary march by Chev. Vincent Bonnici, music teacher of students at our Society;
At the second part of this program the following musical works were performed:
Dirge', intermezzo by Mro Frank Galea;
‘Sulla tomba di Carmelo Azzopardi', a funeral march by Assistant Director Mro Andrew Calleja;
‘L'Arlesienne Suite', meditation by George Bizet and arranged by Mro Frank Galea;
‘In memory of Carmelo Debono', a funerary march by Mro Frank Galea;
‘Calleria Rusticana', intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni and arranged by Mro Vincenzo Ciappara;
‘Cipresso', a funerary march by A. Melilli;
The direction was under the baton of Mro Frank Galea, while Dr Carmel Bianchi compered.
A Niche at the club's yard
The Administrative Committee continued to work hard to further adorn the club by building a niche in the yard. The member Mr Spiru Seguna, after consulting the committee, worked gratuitously. Another benefactor, Mr Ġorġ Borg, helped also gratuitously embellishing the spaces between the stone-work. Rustic stone was laid behind the niche.
Meanwhile, the Committee ordered a statue of St George at the sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi. The statue is an original one, showing St George dressed as a Roman soldier with one hand on his chest bearing a cross while the other hand shows a palm branch and a shield engraved with the club's emblem, while his feet crushes a dragon.
Activities after the first ten years
These activities took place between April and June 1998 and began on Thursday 2nd April 1998 when Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla blessed and inaugutarated an excellent exhibition of Good Friday statues.
The band participated as usual at the Good Friday procession on 10th April 1998, and at the following Easter.
On Sunday 19th April a thanksgiving mass was said at St George church in honour of this saint for his auspicious help towards our Society during the past ten years.
The inauguration and blessing of the statue
The inauguration ceremony and the blessing of the new statue of St George took place on Thursday 23rd April 1998 on the 10th anniveraary of the Society's foundation, being also the liturgical feast of St George.
This statue costed Lm800 and was made from marble powder.This was done so that it will withstand the elements. It was blessed by Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla, S. Th. L. and was paid for by the following persons: the benefactor and member of our Society Mr Frans Cassar that offered Lm300, the youth section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri' that paid Lm200 and the section ‘Soċi Nisa Attivi' that donated Lm300. After the triumphal arrival of the statue in front of the club, the statue was unveiled by Not. Mark Sammut and blessed by Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla, while the band played ‘Fjur tal-Martri'. The blessing of the statue and the niche formed part of the program for the first ten years of our Society. Needless tosay that enthusiasm on the side of the members and admirers was without bounds.
Concert at the university
On Sunday 25th April 1998, the band presented the first concert in collaboration with the Local Council of Ħal Qormi. This occurred at Sir Temi Zammit Hall at the university, Tal-Qroqq, and was presided by the Prime Minister, Dr Alfred Sant, who couldn't attend but was respresented by Minister Joe Mizzi. This concert showed the band at its highest ebb which showed that although it was ten years old, it was capable to present such a high quality concert.
The administrative committee invited Dr Carmel Bianchi to comper this band concert. The program was handled by the Band Commission while the direction was under the bandmaster Mro Frank Galea and his assistant Mro Alfred Calleja. The band leader was Mro Chev. Vincent Bonnici, teacher of the music students at our club.
In this concert, the following musical pieces were delivered:
‘Impressions of Seville', suite by Harry Simeone;
‘The Merry Widow', selection from Franz Lehar and arranged by Mro Frank Galea;
‘I Martiri', selection from the Opera by Mro Carmelo Pace and arranged by Frank Galea;
‘Anici', a symphonic poem by the assistant director Andrew Calleja;
‘Cats', selection by Andrew Lloyd Weber;
‘Il Trovatore', selection by Giuseppe Verdi and arranged by P. Vitale;
‘L-Ewwel Deċennju', a symphonic poem by Mro Frank Galea.
Then Prof. Dr Antoine Agius,President, delivered the speech, after which Minister Joe Mizzi delivered his, praising the way the band interpreted the musical pieces, besides expressing admiration for the organization itself. The band ended the concert by its hymn composed by Mro Frank Galea and by the Maltese National Anthem composed by Robert Samut. This concert brought to an end the first part of the celebrations commemorating the first ten years of our club.
The second part of the celebrations:
The inauguration of the new premises
On Friday 12th June 1998, competitions opened the final of the American Pool organized by the sports section.
On Sunday 14th June 1998, as usual the band took part in the procession of Corpus Christi.
On Monday 14th June of the same year, a ceremony was organized at the St George's Hall, where the president, Prof. Antoine Agius distributed certificates to honour members, bandsmen and benefactors.
On Tuesday 16th June, a barbeque was organised in front of the club.
On Wednesday 17th, the Society organized a general concert as a preparation for the musical part on the feast day.
On Thusdray 18th June then, at St George's parish church a mass was said as a prayer for the departed members of our Society, celebrated by the Vicar General Mons. Annetto Depasquale with the concelebrants: the Archpriest, Dun Frans Abdilla, besides other priests.
After this mass, the St George Band of Ħal Qormi, invited by the Anici Band, organised a band march that ended in front of our Anici Club.
On Friday 19th June 1998, a vocal and instrumental program was organized in front of our club under the presidency of the Most Respectful Mayor of Città Pinto, Mr Clyde Puli. This concert was directed by Mro Frank Galea and his assistant Mro Andrew Calleja. The program consisted of ‘Maltesina' No 1 by Mro Carmelo Pace, a selection from ‘Cats' by Andrew Lloyd Weber and the cantata ‘L-Apotéosi ta' San Ġorġ'composed by Mro Frank Galea to verses by Dr Carmel Mallia. The singers were the members' choir together with three soloists. After the playing of the band's hymn, the Maltese National Anthem ended this program.
During this program, various representations were made by benefactors from other societies. After the program, the Mayor of Ħal Qormi, Mr Clyde Puli, inaugurated our Society's new building and afterwards uncovered a commemorative plaque made of marble by Mr Ronald Pisani, to commemorate the first ten years and the new building. The parish Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla blessed the plaque.
On Saturday 20th June 1998, a Maltese Evening was organized in front of our club.
On Sunday 21st June, at the end of these festivities and at 9.45am, the usual first class flag was flung for the first time.
This flag was designed by Mr Salv. Bugeja of Żurrieq while the sewing was carried out by Mr Joe Gellel of Vittoriosa. It was donated by six benefactors who together offered the sum of Lm850. These were: Messrs Charles Borg, Joe Grech, Mario Grech, Stephen Zammit, besides two other persons who wished to remain anonymous. Even Mr Salvu Bugeja carried out the design work gratis. As for the band, it played various marches in front of the club and after the hoisting of the flag it played the club's hymn. One has to add that our band participated as usual at the feast between Tuesday 22nd and Sunday 28th June 1998.
Decorations at the Carmelo Spiteri Hall
When the club's building was completed and inaugurated, the committee began to think about its decorations. Mr Alfred Mangion, Hon. Member, and sculptor Mr Salvu Bugeja were contacted to give their professional help. On August 1998, the Director General, Mr John Mary Spiteri, initiated the decoration work. The first place to undergo such decoration was Carmelo Spiteri Hall. This work was ready on St George's feast, 25th June 2000.
Aggrandisement of the building
In October 1998, our Society bought the large warehouse near the club. This costed thousands of maltese liri, aiming at the aggrandisement of the club. Today, this part, now connected to the club, contains a biliard and a snooker, while part of it is used as a warehouse. In order to be well utilised, it needed a lot of work that was carried out by the Committee itself, amongst whom Mr Mario Grech who, with his brother Joe, paid for the beams and the necessary cement and stone. Other works were carried out by the Director General Mr John Mary Spiteri and by Messrs Joseph Spiteri, Spiru Seguna and Indrì Briffa.
Election of a new Maestro
In October 1998 our club elected Mro Andrew Calleja, VLCM, as band director. This happened owing to the termination of the contract of Mro Frank Galea who had directed the band for ten whole years. When Mro Calleja was elected, he was also band-master of the ‘Banda Madonna tal-Ġilju' of Mqabba. Mro Calleja left behind him various musical works to our Society such as joyous and funeral marches together with classical music composed expressly for our Society.
The death of Can. Ġorġ Bonello, Hon. President
On Tuesday 15th June 1999, one was surprised by the death of Can. Ġorġ Bonello who was Hon. President of our Society. Parading the banner of our Society, the Administrative Committee participated at this funerary procession and at the mass praesente cadavere at St George's church, Ħal Qormi. This funeral took place on Thursday 17th June 1999.
Feast in honour of the Auxiliary Bishop Mons. Annetto Depasquale
It was Sunday 17th January 1999 when at the parish occurred a feast in honour of Mons. Annetto Depasquale who was elected Auxiliary Bishop of the Maltese Diocese.
Our band participated in this celebration. The Bishop visited our club and appeared at the balcony to salute the people gathered in front of out club. This important celebration certainly raised the people's heart and was engraved in golden letters in the history of our Society.
Mahogany doors for the Hall
It was the carpenter Mr Joseph Mangion who began working on a set of mahogany doors for the two superior halls. This craftsman was not fortunate enough to see the achievement of his work, since he died unexpectedly on Saturday 9th October 1999.So, the Committee had to seek another carpenter to continue the work which was left unfinished. This was undertaken by Mr Ġorġ Sammut, another inhabitant of Ħal Qormi. The doors were put in place on St George's feast of the year 2001, thus continuing to offer another attraction to both halls. These doors were decorated by Mr Philip Psaila, another inhabitant of Ħal Qormi, for the centenary celebrations of St George in 2003. These doors were designed by the sculptor Mr Salvu Bugeja and were made by Mr Ġorġ Cardona, another inhabitant of Ħal Qormi although living at Mqabba. Other benefactors helped by their donations so that this work could be conveniently concluded.
Decorations of the halls
The decoration of the hall dedicated to Carmelo Spiteri was concluded for St George's feast of the year 2000.
This work was carried out by Chev. John Mary Spiteri on directions by Mr Alfred Mangion who also presented the designs. At this hall, three pelmets were placed that were made gratis by the carpenter Mr Emanuel Debono on design by Mr Ronald Pisani and which were exhibited for the first time on St George's day in the year 2000. On Monday 7th August 2000,the same Chev John Mary Spiteri started the decorations in St George's Hall. Later on, Messrs Mario Grech and Alfred Mangion joined in. The decoration designs in this hall were carried out by Mr Ronald Spiteri.
Carmelo Spiteri's Bust
On Saturday 7th May 2000, the section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri' put in place the bust of the unforgettable Mr Carmelo Spiteri, one of the founders, the first Secretary and the first Bandsman of our Society. This bust was worked out by Chev. Alfred Camilleri Cauchi; its pedestal was sculpted in marble by Mr Ronald Pisani while its inauguration was carried out during a musico-literary activity in the same hall, when a number of local bandmen participated. It was inaugurated by the Society's President, Prof. Antoine Agius and blessed by Rev. Dun Karm Grech.
Paintings at Carmelo Spiteri Hall
On Monday 28th August 2000, a formal agreement was made between Chev. Alfred Camilleri Cauchi and our Society so that the former will deliver two pictures for Carmel Spiteri Hall: one to represent St George, the other to represent Grand Master Pinto. These paintings were donated by the Hon. Member Mr Ġorġ Scicluna and blessed on Sunday 10th June 2001 by the Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla. The inauguration of these paintings was carried out by the donor himself.
Their originality was formerly proposed by the Committee.
One of the paintings represents the theme of St George killing a dragon, symbol of the victory of Light over Darkness. There are two angels descending from heaven to crown the saint, presenting him with a crown and a palm branch, symbols of martyrdom. At the background then, one may see a struggling crowd of people. According to tradition, St George, St Paul and Saint Agatha appeared to the Maltese during the battle against the Moors.
The other painting shows Grand Master Pinto presenting to the Parish Priest
Dun Ġużepp Vella the decree by which Ħal Qormi was honoured with the title of ‘Città Pinto'. The backdrop shows St George's church which at that time was the only parish in Ħal Qormi. On one side of the painting, one may behold the clergy and people of Ħal Qormi. Needless to say that both paintings adequately enhanced the beauty of this hall.
The first Mass by various priests
On Sunday 3rd September 2000, on the occasion of the first Mass of Rev. Dun John Muscat; On Wednesaday 31st July 2002, on the occasion of the first Mass of Rev. Dun Charles Cini; On Saturday 5th July 2003, on the occasion of the first Mass of Rev. Dun Louis Farrugia; On Saturday 3rd July 2004 on the occasion of the first Mass of Dun David Farrugia; On 8th July 2011, on the occasion of the first Mass of rev. Fr Reno Muscat, OP; On Sunday 10th July 2011 at the fist Mass of Rev. Fr Renė Cilia; On Sunday 8th July 2012 for the first Mass of Rev. Dun Ġorġ Schembri. On all these occasions, the band played marches, parading from the priests' home to St George's parish church. Besides, it also delivered a memento to the priests in question.
Vocal and Instrumental concert
Our band was invited by the St Vincent de Paul Residence to perform a vocal and instrumental concert on Monday 25th September 2000. On this occasion, an exhibition was held consisting of flags by Maltese and Gozitan band-clubs. Tenor Andrew Sapiano participated in the Hall of said residence. This activity was carried out on the occasion of the yearly ‘Jum l-Anzjani' (Day of the Elderly). The band played various musical pieces that greatly fascinated the elders present, especially through those admirable Napolitan songs. Mro Andrew Calleja, band-master, directed.
Donation of banners
Our Society, from its beginnings, has got its own banner which shows eight white and black stripes with a cross circled by laurel leaves, and a star shining on the cross.
All this explains the coat of arms of the surname ‘Anici'.
Besides, our Society had two other banners: one represents Malta, the other, Religion.
Another, a Papal banner, was donated on the eve of St George's feast of 1990 by the member Mr Francis Cassar.
The Rev George Bonello, Honorary President, blessed second standard of the band, so that on Good Friday of 9th April 1993 led the band in the procession.
The painting of this banner was carried out by Chev. John Mary Spiteri, Director General, while the sewing was carried out by Ms Ludgarda Pace, Chairperson of the section “Soċi Nisa Attivi'.
While its cost was Lm100, all the work was carried out gratis. It was paid by Mr Frans Saliba who at that time was vice-Director. Now, this banner is coloured red with the coat of arms of our Band in the middle.
In 1993,Mr George Debono worked and donated to our Society a book-stand made of mahogany on which to direct the band.The blessing was carried out by Can. Dun Ġorġ Bonello during the presentation at the club.
In 1994, the section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri' donated their banner to our Society, showing the coat of arms of their section on a red background , according to the design and painting by Chev. John Mary Spiteri. The sewing was carried out gratis by Ms Ludgarda Pace.
In 1996, the Hon. Member Mr George Scicluna, during his stay in Malta on Easter Saturday, donated the first ever banner from abroad. This represented the State of Michigan, USA.The same Ġorġ Scicluna in this same year, when the band was in Canada and the USA, donated an American banner during a dinner dance in Detroit. On this occasion, but in Toronto, the singers'association of Toronto donated a Canadian banner.
In 1997 Mr Ġorġ Scicluna donated again another banner with a painting of Grand Master Pinto.
When our Society commemorated its first ten years, in 1998, during a vocal and instrumental program in front of the club, brothers Indrì and Charles Cilia donated a banner bearing the official coat of arms of our Sociey on a red background. This time it was not a painting but an embroidery, so it became our principal banner that is carried only on the feast's evening. The halberd of this banner shows St George on horseback in golden colour on a silver pedestal. At that moment, on the pedestal three medals were hanged by the respectable Mayor Mr Clyde Puli. One of the medals is an old coin of Grand Master Pinto's time and was donated to our Society by the first band director Mro Frank Galea. The other two medals bear the emblem of one of the official coat-of-arms of our Society while the other shows St George on horseback. These three medals were made in silver. This banner was made in Canada and was received when the band was there.
During this same program, brothers Joe and Mario Grech presented a set of bells brought from Canada.
One has to note that these same brothers paid for this more than half the expenses, while the other half was paid by our Society. Delegates from St George's Association of Sydney donated an Australian banner on the eve of June's feast in 1999 when the band, after a march, arrived in front of the other club. Another banner representing the same country was donated in 2012 by Mr Joseph Spiteri.
In the year 2000 during a vocal and instrumental concert, more precisely on the last day of the Triduum, Messrs Reno Muscat and Ernest Camilleri, two committee members, presented a banner of the Holy Land. During the same program, the section “Żgħażagħ Stillieri' presented a banner about St George, showing a red cross on a white background. The last banner that was donated to our Society was that representing Europe, and donated by Onor. Clye Puli, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sports, during a musical program executed on the last day of the Triduum of St George, on Friday 26th June 2009.
A vocal and instrumental concert
On Sunday 11th february 2001,
the Anici Band performed its second concert in collaboration with the Local Council of Ħal Qormi at Temi Zammit Hall, university of Malta. This concert was under the presidency of the Mayor, Mr Clyde Puli, attended by a considerable number of members and other musical clubs of Qormi, although the invitation was accepted only by the Philarmonic Society Pinto/St Sebastian Band. At this concert, the band interpreted musical pieces by foreign composers together with compositions by Mro Andrew Calleja who directed the band. The most loved piece was ‘Corpus Chrisi & the New Bell'.
On Sunday 17th then, the Ouverture ‘1812' by Tchaikowsky was played, when Tenor Joseph Aquilina and Soprano Joan Mangion participated. While this activity was produced by the Band Commission, it was presented by Dr Carmel Bianchi.
Feast of Corpus Christi and the New Bell
On June 2001 the Anici Band participated as usual at the Corpus Christi feast. This year had an added meaning because its occasion will surely remain engraved with golden letters in the history of our Sociey. Because on tne morning of that day, a new bell at St George's church was inaugurated. On the evening of that same day, the band was the first to play in front of the bell before it was put in place.
Hymn March for ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri'
On Friday 7th September 2001,
a deed was subscribed which established the hymn-march, dedicated to the section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri', to become propriety of the Society. Its composition was entrusted to Mro Archibald Mizzi to verses by Dr Camel Bianchi, Hon. President. For the contract in front of Not. Joseph Abela appeared the president of the Society, Prof. Antoine Agius, the Secretary Carmelo Attard and the Director General Chev. John Mary Spiteri. This hymn was commissioned by, and donated to the Society by the section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri' and was heard for the first time on St George's feast of the year 2000.
Visit by the president of Malta to our club
On Tuesday 5th February 2002, His Excellency the President of Malta, Prof. Guido de Marco, officially visited our club.
He was met and was shown around by the Society's President, Prof. Antoine Agius and other members. Profs Demarco congratulated the club for the way it was taken care of and for the art-works it contained. He was offered a memento. Mayor Roderick Galdes accompanied him.
Another founder-member died: Mr Salvu Debono
On Sunday 24th March 2002, Mr Debono, another founder member of our Society, died. His funeral was effected on Wednesday during Holy Week, 27th March 2002. The Anici Band accompanied the funeral procession from the parish church to the cemetery. At the funeral procession participated representatives from various sections of the society and other musical societies in Ħal Qormi. It is interested to note that on that same year the Good Friday procession was cancelled owing to bad weather.
On Thursday 22nd May 2003 at 7.30pm., for the first time in the Society's history, the Anici Band in collaboration with the Archpriest and clergy of St George's parish organised a musico-literary Academy at St George's church on the occasion of the 17th century of St George's glory. This Academy occurred under the presidency of His Excellency Mons. Annetto Depasquale. Various distinguished persons were invited and entertained with musical pieces and interesting reading that contributed to the success of the evening.
Here is the program pursued:
Innu Popolari ‘Fjur tal-Martri' by Mro G. Camilleri and sang by ‘Exultate Dominum' choir;
‘I walk with God' by N. Brodszky with arrangement by Mro G. Debono;
‘Panis Angelicus' by Caesar Frank, sang by Soprano Joanne Mangion;
A poem by Dr Carmel Bianchi: ‘Seventeen centuries for St George';
Intermezzo ‘Agnus Dei' by G. Bizet, arranged by Mro Frank Galea and sang by Tenor Joseph Aquilina;
Intermezzo ‘Reverie on Direct Cloister' by our eks-Mro Frank Galea;
‘Il Lacerato Spirito' by G. Verdi, arranged by Mro Frank Galea and sung by the Bass Albert Buttigieg;
L-Adagio ‘Ċentinarju 2003' by Director Mro Andrew Calleja;
Talk by the Society's President, Prof. Antoine Agius;
The great hymn: ‘L-Apotéosi ta' San Ġorġ' by Mro Frank Galea to verses by Dr Carmel Mallia, Hon. Member. Here three soloists took part: Tenor Joseph Aquilina, Bass Albert Buttigieg and Soprano Joan Mangion, together with the parish choir ‘Exultate Dominum';
The Hymn march ‘Ġorġi Tagħna' by Mro Archibald Mizzi and sung by the ‘Exultate Dominum';
Talk by Mons. Annetto Depasquale;
The centenary hymn by Prof. Joseph Vella, sung again by ‘Exultate Dominum';
The band's direction was under the baton of the director Mro Andrew Calleja. Dr Carmel Bianchi and Ms Marisa Pace compered the soiree.
The official openeing of St George's Hall
After so much work by Chev. John Mary Spiteri,
Director General and co-founder, helped by Messrs Alfred Mangion, Hon. Member, and Mario Grech, the St George's Hall was ready on 21st June 2003 and officially inaugurated by the acting-President of Malta, Dr George Hyzler.
For this occasion, the Anici Band played a march from St George's church towards our club where at 8.30pm it met the acting President with the Maltese National Anthem. After this, the acting President was requested to open the hall officially and, after a few words by the club's President, Prof. Antoine Agius, and by the acting President, a commemorative plaque was inaugurated. The hall was blessed by the Archpriest Dun Frans Abdilla. Mementos were presented. The acting President donated to our Society the deed by which he was constituted acting President. Afterwards, a reception was offered for the occasion. This activity was connected with the 17th centenary of St George's glory and was organised by our musical Society.
New coat-of-arms for the bandsmen's hats
During a musical and instrumental program organised by our Anici Band on Friday 27th June 2003, the last day of the Triduum of the titular feast, the Hon. President, Mr George Scicluna, living in USA, presented a set of new coat-of-arms, to replace those formerly used, for the bandsmen's hats. These coat-of-arms were inaugurated at Good Friday procession of 9th April 2004.
The Anici Band with excelent records
On Sunday 10th August 2003, the Anici Band wrote with golden letters another page in its history by participating on the same day and in two different processions, namely in Birgu for St Lawrence feast and in Ħamrun for St Cajetan's. A happy day for our Society.
A historical deed
On 24th November 2003, in front of Notary Peter Carbonaro a deed was subscribed whereby the composer Mro Abel Mizzi wanted the hymn: ‘God's Mother in Suffering', which he composed for the Anici Band, to be played only by this band. For this contract there were also present the club's President, Prof. Antoine Agius, the Secretary Mr Charles Polidano and the Director General Chev. John Mary Spiteri. This hymn was played for the first time on Good Friday of 2004. The relative verses were written by Dr Carmel Bianchi.
A monument to St George
On Sunday 25th April 2004, the Anici Band played a march from the club's premises up to Triq is-Sagħtar at Ta' Farsina, where it was joined by the other band in the parish to inaugurate a new stone-carved statue of St George.
The elecrtronic site inaugurated
On Saturday 19th June 2004, the first electronic site for our society was inaugurated by the Society's President, Prof. Antoine Agius, during a reception for those invited on the occasion of St George's feast. The electronic site is: www.anicibandclub.org with the e-mail: email@example.com
Another vocal and instrumental concert
On Saturday 23rd October 2004, the Anici Band organized three vocal and instrumental concerts in collaboration with the Local Council of Ħal Qormi at the hall of the Catholic Institute, Floriana, under the presidency of the Most Respectable Mayor Mr Jesmond Aquilina . This concert was greatly appreciated and applauded by those present.In it participated Soprano Joan Mangion and Tenor Joseph Aquilina.
The following was the music played:
‘The Mask of Zorro' by J. Horner;
‘Danza Hungara No 5', dance by J. Brahms;
‘O Mio Babbino Caro', aria by G. Puccini;
‘Danza Hungara No 6' by J. Brahms;
‘E lucevan le stelle', aria by G. Puccini;
‘Fantasia in do minore' by Mro Chev. Abel J. Mizzi;
‘The Village Suite' by Mro Andrew Calleja;
‘Marcia Slava' by P. Tchaikowsky;
‘Brindisi', aria by G.Verdi;
‘The Shepherds Hymn Symphony No 6' by Beethoven;
‘Innu ta' Ħal Qormi' by Mro Sebastian Camilleri;
‘Innu tal-Banda' by Mro Frank Galea;
‘Innu Malti' by Robert Samut.
The band was directed by Mro Andrew Calleja.
The program was compered by Dr Carmel Bianchi and Ms Marisa Pace. One has to note that the music by the Director was purposely composed for this concert. Mementos were also exchanged between the Society's President and the respectable Mayor.
Another Hon.Member dies
On Saturday 8th February 2005, news got around of the death of Mr John Borg, Hon. Member of our Society. His funeral took place on Wednesday 9th February 2005, where members of the Administrative Committee were present for the mass praesente cadavere that took place at St George's parish church. Mr John Borg dedicated a lot of his time for our Society especially during the club's building.
A new Archpriest
On Sunday 24th April 2005, our band participated at the presentation of the new Archpriest, the Rev. Dun Anton Cassar, from his home in Pjazza San Franġisk to St George's parish church, where a relative Mass was said. During the procession, our band played various joyous marches.
Ħal Qormi Day
Another memorable day in the history of our Society was Wednesday 25th May 2005 when our Band together with the other two local bands played in front of Pinto Tribune in a concert organised with the collaboration of the Local Council. Our Society presented itself not only through its bandsmen but also through its Administrative Committee and its banner.
A Showcase in St George's Hall
On Saturday 18th June 2005, a new wallnut showcase was inaugurated and placed in St George's Hall. It was sponsored by the benefactor and Hon. Member Mr Lukardu Borg who paid more than half its price. The rest was paid by our Society's section ‘Soċi Nisa Attivi'. This showcase was designed by Mr Ronald Pisani and built by Messrs Paul Spiteri and Mario Grech. The latter was member of the Administrative Committee.
On the same occasion a clock and two chandeliers were inaugurated to be placed on the table under the mirror that was hung in front of the painting of Grand Master Pinto in the Carmelo Spiteri Hall. The clock and the chandeliers are made of bronze while the table is made of decorated wood. These were donated to our Sociey by the section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri'. These two works were blessed by the Rev. Archpriest Can. Dun Anton Cassar, while the inauguration of the show-case was carried out by Mr Lukardu Borg. Before the inauguration, a speech was delivered by our Society's President, Prof. Antoine Agius. A reception for members and those invited followed, which served also as a preperation for the forthconing feast of St George a week later.
New Musical Director
On Saturday 1st October 2005, our Society elected Mro Joseph Vella, A.Mus.L.C.M, A.Mus.L.S.M., L.Mus.L.C.M., F.V.C.M. as the new musical director of our Band. Mro Vella is well versed and known in the musical field. In this regard, it's enough to mention the bands he directs, which are: St Helen of B'Kara, La Vittoria of Mellieħa and St Gabriel of Ħal Balzan.
The first composition he presented to our Society was a brilliant march with the name: ‘Is-Surmast il-Ġdid', which was included in a set of marches recorded on Wednesday 28th January 2006, the date of his debut with our Band. His first direction for our band took place during a prize-day ceremony on Sunday 4th December 2005, and his first appearance as director with our band took place during a march in Ħal Qormi on Christmas, Sunday 18th December .Mro Vella contributed various musical works to our Society such as joyous and funeral marches and classical music, of which some were composed purposely for our Band.
A Visit by by Lawrence Gonzi
On Wednesday 5th April 2006, Malta's Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, visited our club where he inaugurated an exhibition about Christ's Passion organized on the occasion of Good Friday. This was the first visit of this Prime Minister to our club. He jotted down his name in the visitors'book while encouraging our Society to continue on its path of progress because he saw a lot of voluntary work which reflected the Leaders'wise decisions.
Decorations of the principal staircase's ceiling
After two years of hard work, the decorations of the ceiling above the principal staircase were ready. They were designed by the Director General, Chev. John Mary Spiteri. Now, all the works in the upper halls were ready and the club was truly worthy of the name ‘Palazz Cappadocia'.
The funeral of Mr Salvu Baldacchino
On Tuesday 3rd July 2006, the Anici Band was commissioned to play at the funeral of Mr Salvu Baldacchino, eks-Licencee of St George's Fireworks Factory, today known as ‘L-Għaqda tan-Nar 23 t'April'. At this funeral the Anici Band was the only band that participated playing various funeral marches from St George's parish church to the cemetery.
A Notorial deed for the march ‘Demm Ġorġjan'
It was on Friday 20th October 2006 that in front of Notary Paul George Pisani a contract was signed regarding the march played by the Anici Band: ‘Demm Ġorġjan'. Henceforth this march had to become propriety of the Anici Band. Present at the contract there were the composer himself, Mro Sunny Galea and his wife, while from our Society' side there were Prof. Antoine Agius, Mr Saviour Mifsud, Secretary, and Chev. John Mary Spiteri, Director General, together with Mr Engilbert Muscat.
New seat for the Local Council of Ħal Qormi
On Sunday 25th february 2007 at 10am, our band marched from our club to Victory Str. up to the new seat of the Local Council, while playing various joyous marches and at the end, in front of the Council's seat, played the Hymn for Ħal Qormi under the baton of Mro Joseph Vella. On the same occasion, the Administrative Committee of our Society together with the section ‘Żgħażagħ Stillieri' exhibited objects relative to our Society.This occasion was transmitted direct on one of the Maltese TV's.
Contract between the Parish bands
On Friday 9th March 2007, the musical society St George of Ħal Qormi paid the sum of Lm500 to the musical society Anici as penalty for disobeying the contract agreed to on 19th June 1999 between both bands.
This contract included various items, amongst which the joyous marches they should play, but it says nothing regarding funeral marches and hymns dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows that both bands possess. Notwithstanding all this, there is a note regarding the local bandsmen and that one has to send a list of joyous marches before the recording. That's why, regarding the latter, the musical society St George of Ħal Qormi, having disobeyed this clause, incurred said penalty.
A visit by Dr Alfred Sant, leader of the Opposition
On Thursday 19th March 2007, the leader of the Opposition, Dr Alfred Sant, visited our club and inaugurated the Passion exhibition organised on the occasion of the Holy Week.This was the first official visit of the Opposition leader to our Club. Here, he subscribed the visitors'book and afterwards was seen around the club where he was surprised by the progress of our Society.
New decorative cloth
On Wednesday 20th June 2007, a new decorative cloth for the facade of our club and with designs on it was inaugurated before the coming feast. This was carried out on designs and colour shading by Mr Carmelo Spiteri and sewn by Mrs Ċensa Psaila. It was paid for by the section ‘Soċi Nisa Attivi'. So now the glorious facade of our club has a festive outlook. The club's Directors took great pains so that this new cloth would not cover totally the beautiful stone-work, so the decorative cloth and the facade would be both appreciated.
His Excellency Mons George Frendo visited our club
On Friday 27th June 2007, His Exc. Mons. Ġorġ Frendo, Bishop of Albania, visited our club where he left a memento by presenting a calotte and subscribed the visitors'book. Afterwards, under his presidency, the Anici Band organised a vocal and instrumental program on the occasion of St George's feast. Bishop George Frendo was greatly satisfied and praised the Society for its innumerable achievements.
A vocal and instrumental concert
On Saturday 17th October 2007, the Anici Band with the collaboration of the Local Council of Ħal Qormi organized a vocal and instrumental concert at the Catholic Institute's theatre, Floriana, under the patronage of the Respectable Mayor, Mr Jesmond Aquilina . The band was directed by Mro Joseph Vella. The program was compered by Dr Carmel Bianchi on production of the Anici Band Commission, with the participation of Tenors Brian Cefai, Andrew Sapiano, George Saliba and the dancers Yorin and Loraine Gauci. The following music was played:
‘I Cavalieri di Malta', overture by A. Nani;
‘Overture No 1 in Bb' by the Gozitan Mro Sunny Galea;
‘L'Alba della Vittoria', marcia sinfonica by Mro Nicola Montebello, born in Ħal Qormi;
‘The Student Prince', a selection by S. Romberg;
‘20th Anniversary of Anici Band', overture by Mro Joseph Vella.
‘L'Italiana in Algeri', symphony by the Italian composor G. Rossini;
‘Rapsodia Napolitana' by R. Cristiano where the following Tenors participated: George Saliba, B. Cefai and Andrew Sapiano;
‘Swing in the Mood', medley, a musical arrangement by M. Sween, directed by Chev. Mro Vince Bonnici with the participation of the dancers Yorin and Loraine Gauci;
‘Queen in concert', medley, arranged by Mro Ray Sciberras;
‘Ġorġi f'Qalbna', a hymn march composed by Mro Ray Debono;
“Hymn for Ħal Qormi' by Mro Sebastian Camilleri;
‘The Anici Band Hymn' composed by Mro Frank Galea.
Our musical director
composed an Overture purposely for this concert on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of our Society. In fact it was named: ‘20th Anniversary of Anici Band', which was greatly appreciated and applauded. This concert saw the debut of a new hymn-march under the name “Ġorġi f'Qalbna' composed by Mro Raymond Debono on verses by Dr Carmel Bianchi. It was commissioned by the Band Commission and later recorded on CD on Wednesday 24th January 2008 together with the rest of new marches that were later played for St George's feast on that same year. The singing for this march was carried out by Mr Aldo Busuttil and Ms Claudia Faniello.
Visit Club by His Excellency Mgr. Paul Cremona, Archbishop of Malta
Thursday 13 March 2008, the E.T. Mgr. Paul Cremona was invited by the Association to inaugurate the exhibition of passion on the occasion of Holy Week. His Excellency having signed the book of visitors, donated in memory, the Association, with his karlotta. He had words of praise and was impressed with the great advance made in the Union in twenty years only. The Association also gave him a reminder. After, it was turned to the club.
On Saturday 14th June 2008, to commemorate the second ten years of our Society, a new mahogany musical archives was inaugurated. It was designed by the sculptor Mr Salvu Bugeja and worked out gratis by Messrs Mario Grech and Paul Spiteri, while its sculpture was carried out by Messrs John Suda and John Mangion. Mr Joe Galdes performed the lustre. Messrs Lino Vella and Charles Catania did the book-binding where the musical works were preserved while Float Glass offered the glass material. Money was collected by the Director General, Chev. John Mary Spiteri, who was also in charged of the archives.
The celebration began at 6.45pm with a march by the Anici Club from St George's church, winding its way through the streets towards the club where at 8.15pm arrived the Parliamntary Secretary, Onor. Clyde Puli who was the special guest.All those invited gathered at the St George's Hall where the president, Prof. Antoine Agius, delivered his talk and the Parliamentary Secretary inaugurated the musical archives and delivered his talk. After this, the Rev. Archpriest, Can. Anton Cassar, carried out the blessing. Mementos were presented and a reception followed as a preparation for St George's feast which had to be carried out two weeks later.
Another record by our Band
Five years later on Sunday 10th August 2008, our Band performed another record in its glorious history, like the one it did in 2003,for it played in two processions on the same day, namely at Vittoriosa for St Lawrence feast and at Hamrun for St Cajetan's. Up to this date, no band in Malta and Gozo performed such an achievement. It was not easy, but our Directors' determination made this bravura possible.
A legal contract
On Thursday 16th October 2008, in front of Notary Anthony Abela was carried out a contract about the music of our first band-master Mro Frank Galea, This music was already in possession of our Society.
In this contract were included the Easter waltzes, the Band Hymn and the ‘Apotéosi ta' San Ġorġ',all composed by the mentioned Mro Galea. This means that this music is to be played only by the Anici Band. For this contract, that was carried out at St George's Hall in our Society, were present, besides the Notary, Mro Frank Galea and his advocates, the President Prof. Antoine Agius, the Secretary Chev. Saviour Mifsud, the Director General and Chairman of the Band Commission, Chev. John Mary Spiteri, and the Treasurer Mr George Potelli.
On 8th November 2008, our Society was registered as a voluntay organization, one of the first to register.
Dr Joseph Muscat's Visit
Another visit was carried out by Dr Joseph Muscat, Opposition Leader, on Tuesday 9th December 2008, when the bandsmen were rehearsing, and so Dr Muscat could evaluate their performance. He lauded the club's performance and the extensive works carried out there.
The law of juridical person
On Friday 16th June 2009 our Society was registered under the law of juridical person. It was the first musical society in Malta and Gozo that entered its name in this register.
The Pauline Year
Another golden occasion was that on Saturday 7th february 2009, on the ocasion of the Pauline Year, when the National Filarmonic Society La Vallette invited our musical director, Mro Joseph Vella, to direct a mass band formed of five bands at the La Vallette's club. This invitation was accepted and so our band played together with St Helen's Band of B'Kara, San Gabriel of Ħal Balzan, La Vittoria of Mellieħa and Lourdes of San Ġwann.
It was an honour for our band that in this program the bands played the overture ‘20th anniversary of Anici band', composed by Mro Joseph Vella to commemorate the anniversary of 2008. During this program, a presentation was carried out by the five bands not only to the musical director but also to the Filarmonica Nazionale La Vallette. Later, the same society reciprocated with mementos and a certificate.
Another member dies
On Sunday 22nd March 2009, Mr Carmelo Mallia, an Hon.Member of our Sociey, went to join the Lord. His funeral took place on Monday 23rd March 2009 when a group from the Administrative Committee attended the mass praesente cadavere at St George's parish church. Mr Carmelo Mallia was also for some time member of this Administrative Committee.
Welcom to another son of Ħal Qormi
On Thursday 23rd April 2009, precisely on the liturgical day of St George and Anici day, our band played the Maltese National Anthem and ‘Fjur tal-Martri' in a mass band together with the other band in the parish in front of His Excellency the President of Malta, Dr George Abela.This was conducted by both musical directors who directed an hymn each as suggested by the Archpriest, Can Anton Cassar. Our Musical Director, Mro Joseph Vella, directed the hymn: ‘Fjur tal-Martri'.
On Monday 25th May 2009, on the occasion of Ħal Qormi Day, the three bands of Città Pinto played together as a mass band and welcomed the President of the Republic. This was an initiative of the Local Council of Ħal Qormi.
For the first time in our parish, the Spring Feast was organized by the Committee of the External Feast of St George Martyr. Our Anici Band was invited to play a march for the occasion on Sunday 31st May 2009. This march began in front of our club at 10.30 am, continued on its way towards Triq il-Kbira to St George's church. During the evening, the band played various joyous marches. For this same occasion, although a year later and presicely on Sunday 11th April 2010, our band was again invited, but this time to perform a march and musical program at Pjazza San Franġisk. This was the first time that our band played in this Square. The march began at 6pm from St George's parish church towards Triq Santa Katerina up to the afore-mentioned square. This progam began at about 6.30pm.
On Sunday 24th October 2009, during an activity at our club, our Society's web-site in a new dress was inaugurated by our President, Prof. Antoine Agius. During two days, visited our web-site more than 200 persons. Some of them left a message on the visitors'book. After the inauguration, this web-site was shown on a big screen, which was greatly appreciated. This was not the first web-site for our club, because the first one was organized by the ‘Sezzjoni Żgħażagħ Stillieri' in 2004. After that, an- other one was organized which was renewed. This one is the third, built according to modern technology.
On 25th October 2009, another death occurred, that of Mr Alfred Scerri, Hon. Member, and an emigrant. He died at his home in Florida, USA. He was also President of the St George's Feast of Toronto, Canada. Our flag was shown at half mast on our Society's roof and a black bow was placed on the principal door while condolences were sent to his family.
Dr Joseph Muscat on his second visit
On Wednesay 24th March 2010, Dr Jopseh Muscat, Opposition Leader, inaugurated the ‘Passion Exhibition' at our club. It was blessed by the Archpriest Can. Anton Cassar. This is the second visit by the Opposition leader.
The Visit of Pope Benedect XVI
On Sunday 18th April 2010, our Anici band saluted Pope Benedict XVI by playing the Pontifical Hymn when at about 5pm he passed in his popemobil through Victory Str. in front of our club. This was another nice occasion by which our Society's history continued to be enchanting. It was never dreamt of that a Pope will ever pass near our Club. For this occasion, pavilions were hung, while the statue of St George that, on the first day of the Triduum is put on a pedestal amongst the playing of hymns by our band at the Pjazza Vitorja, was put on show.
A new President
After 22 years as President, Prof. Antoine Agius, on Tuesday 27th July 2010, Mr Kenneth J. Frendo, MSc Finance (Leicester), MBA (Brunel),CMgr, FCMI,FFA, became the second president of our Society. Frendo was already mentioned at the beginning of this history because he was also the first assistant musical director of our Band. Prof. Antoine Agius was so elected president emeritus.
Another vocal and instrumental concert
On Saturday 22nd january 2011, the Local Council of Ħal Qormi collaborated in organizing a vocal and instrumental concert under the presidency of His Excellency Dr George Abela, Presient of Malta and was held at Sir Temi Hall, university of malta. The participants who were innumerable praised the success of this concert. The band was directed by Mro Joseph Vella who offered a new overture namely ‘The George Cross'. The winner-singer of the Malta Song Contest for 2010, Ms Thea Garret, sang two songs under the direction of Mro Vincent Bonnici. At the end, three lyrics were sung by two youths hailing from Ħal Qormi, namely Ms Maria Debono and Mr Ishmael Grech. Besides, the following music was also played:
Overture no. 2: ‘Melita' by Mro Sunny Galea,
A melody by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) arranged by N. Studnitzky,
Clarinet concert ‘Tesore Musicale' by Nicola Montebello,
Fantasia, Carmen, by G. Bizet;
Theme from The Mission Nella Fantasia by E.Morricone/C. Ferrau arranged by R. Kernen,
Għanja: ‘My Dream' ta' J. Cassar/S. Aquilina arranged by V. Vella,
Ouverture ‘The George Cross' by Joseph Vella,
Medley: ‘Italo Oldies' arranged by S. Schwalgin,
Temi mill-film: Glenn Miller,
A story ta' P. Minhold & B. Egidius,
Hymn for Ħal Qormi by Mro Sebastian Camilleri,
The Band Hymn by Mro Frank Galea, and
the Maltese National Anthem by Robert Samut.
The concert was compered by Ms Maria Aquilina on production by the Band Commission.
Visit in the club from the E.T. Mgr. Joseph Mercieca, Archbishop Emeritus
On Wednesday 13 April 2011, E.T. Mgr. Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Mercieca was invited by the Association to inaugurate the exhibition of passion in the club itself on the occasion of Holy Week. The E.T. having signed the visitors' book, donated as a reminder to the merger with its karlotta. Mgr. Mercieca had words of praise for the exhibition and subsequently invited to turn the club. Here also praised works in the club and stated that the Union, which has been only 23 years made great advances and stressed that we must continue to work while the Association continue progressing continue to promote young people were also present to nbiegħduhom from the temptation to offer modern life. The combination of the gift of remembrance for the occasion Mgr. Mercieca. This exhibition also on Monday 18 April, also visited Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, Prime Minister of Malta.
Member of the Management Committee dies
On Wednesday 18 May 2011 Flag of the club seemed flown middle bar with the news of the death of Dominic Debrincat who had been State in the Administrative Committee of the Association about ten months. The funeral had been held in the Church of Mary Queen in Marsa was deferred on Thursday 19 May 2011 at 8:45 am. Members of the Management and sections within the Association were present to pay their last respects to this member, as well as during entry into the Church of the body played the Silenzio.
Visit by His Excellency the President of Malta
On its way to commemorate the silver jubilee of our Society to be celebrated in 2013, the first move was presented. Our Society was going to commemorate this anniversary by the official flag of our Society. For this reason, the Administratitive Committee first thought of providing a place where to store this flag and its accessories. This consists in a pew, that was inaugurated on Saturday 11th June 2011 by His Excellency Dr George Abela, President of Malta who, while signing the visitors'book, left his comments for our Society. The ceremony began at about 7.35pm. when the Administrative Committee of our Society met the President of Malta who climbed the stairs together with those invited towards the principal halls where they were snapshotted. After a few words by the President Mr Kenneth John Frendo, Malta's President uncovered the pew. The clapping of hands showed the pproval and satisfaction , then Malta's President presented his talk.The President of our Society praised the presence of the President of Malta and in the name of our Society donated a memento. This was also done to the Archpriest Can. Anton Cassar who blessed this work of art. Mementos were also donated to Messrs Albert Attard, the carver, to Mr Sebastian Cauchi who sculptured it and to Mr Joseph Zammit the benefactor who donated the glass for this pew. After this ceremony, those prsent were invited for a drink.
The death of a musician
On 18th August 2011, our flag flew at half mast for the death of Mr George Arapa, a musician in our band. His funeral service was carried out at St George's parish church on Saturday 22nd August 2011. Members of the Administrative Committee and other sections of the Society participated as a last salute to this bandsman. The funeral cortege was carried out by our Society and began from the parish church and ended near our club. During the funeral march, our band played various funerary marches while the bier was in their midst. Flowers were thrown from the club's balcony together with a salute with our flag. At the funeral ceremony took part various societies from both parishes amongst which representatives from both band-clubs of Ħal Qormi. The Mayor of Ħal Qormi was also present, parliamentary members of the district, family members and friends. This was the second musician who died since the twilight of our Society.
Mro Frank Galea dies
On Wednesday 1st February 2012, the word circulated that Mro Frank Galea went to meet Our Lord. He was our first musical director and continued to occupy that position up to 1998. Afterwards, he was elected as honorary bandmaster. He left behind him various musical works amongst which the Band Hymn, Easter waltzes, L-Apotéosi ta' S. Ġorġ, Christmas songs, religious hymns, grotesque marches and classical music and a great number of joyous and furenary marches.
His funeral took place on 4th Februaru 2012 with a Mass praesente cadavere at St Philips' church, Ħaż-Żebbuġ at 2.30pm and afterwards the funerary march left the church towards the Cemetery of the Sacred Heart at Ħaż-Żebbuġ itself. During the march, a mass band was formed by the Anici Band and Banda San Pietru tal-Ktajjen of Birżebbuġa. Both bands, that were directed by the late Mro, played funeral marches amongst which some were composed by the departed compositor.
Another Golden Page
On Sunday 3rd June 2012, our band welcomed the Soċ. Fil. Pinto's Band in its parade in front of our club. This march was organised as part of the celebrations of the 150 anniversary of the Soċ. Fil. Pinto/ Banda San Sebastjan. The vice President of our club, Not. Antoine Agius, crowned the flag mast of the Pinto Band with a laurel crown. This nice gesture was greatly applauded.
On Monday 4th June 2012, the Anici Band was invited to march from its site up to the Pinto Club as an anniversary addendum.Our band accepted this invitation, which showed a great maturity by both bands, so much so that when the band was marching in front of the Local Council, the Mayor & Committee saluted the band from the Council's balcony. On the morrow, Tuesday 5th June 2012, during a program by the Brass band of Soċ. Fil. Pinto/Banda San Sebastjan, our band's President, Mr Kenneth J. Frendo in th name of our Society, presented a memento.
A Russian Icon of St George
With the intention of embellishing the glorious history of our Society, on Saturday and Sunday 23rd and 24th June, 2012, our Society underwent another historical item that honoured it. The Administrative Committee asked the President of Malta's Republic, Dr George Abela, to allow the Russian Icon of St George M. that is kept at the Russian chapel of the Presidential Palace at San Anton, be exhibited in our club on the eve and on the feast of St George. This Icon was donated to the former President Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici in 1995 by Ms Valentina Terechkova who was General of the Russian Army. This Icon was made on the same year at the Moscovite Orthodox Patriarchate and was blessed by the Moscovite Patriarch. It was then placed at the Presidential Palace at San Anton. One has to add that amongst those who on 24th June 2012 visited our club, was Dr Lawrence Gonzi, Malta's Prime Minister. The club's Administration thanked his Excellency Dr George Abela for his gentle gesture.