Maurice Agius remembered
Can. Alwig Fenech centenary
Seminar on Vittoriosa
Peppi Gellel turns 100


Vittoriosa-born Maurice Agius died in August 2005 at the age of 73. He was a stalwart of Maltese trade unionism, having founded in 1966 the precursor of today’s Unioni Haddiem Maghqudin. He pioneered the consolidation of trade unions through his efforts in forming the Confederation of Malta Trade Unions. His funeral was held on 8 August 2005 at St Lawrence Church which was beautifully decorated for the feast of St Lawrence two days later.



This year marks the centenary of the death of Can. Alwig Fenech. He is renowned for his musical compositions which included sacred hymns, symphonic scores and band marches. But by far he is most distinctly known for his formidable antiphon of St. Lawrence which is played when the statue is carried into the church at the end of the procession on the feast-day, 10 August. What makes the antiphon special is the masterly use of the musical technique known as contrapunto. Can. Alwig Fenech was the tutor of another Vittoriosa maestro, Lorenzo Galea. The Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society renovated the marble tablet on the house at Vittoriosa Square (now MLP Club) where, by historical coincidence, both composers lived during different periods. The Society commemorated the centenary of Can. Alwig Fenech by publishing a leaflet with his portrait which was distributed at St. Lawrence Church before the St. Lawrence antiphon was intoned.



Thanks to the joint initiative of the Sovereign Military Order of St. John in Malta and the office of the Hon. Leader of the Opposition, a seminar, the first of its kind, was held in July 2005 at the Magisterial Hall at Fort St. Angelo dealing with the historical significance of Fort St. Angelo and the Cottonera in general and their potential as a tourist attraction. Various distinctive scholars and researchers read papers approaching the subject from different angles: historical, sociological, architectural, archaeological. The Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society was represented by Lorenzo Zahra, Secretary, who spoke about the underground prison cell at Fort St. Angelo known as ‘oubliette’.



Longevity is indeed a gift of God! Vittoriosa is proud to boast its centenarian. Giuseppi Gellel, fondly styled, Peppi, is 100. Although a tailor by occupation, he is mostly remembered for his energetic fervour, from an early age, for St. Lawrence Church. For many years he organized fund-raising campaigns towards the decoration of the church with artistic silverware. The Vittoriosa Historical & Cultural Society, of which he and his family are members, organized as special luncheon in his honour.