Fgura

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Fgura
Il-Fgura
Tal-Liedna
Local Council
Il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Fgura
Church of Fgura
Church of Fgura
Flag of Fgura
Flag
Coat of arms of Fgura
Coat of arms
Fgura-map.svg
Coordinates: 35°52′21″N 14°31′22″E / 35.87250°N 14.52278°E / 35.87250; 14.52278Coordinates: 35°52′21″N 14°31′22″E / 35.87250°N 14.52278°E / 35.87250; 14.52278
Country  Malta
Island Malta
Borders Cospicua, Paola, Tarxien, Żabbar, Żejtun
Government
 • Mayor Byron Camilleri (PL)
Area
 • Total 1.1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)
Population (March 2013)
 • Total 11,728
 • Density 11,000/km2 (28,000/sq mi)
Demonym Fguri (m), Fgurija (f), Fgurin (pl)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code FGR
Dialing code 356
Patron saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Day of festa 2nd Sunday of July

Fgura is a town in the south of Malta. It is one of the 68 local councils, with a population of 11,728 as of March 2013.[1]

Much of Fgura was built around the 1960s. However, the town has prehistoric roots - there are several tombs in the area - and there is evidence to suggest it was a settlement in Phoenician times. Fgura, lying inland from the Three Cities, was influenced by the growth of the dockyards, especially after World War II. Its northern fringes are bordered by the Cottonera Lines of fortifications while it merges with the towns of Żabbar to the south and Tarxien to the West. Today, Fgura has one of the highest population densities in the country. It expanded to the outskirts of the Grand Harbour area and was one of the fastest-growing towns of Malta. Fgura has grown to become one of the foremost commercial areas in the central-southern part of the island.

The coat-of-arms of Fgura is made up of a red horizontal stripe containing three golden 5-pointed stars, centred across a white background. Fgura Day was established by the local council in 1994, and its first celebration was held on 30 October. It is now celebrated on the last Sunday of October.

The patron saint of Fgura is Our Lady of Mount Carmel and an annual feast in her honour is celebrated on the second Sunday of July. Fgura also has one of the most peculiar shaped churches in Malta, built in the shape of a tent.

History[edit]

It is thought that a settlement where Fgura currently lies existed in Phoenician times. Between 28 October and 2 December 1948, six Phoenician tombs were found in Fgura, dating to the 3rd or 4th century B.C. These tombs were in irregular shapes and human skeletons, remains of animals, pottery and other Bronze materials and objects were found. In Fgura, a street was named 'Triq is-Sejba Punika' - in English 'Phoenician Discovery Street' - in honour of this historic finding.

Before Fgura was declared a parish on 21 January 1965, it was a suburb of Tarxien. Before World War II, Fgura was a rural village which consisted of a few scattered farm-houses, of which there remains practically nothing, situated near the new church, (picture found above), near the new school and in St. Thomas Street. There were 20 families and the people of this town were farmers and, like many other towns, they were superstitious but they lived and worked together. After the Second World War, the Carmelite Fathers were entrusted with the spiritual needs of the community. The Carmelite Fathers arrived in Fgura on 14 December 1945, where they built a new church and convent, which were inaugurated in November 1950, in the presence of Prime Minister Enrico Mizzi.

As the population grew, the need arose for the building of a new modern church. The new church was inaugurated on 25 May 1988 and was consecrated by Archbishop Joseph Mercieca on 1 February 1990.

A vocal and living tradition speaks of the town's name: scholar E.B. Vella compared "Fgura" with the Maltese word "Figura" - in English "Figure". This relates to the custom of older inhabitants of this town, who would stop in front of a niche dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and they would call the statue "il-figura".

Fgura Local Council[edit]

Local Councils in Malta were established through legislation in Parliament in July 1993. The first local election in Fgura was held on 16 April 1994, and successive elections were held every three years on the 2nd Saturday of March. The first mayor of Fgura was Anthony Degiovanni. He was replaced by Saviour Camilleri in 1997, but returned to his post on April 1, 2000. However Anthony Degiovanni resigned from office in 2004, and was succeeded by Darren Marmara.

The 6th Fgura Local Council elections were held on 6 June 2009. The incumbent mayor, Darren Marmara was confirmed for the 3rd consecutive time. However on 7 July 2010 the deputy mayor Anthony Degiovanni together with his fellow labour councillors presented a no confidence motion in the incumbent mayor, Darren Marmara. The motion was due to be discussed on 16 July, but when the local council meeting was about to commence, the mayor resigned from office, saying that in the preceding days, he and his family received various threats. No official reason was given why the mayor was forced to resign. A meeting to elect a new mayor, scheduled for 21 July had to be postponed till 3 August, after a decision by the Department of Local councils, that found that there were irregularities in the way the meeting was summoned. Newcomer Byron Camilleri, a 23 year-old law student was nominated as the fourth mayor of Fgura.

Dr Byron Camilleri was confirmed mayor for a second term, after the elections held on March 9, 2013. Byron Camilleri obtained a record number of votes and became the highest scoring candidate in the March 2013 elections, obtaining more than 4,000 first count votes.[2]

The new deputy mayor is Matthew Vella. The other members of the council are: Charles Bonello, Mark Lombardo, Pierre Dalli, Ryan Ellul, Raymond Deguara, Jesmond Zammit and Rene' Zammit. Mark Lombardo was elected in all local council elections held since they were established in 1993.

Places of interest[edit]

Il-Monument tas-Salib (The Cross Monument)[edit]

There is a monument in Hompesch Street, which is known as 'Il-Monument tas-Salib' by the Fgura residents (The Cross Monument). This monument was inaugurated by Minister Ugo Mifsud Bonnici in February 1990, exactly when Fgura celebrated its 25th anniversary when it became a parish in 1865. This monument was designed by the sculptor Ġanni Bonniċi and built by apprentices of the Ġlormu Cassar School.

This monument was placed on the exact spot where a small church dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built in 1790 instead of a niche that was there for a long time. As a remembrance of this niche a new niche was built in Carmel Street.

The monument rests on four columns and they have a significant meaning. Three of these columns represent the towns which Fgura is adjacent to:- Paola, Tarxien and Żabbar {limits from these places were taken in order to form the Parish of Fgura in 1965}. The other one represents the Parish of Fgura. At the base of this monument there are 4 gravestones. They represent the 25th anniversary since Fgura became a parish, the inauguration of this monument and one is a copy of another gravestone that was situated at the side of a church that was built in 1844. This gravestone was written in Latin and it told the story of this church.

Reggie Miller Gardens

Reggie Miller Square[edit]

Reggie Miller Square (Wesgħa Reggie Miller) is an open space decorated with palm trees to the right side of the Parish Church. The original site had been developed into a garden which was inaugurated on 28 March 1976 by Minister Lorry Sant. Reggie Miller was a trade unionist and the founder of the General Workers' Union, the strongest trade union in Malta. The original garden featured a fish pond and a sundial designed by Paul Ignatius Micallef. Fgura Local Council, on being established in 1993, had identified this space as one if its first projects and very soon developed it into an open plan square to the design of Vice Mayor Saviour Camilleri. The new square was inaugurated on 10 February 1996. In 1996 the Fgura Local Council erected a monument of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which was designed and executed by Fgura sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi.

Patri Regent Gauci Gardens[edit]

This garden was built in 2000 by the Ministry of Social Policy as part of the scheme of Gardens in Government Housing Estates. Fr Redent Gauci who was one of the original Carmelite friars that had started the Carmilte Community in Fgura, was eventually ordained Bishop. The Council had intended this garden to be family leisure grounds and have incorporated a multipurpose court, a club house, and a playing field. The garden was inaugurated by Minister Lawrence Gonzi. As part of the embellishment works within the Housing Estate, the Local Council embellished also the immediate surroundings of the nearby apartments, both from its annual allocation, together with other funds from parking schemes by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

George Stevens' Monument

George Stevens Square[edit]

On 6 September 1986, the 35th anniversary of the foundation of the Malta Literary Society, Minister Lorry Sant inaugurated a monument commemorating George Stevens, poet, author of various popular songs and co-founder of the Literary Society. The monument, erected in a square bearing his name, was commissioned by the Malta Literary Society and executed by sculptor Alfred Camilleri Cauchi. After the unveiling it was blessed by the Parish Priest Father Guido Micallef O. Carm. In 2000, the Fgura Local Council commissioned architect Stefan Buontempo to redesign this square and entrusted the original sculptor with the restoration of the monument and the design a new plinth. The project was inaugurated in 2001 in the presence of the Stevens family and members of the Malta Literary Society, by the President of Malta Guido de Marco.

Fgura United Football Club[edit]

Fgura United is the local football club and it officially represents the locality of Fgura in Maltese football. In 2012, Fgura Utd FC were promoted to the Second Division, after an eventful season for the local sports club. This was the second time that the club was promoted to a higher division, after the first success registered in the season 1987/88. Earlier this year, on 31 March 2012, the Fgura Utd Sports complex was inaugurated by Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and UEFA President, Michel Platini.

Il-Monument tas-Salib

Kummissjoni Festa Esterna 16 ta' Lulju (External Feast Commission July 16th)[edit]

Poster for the External Feast Commission

The External Feast Commission 16 July, or as it is better known in Maltese; Kummissjoni Festa Esterna 16 ta' Lulju is under the auspices of the Fgura Parish Church. This Commission was founded in 1993 under the auspices of Fr. Adrian Cassar Pulis O.Carm. Different activities are held during the year as a means of fund raising. These funds are spent on the expenses incurred in organizing the village feast on the second Sunday of July. The Village Feast of Fgura is dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Scout Group[edit]

The Fgura Scout Group formed in 1987 is a member of the South District of the Scout Association of Malta. They currently have about 100 Uniformed Members in 4 Co-ed Sections. A beaver section (ages 5–7) a Pack section (ages 7–10), a Troop Section (ages 10–15), a Venture Unit ages (15-18) and a Rover Crew for older scouts. The Group also has a Band made up of Troop, Unit and Crew members.

Apart from the local and national activities, the Group also participates in overseas activities and frequently hosts the First Woodend Scout Group of Bristol-UK for their traditional exchange visits.

In 2005, 11 scouts and 1 leader attended EuroJam 2005 (European Jamboree) in Chelmsford, UK this year being the 100th anniversary of scouting.

Band Club[edit]

Our Lady of Carmel Society and Band Club (L-Għaqda Mużikali u s-Soċjali Madonna tal-Karmnu) was founded in 1985. Its premises in Hompesch Road were inaugurated in 1991. Teaching of musical instruments for free is one of the main goals of this band club, whilst the Band takes active part in the organisation of all local festivities throughout the year, and which reach their climax during the second week of July, when the titular feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated.

Zones in Fgura[edit]

  • Wied Blandun
  • Tal-Liedna
  • Ta' Ġerman
  • Ta' Penza
  • Ta' Tira
  • Tal-Foss
  • Tal-Gallu
  • Tal-Patri
  • Tax-Xemx u l-Qamar
  • Taz-Zilfa

References[edit]

External links[edit]