Il-Kunsill Lokali tal-Imqabba
|Borders||Kirkop, Luqa, Qrendi, Siġġiewi, Żurrieq|
|• Mayor||Noel Galea (PN)|
|• Total||2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi)|
|Population (Nov 2005)|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)|
|Demonym||Mqabbi (m), Mqabbija (f), Mqabbin (pl)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Assumption of Mary|
Mqabba is a town in the south of Malta, situated in the heart of a soft limestone area. The surroundings of the village is barren and stripped with quarries. Mqabba has around a quarter of the quarries in Malta.
With around 3,700 residents, Mqabba has the characteristics of a typical Maltese village, with stillness prevailing in the small streets of the village. Mqabba was built around the Parish Church, the landmark of the village. The church is dedicated to the Assumption, with its feast being held every 15 August. The feast of Our Lady of Lilies (Madonna tal-Gilju) is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
The two band clubs of the village are situated in the piazza. The village feasts are popular with the residents. Other feasts celebrated are the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, Corpus Domini and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
Other landmarks in the village include chapels dedicated to the Lady of Sorrows, Saint Basil, Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint John. Mqabba also has 139 cubic metres (4,909 cubic feet) of catacombs which were discovered in the 1860s.
The motto of the village is 'Non Nisi Per Ardua' which translates into 'Only with Ability'.
The importance of Mqabba is shown by the archaeological remains found in the vicinity. Extinct animals were found in quarries at "Ta` Kandja" and "Tax-Xantin". A sign that Neolithic people lived here was evident with the discovery of a cave found in a site known as "Bur Meghez". One of the most important discoveries in Mqabba is the Paleo Christian "Mintna Catacombs" found in Diamond Jubilee Square in 1860 by Dr. A. A. Caruana and Capt Strickland. The ritual table known as the "Agape" table dominates the whole structure of tombs. Archaeological details were studied by Mayr. Becker, Zammit and Bellanti.
Important structures include the Vincenti Tower.
The main church is dedicated to Assumption of Our Lady. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to 8 December.
The titular statue found in the church, that of the Assumption of the blessed Mother of God, was made by Alessandro Farrugia in 1836 and was made similar to the statue of the Assumption which is found in Ghaxaq, made out of wood. The photograph shows the statue in its original form, as it was prior to 1928, when a new sarcophagus made of silver replaced the original wooden one seen in the picture. Apart from the sarcophagus, the statue itself has lost none of its characteristics.
The Assumption of Mary is celebrated on 15 August, and is also celebrated in Qrendi, Gudja, Ghaxaq, Mosta, Attard and Victoria (Gozo). It is all celebrated in the same day, as a tradition.
The parish feast which is organised between 8 and 15 August, brings to Mqabba fireworks enthusiasts as the St. Mary Fireworks Factory is a d renowned Fireworks group. The group won the first edition of the Malta International Fireworks Festival in 2006 and brought the most important honour in the villages history when it won the Caput Lucis Fireworks World Championships in 2007 in Valmontone a province of Rome in Italy after competing with seven of the world's most successful firework companies.
The secondary feast fireworks displays take place on the 3rd week of June of each year, the Feast in Honour of Our Lady of Lilies. Ground and Aerial Fireworks display are held on each day of the Feast. The main fireworks event is held on Saturday, eve of the Feast.
- Les Etoile d'Or du Jumelage in 1998 (European Union award for twinning) - achieved by the King George V Band within the Society of St. Mary and King George V Band Club Mqabba for a twinning with the Corpo Bandistico Santa Vittoria in Matenano a province of Ascoli-Piceni in Italy.
- The Malta International Fireworks Festival in 2006 won by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Caput Lucis - 'Campionato Mondiale di Fuochi d'Artificio d'Autore' in 2007 won by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Won the National Competition for the decoration of the Band Clubs fascade during Christmas
- Won National Live Crib Competition in 2007 won by the Youth Section within the Society of St. Mary and King George V Band Club Mqabba
- Won II National Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival in 2008, by the Lilly Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Won IV National Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival in 2010, by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
Fireworks world record
- The Guinness World Record for the largest Catherine wheel
A self-propelled vertical firework wheel was designed by The Lily Fireworks Factory and fired for at least one revolution on the eve of the village feast of our Lady of Lilies The Lily Fireworks Factory, Mqabba, Malta possess the record, burning a Catherine Wheel with a diameter of 32 metres, on 18 June 2011. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/Search/Details/Firework---largestCatherinewheel/48123.htm http://community.guinnessworldrecords.com/_World39s-biggest-Catherine-Wheel-is-fired-in-Malta/blog/4275972/7691.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150216998546220_16898701_10150217188316220#f364eef7dc
- Society of St. Mary and King George V Band Club (Socjeta' Santa Marija u Banda Re Ġorġ V) - www.santamarija.com
The foundation of the society dates back to the 1910, with the establishment of the King George V Club. The aim of the club was to organize the feast of Saint Mary (traditionally known in Malta as Santa Marija) in Mqabba during August.
In 1939, the society introduced music when Giuseppe Galea, a musician member of the club, started giving music lessons. In 1945, soon after World War II, he founded the Orkestra Santa Marija. The first concert was held on 12 August 1945 and was directed by Mro. Espedito Deguara. On 20 October 1946, during a general meeting, the members of the club decided to shift from the concept of an orchestra to that of a band. In three months, the members of the Orchestra changed their orchestral instruments to band instruments so that on Sunday 29 March 1947, the King George V Band performed its first concert, directed by Mro. Joseph M. Barbara. The band hads had another four conductors namely: Mro. Leonard Spiteri (1951–1956), Mro. George Martin (1956–1991), Mro. Anthony Camilleri (1991–1997). Mro. David Aguis, the present Conductor, was appointed in March 1997.
Highlights from the history of the society include:
- The Proclamation of the Dogma of Our Lady Assumpta (1950);
- the 50th and 75th anniversary celebrations (1960 and 1985 respectively);
- the 50th anniversary from the ‘Convoy of Saint Mary’ (1942–1992);
- the 50th Anniversary from the foundation of the Orchestra and eventually the Band (1996 and 1997);
- the 400 years from the foundation of Mqabba Parish (1998);
- the award of the Etoile d'Or du Jumelage (1998);
- the 50th anniversary from the proclamation of the 'dogma'; and
- the winning of the First Malta International Fireworks Festival (2006).
- In 1996 the society began establishing contacts and exchange programs with bands around Europe. These relations led to a twinning programme with the band from Santa Vittoria in Matenano, Italy and a visit of the King George V band to Italy (1996). Bands from around Europe have visited Malta and Mqabba for the feast of Saint Mary.
In June 2007, the King George V band has visited Italy for the second time as guests during a Musical Festival known as La Festa del Socio. In August 2007, the Saint Mary Fireworks Factory was invited to participate in Caput Lucis, an International Fireworks Festival held in Rome, Italy where this factory classified in the first place and was crowned as Champions.
In April 2010 the Ground Fireworks Section within the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba won the IV Malta Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival held at the granadies Floriana, winning the categories for Best Mechanism, Best Products and Originality as well as the Overall price.
*Our Lady of Lily Band Club - Lily Band (Is-Soċjetà Mużikali Madonna Tal-Ġilju - Banda Madonna tal-Gilju) www.talgilju.com The Lily Band Club of Mqabba was established in 1911, originally under the name of Circolo Pio X. The aim of this club was the organisation of the feast of Our Lady of the Lilies, held annually in Mqabba. The first President of the club was Mr Paul Caruana, a local businessman.
The Lily Band Club has developed into an organisation which has its own premises, a fireworks factory and an organisation set-up consisting of a Youth Section, a Women's Section, Pyrotechnic Section, Band Commission, Bandstand Commission, Sport’s Commission and the support of the Confratemity of the Immaculate Conception. The club organises single handedly the feast of Our Lady of the Lilies every June and the feast of the Immaculate Conception in December.
During the 1920s the club under the leadership of Mr Raymond Ellul moved to new premises at 15, Church Square, Mqabba. It was also during these years that Mr Baskal Xuereb began his work on the street decorations for the feast of Our Lady of the Lilies. The Second World War meant a severe set-back to both feast and club on 9 April 1942 as an aerial attack destroyed part of the parish church and several houses in the village. It also caused damage to the statue of Our Lady of the Lilies. The statue is the workmanship of Mr Giovanni Darmanin and was inaugurated on 21 May 1876.
On 9 December 1945, the Lily Band performed its first musical programme. Thus the band became the first band of the village. The founder and bandmaster was Mro Joseph Darmanin. Later on the Lily Band Club became a member of the Malta Band Clubs' Association.
The history of football in Mqabba goes back to 1915/1916 during World War I, when a team used to play in an area of the village known as "il-Mentna". In 1944, at the end of World War II, a new team was formed in the village by Maltese soldiers stationed nearby. This early team had to be content to play with other Armed Forces teams and teams from neighbouring villages in friendly matches on a pitch whose land is now taken over by the Luqa Airport runway.
Due to mass emigration following World War II, the team lost several key players and was struggling to stay afloat until 1950 when the Mqabba Ramblers team was set up, consisting mainly of players from the village itself.
During the season 1956/57, the team entered the Malta Amateur Football Association (MAFA).
In 1957 another football club under the name of Mqabba Hajduks was set up.
For the next three years there was fierce rivalry between these two clubs in Mqabba, particularly when they competed head-to-head in the Inter Amateur Soccer Competition. To some, the rivalry within the same village seemed unproductive for either club, hence the clubs were united into one team under the name Mqabba Hayduks FC for the 1960/61 season in the MAFA second division.
In the 1962/1963 season, the MFA accepted their application; following in the fottsteps of other small village football clubs such as Dingli Swallows, Qrendi, Kirkop and Ghaxaq.
In 1969, the Hajduks found themselves out of the MFA, and had to be contented playing in friendly matches and as a guest in the Amateur Cup of that year as organized by the M.A.F.A. The Mqabba Hajduks were not allowed to re-enter the M.F.A. Third Division until the 1972/73 season.
- 1957 • Mqabba FC founded
- 1975/76 1st Honour, Minors Section B Winners (Coach: Pawlu Farrugia)
- 1975/76 Runners Up 3rd Division
- 1977/78 1st Promotion, Section A Winners from 3rd to 2nd Division, (Coach: Alfred Lapira)
- 1979/80 Runners Up in 3rd Division Knock out, vs. St. Patrick’s (Coach: Jimmy Brifa)
- 1981/82 Winners of Section A 3rdDivision
- 1983/84 Winners of 2nd Division (Coach: Jimmy Briffa)
- 1984/85 Runners Up 1st Division and promoted to Premier (Coach: Marcell Scicluna)
- 1985/86 1st time in Premier (Coach: Marcell Scicluna)
- 1990/91 Winners of 1st Division (Coach: Sascha Burisof)
- 1991/92 2nd time in Premier (Coach: George Busuttil)
- 1992/93 Runners Up in 1st Division (Coach: Tarcisio Azzopardi)
- 2000/01 Winners of 2nd Division (Coach: Anthony Grech)
- 2003-06 3rd in 1st Division, seeking promotion to Premier
- 2006/07 Runners Up in 1st Division (Coach: Joey Falzon)
Mqabba Albions AFC
In 1997 Richard Spiteri, Pierre Micallef and Arthur Pisani set up Mqabba Albions Amateur Football Club. The club was affiliated to the Malta Amateur Football Association and participated in the league organised by the same association for ten consecutive years. The club's greatest achievement during these ten years was the promotion to the First Division in 2004/05. For the season 2008/09 the club joined the Swan Football League, and in 2009/10 joined the Inter Amateur Soccer Competition.
The home colour of Mqabba Albions is red, being the same colours depicted on the emblem representing Mqabba. The away colours are orange and black
Mqabba FC Youth Nursery
The first attempts to establish the Mqabba F.C. Youth Nursery date back to 1993, when Joe Bugeja (id-Demsey), gathered children from the village and gave them the opportunity to acquire basic football training.
In 2000 Joe Farrugia shared his thoughts with Mr. Mark Bondin about establishing a football nursery. A group of 20 trainees all aged under 12 attended training with Mr Bondin, who is today the Nursery’s Head Coach. This season coincided with the promotion of the Mqabba F.C. senior team to the 1st Dvision. The following season (2001/2002), the number of children doubled and the U/10 section was introduced, with training being held twice a week. The U/12’s had an impressive year, having good runs in YFA Tournaments and finishing Runners Up in another two tournaments organized at Zebbug and Zurrieq.
In 2002/2003 the trainees attending for regular training rose to 70. Tracksuits and kits were introduced for training sessions and matches.
A new 5-a-side synthetic pitch adjacent to the renovated sandy pitch enable the nursery to improve the quality of the training. Apart from these, new premises were erected for the nursery to have its own facilities. During the season, the squads were divided in U/6, U/8, U/10, U/12, U/14, U/16 and U/19. The number of trainees attending training rose to 160 with 15 coaches organizing 16 training sessions per week. Training sessions were coordinated by two Head Coaches with UEFA "B" License, Mr. Mark Bondin and Mr. Darren Micallef.
The 2008 - 2009 season saw the installation of synthetic turf on the nurseries main ground together with the building of dressing rooms, equipment room and an administration office.
For the 2009 - 2010 seasons, the nursery invested in a qualified coaching team.
In 2010, Mqabba FC Youth Nursery celebrated its tenth anniversary. The logo chosen for the celebration was "For the good of the Young". Several activities were organized with the main one being a reception organized at the nursery premises in the presence of Onor. Clyde Puli, Parliamentary Secretary for Youths and Sports.
Zones in Mqabba
- Ħajt tal-Matla
- Ħal Millieri
- Ta' Kandja
- Tax-Xatba l-Ħamra