Declaration by Leone Philharmonic Society

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Replying to a report in The Times on the 16th of August 2008, the Leone Philharmonic Society hereby objects and condemns the way this report was drafted and communicated to the public and wants to avail itself of the right of reply granted to it under article 21 of the Press Act. This report erroneously implies that our Society or any of our supporters were in any way involved with what actually happened at St. George’s Church in Victoria, on the eve and feast-day of Santa Marija.

The Society was not and does not want to be involved with what actually happened at St George’s Church or the involvement of La Stella Band Club.

The real sequence of events which took place within the precincts of St George’s Church is something which has to be exclusively established by the Police and the Ecclesiastical Authorities. It is up to them to investigate and to take the necessary steps which are deemed necessary in the circumstances to guarantee the observance of the law and maintenance of public order and to curb any abuse of the bells at St. George’s.

Unfortunately the report in the Times of Malta published on Saturday, the 16th of August 2008 directly suggests that the Leone Philharmonic Society or its supporters were in some way or another involved with the protests and incidents which took place in St George’s Church or the chaining of its bells, when this was definitely NOT the case.

Actually the feast of Santa Marija was celebrated very smoothly without any incident or problem. This can be confirmed by the thousands of people who literally packed the streets in Victoria and Citadel as well as the police officials who were under the constant supervision of Mr Joseph Brincat Assistant Police Commissioner and Superintendent Antonello Grech. Both were at all times in control of the situation. The Leone’s Society officials cooperated fully with the directions given by the Police Officers who were in charge. Indeed, the problems which cropped up at St George’s Church did not in any way effect the proceedings of the feast of Santa Marija. Confirmation to this effect can also be provided by the Gozo Ecclesiastical Authorities.

Dr Michael Caruana

Mr Joseph Apap

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