Two Victories of Malta – 1565 and 1943 – commemorated in Xaghra
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The two Victories of Malta – 1565 and 1943 – were commemorated during a ceremony held in Xaghra Square this morning, watched by large crowds of locals and tourists.
Organised by Xaghra Parish, in conjunction with the National and Regional Celebrations Committee within the Ministry for Gozo and Xaghra Local Council, the ceremony included reenactments of the Great siege of Malta 1565, the Black Plague 1814 and scenes from the Second World War, by the Xaghra Historical Reenactment Organisation.The ceremony, attended by the Minister for Gozo Dr Justyne Caruana and Xaghra Mayor Joe Cordina, among other dignitaries, concluded with the laying of wreaths in front of the Great Siege monument, temporarily set up in Victory Square, and was followed by the National Anthem.
The end of the Great Siege of 1565 is commemorated on the 8th of September, this year marks the 453rd anniversary of the Great Siege of Malta; the epic 1565 battle that made a legend out of a little island that, against all odds, withstood invasion from an empire.The Great Siege of Malta commenced in May of 1565 when the Ottoman Empire began invading the island of Malta, which was then occupied by the Order of the Knights of St John.
After several months of continuous battle and bloodshed the Siege came to an end on the 8th of September, a date that continues to be commemorated with the annual public holiday Il-Vitorja.
It also marks the end of the French occupation of Malta in 1800 and coincidentally enough, the armistice of the Fascist regime in Italy in 1943.The connection with Malta in 1943 was two-fold: the bombardments by the ‘Aeronautica’ were over and the Italian Navy was brought to Malta to remain moored at St. Paul’s Bay until the end of the war.
Photos by Alain Salvary