The Malta Independent 12 July 2024, Friday
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Book launch of ‘Is-Salesian Brigade, l-Istorja Tiegħu u Ġrajjietu’

Sunday, 2 July 2023, 08:50 Last update: about 2 years ago

Written by Joe Camilleri

On 26 May, the Salesian Brigade officially launched its new publication Is-Salesian Brigade, l-Istorja Tiegħu u Ġrajjietu, a 600-pager that depicts the history of the Brigade and the 113 years of services rendered towards children, youth and the Salesian Oratory.

In a special occasion at the Salesian Brigade Upper Camp Barracks in Għajn Tuffieħa, the Commanding Officer, Leonard Falzon invited all members and their families, NCOs and officers, Salesian of Don Bosco and Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco. Gerald Vella of the Gal Majjistral Action Group Foundation delivered an address about the EU funding system and the NGOs. The commanding officer explained how the funds helped towards the publication of this book, the purchase of new musical instruments for the Corps of Drums, the publication of the History of the Upper Camp of Għajn Tuffieħa, researched and written by Patricia Flores Martin, complete with a Maltese translation and the provision of a miniature greenhouse for saplings to be distributed to our members.

Joe Camilleri, the researcher and editor of the book, thanked all those who helped towards the publication of the book, including his family, the Salesian Brigade Core Group, the Salesian Press and Gal Majjistral for the funding. Joe invited all friends of the Brigade and of the Salesians to find time to read the book as it not only relates to the history of the Brigade but also to the Salesians of Malta and Gozo, especially the Salesian Oratory. The book will be of interest to the young readers but especially to the adults who have frequented the Salesian Oratory as past pupils. Current members of the Brigade finally can boast that they have a reference book that they can refer to. This was truly an important occasion for all those who have the Salesian Brigade and the Salesian Oratory at heart. Mementos were presented to the author and Trisa Camilleri for their dedication towards the completion of this publication. Copies of the book were signed and distributed by the author to all those who were present for the occasion during refreshments.  

In the book one may encounter controversial and interesting stories such as when the Brigade was in the papers because of the militarisation exercises offered to its members or when the band entered triumphally in Valletta through the crowds celebrating the VE Day or when the Corps of Drums played in front of a huge crowd in Palermo's La Favorita Stadium during La Marcia di Primavera celebrations.

The book, written in Maltese, has almost 1,500 photographs, and has an introduction by Karm Busuttil, an ex-SBB member and former president of the Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco of the Salesian Oratory.  Some of the chapters explain the Brigade foundation and inauguration, its chaplains, the commanding officers, important Brigade events, affiliations, S.B.B. Dingli, the relationship with the Oratory, the Colours, the patron saint, the vision and its motto, weekly meetings and membership, the militarisation controversy, WW2, the uniforms, its band and Corps of Drums, parades, important religious events, hikes and outings, social activities, campings, sports and competitions, and also curiosities and milestones of the Brigade, the Oratory and the Maltese Salesians in general. The book also contains an appendix section and quite an extensive bibliography.

Anyone interested in getting a copy, against a donation, is to pay a visit to Fr Francis Zammit SDB at the Librerija Tagħlim Nisrani of Sir Adrian Dingli Street, Sliema.


Joe Camilleri is Salesian Brigade Lieutenant


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