WW1 Centenary Commemoration

Report by CSL Anita Muscat
6th November 2014

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning

On Thursday 6th November, the Group commemorated the centenary of the First World War by participating in an ecumenical service in remembrance of those Gozitans who lost their lives during WW1. This was organized by the Gozo Group of the British Residents' Association and presided by H.E. the Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Mario Grech at St George's basilica. The Group's chaplain and Archpriest Emeritus Mgr Joseph Farrugia was one of the co-celebrants together with Archpriest Paul Cardona, representatives of the Anglican Church and the Presbyterian and Methodist Congregation.

The Minister for Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo, the English High Commissioner, the Australian High Commissioner, representatives of the British Legion, the Mayor of Victoria, Dr Samuel Azzopardi, members of the Gozo Group of the British Residents' Association, members of the Police Pipe Band and members of the Armed Forces of Malta were also present. The congregation prayed for the eternal repose of those who were victims of this war, those who "fought bravely and gave the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives that conflict may cease and people may live in peace." They also prayed that "the value of peace be endorsed, sought and cherished by all in our time."

Members of the Group marched up the aisle and took up positions with the colours (flags) on the altar. During the reading out of the names of Gozitan servicemen who died in the First World War, Scouts carried lit candles and placed them on the altar. Following this, a trumpeter sounded the Last Post during which the flags were lowered. This was followed by silence and Reveille. The church ceremony ended with the Maltese and the UK National Anthems.

The Scouts later formed a guard of honour during the unveiling of a commemorative plaque placed on the outside of the basilica.

Photo update to be uploaded soon...