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By George Said

Even though he had the cheek to state half truths, Mr. Joe Apap in his reply on “The Malta Independent” Monday 27 August confirmed that St. Mary’s external festivities particularly the two band marches held in the evening of 14 August and in the afternoon in St.Mary’s day are characterized by incidents. Yet he failed to state the other half truth that such incidents are the result of organised provocations by the Leone Band Club supporters who excel in hurling insults and in doing indecent and obscene gestures which are witnessed every year by anyone who happens to be either in the vicinity of La Stella Band Club on the eve of St. Mary or in St.George’s Square at noon on St. Mary’s day.

I would not hesitate to state that the Committee of the Leone Band Club is happy with the situation. In fact every year it looks forward to prolong the march’s stay infront of La Stella Band Club by organising projected features on a screen mounted on four steel pillars erected a few meters from the same club as it did last year and again this year. By so doing it is extending the duration of stay of its insulting and provocative supporters thereat.

Mr. Apap himself stated that the band march held in St.George’s Square lasted “for almost two full hours”. This he called “a legal band march”!!! Since when had band marches infested with provocations, insults, as well as with indecent and obscene gestures become legal? Are such shameful behaviours more legal or less annoying than the pealing of church bells? Is that the festive mood with which the Leone Philharmonic Society and its supporters seek to celebrate the Assumption of St. Mary?

Since his consecration as Bishop of Gozo, Mgr. Mario Grech has never seized to insist and appeal for Christian manners and behaviour during external festivities of parochial feasts. All organizing bodies have complied but one. It happened to be the one which had been trusted with the organisation of the external festivities of St. Mary whose feast is the responsibility of the Cathedral Chapter and whose head happens to be the Bishop himself. What a pity!

Finally Mr. Joe Apap should have sought information or advice from the police officer who was directly involved in the investigations regarding the bomb which was placed on the door step of the Cathedral church before making unfounded allegations. He would have learned a lot had he done so. He could have also asked for or urged his Society to ask for the final outcome of the investigations in question. Or he could have kept his mouth shut and left souls of his ilk rest in peace. It would have been the best thing he could do.