Postal address: c/- 4 Legh Street, Reservoir, Victoria 3072

Date Association founded:     1976
Date Senior Group founded:  1996

Association Objectives. The purposes for which the Association was formed are as follows:

  • To encourage, foster and conduct, educational, cultural and social activities for and on behalf of the Maltese Community;
  • To promote participation in celebrating National Festivities;
  • To promote and encourage sporting activities;
  • To undertake welfare work for and on behalf of and for the benefit of the Community; and
  • To provide social and Recreational activities especially for older persons of Maltese background through a group known as The Reskeon Seniors Group.

Association History

Reskeon Maltese Association Incorporated was founded in 1976.

The late Father George Xerri, of the Missionary Society of St Paul, sent Father Victor Shields, MSSP, to help form a group of the Maltese Community in the suburbs of REServoir and KEON Park (hence the name Reskeon). A committee was formed and that was the start of the association with its first President being John Gauci.

The aim of the association is to help better the social life of its members and the Maltese in Victoria, and at the same time help them to preserve and appreciate the Maltese Culture, the National Heritage and the Maltese language.

Although it’s a fact that the Maltese in Australia easily integrated with the Australian way of life, it is also a fact that the Maltese Community still search for everything that is ‘Maltese’ and take part in Maltese functions such as feasts and other events.

At present there are around 250 members in this association.

The committee organises around three Social Nights for its members at the Maltese Centre, Parkville during the year. The night commences with a Mass at the Chapel of St Paul’s, and then onto the hall of the Maltese Centre. On these nights, members gather to have a chat with family and friends, over a cup of tea or coffee with biscuits, and a light meal, along with a glass of wine or soft drink. A video of a documentary or a film or comedy in Maltese is shown on the large screen. These Social Nights are provided free of charge to all members.

Half way through the year there is the Annual General Meeting (with an election for a new committee every two years). A Mass is celebrated beforehand, when possible.

During Christmas time, the committee organises a Christmas Get Together with a meal, once again free of charge to all members. This is held at the Maltese Centre in Parkville, with Mass celebrated in the Chapel whenever an MSSP father is available. Music is provided by a DJ.

Other activities during the year are, trips to the beach and across the border. Other times we organise a weekend trip across the border with lunch and dinner and a cooked breakfast provided and included in the price of the trip. A few times a free barbecue is organised for Sunday lunch.

One of the main events of the association is the celebration of the Feast of Marija Bambina, also known as the Vitorja. On 8th September a Mass is celebrated at the Maltese Centre, attended by around 200 plus people. The statue of Marija Bambina is placed in the hall which is transformed into a chapel for the day. After a break of half an hour after Mass, where those present can have a cup of tea or coffee with some Maltese food, such as pastizzis, mqaret, qaghaq tal-ghasel, etc, the program continues with a concert of marches and other music provided by brass band.

The Saturday after, the Vitorja Dance is held. Normally it is held at Firenze Reception Centre, including a five course meal where music is provided by a DJ, and around 11 pm a brass band enters the ballroom and plays marches and creates the atmosphere as if you are in Malta in one of the village festas. People enter the dance floors with flags, banners etc. and dance to the music of the brass band.

Then on Sunday is the day of the Feast of Marija Bambina (Vitorja) which is organised by Reskeon on behalf of the Missionary Society of St. Paul. This is held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in West Melbourne, also called ‘the church of the Maltese’, because a great number of early Maltese migrants used to make their home and live in West Melbourne. In this very church the early Maltese had their marriages, baptisms and funerals there and these early settlers remember this church very well. The church is always filled to capacity (up to 2000 and more). All other Maltese associations take part and bring their banners with them. Young children are dressed in Maltese costumes. Members of the Order of St John of Jerusalem and those of the Maltese Ex-Services Association of Victoria also take part.

Two brass bands play marches for the occasion. If the weather is kind, a procession takes place through the streets with the Maltese Community following the beautiful statue of Marija Bambina. This is followed by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Another main event that had to be stopped a few years ago after 25 years, because the members of the committee and helpers were getting old for the heavy work it involved, without any doubt was Jum il-Maltin. This started as a picnic for the Maltese Community. Originally this was held in a park at Wandong. As it grew from year to year, a larger venue was found, the Clarke’s Oval in Sunbury. On a good day around 6000 people attended this day. During this day a soccer tournament used to be organised as well as a bocce competition, children’s races and ghana.

In 1996, when the Reskeon Committee realised that most of their members were getting older, it was decided to form a Seniors group. It started with 45 members and it grew and grew to around 320 members today. After two years they had to change their meeting venue because of space. They meet every Wednesday for a game of Bingo, bocce. Some members they gather for a chat. Members are served lunch for a very small cost.

During the year members enjoy three lunches, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the Christmas Break-up. These are heavily subsidized by the group where members pay less than half the cost. They enjoy trips across the border, or the beach, restaurant day, barbecues, etc. Members enjoy a free lunch during the Seniors Week.

Every three months the association publishes an eight-page newsletter which is distributed free of charge to all members and is sent as well to members of the Maltese Community around the world, in Malta, USA, Canada, UK, France, etc. It is also posted on different websites, such as allmalta.com and the MCCV website.

Presidents over the years were the late John Gauci (25 years), George Scicluna and George Colvin. Present Reskeon Maltese Association President is Caesar Vella who is also the present Co-Ordinator of the Reskeon Seniors Group.

RESKEON SENIORS GROUP

In 1996, when the Reskeon Committee realised that most of their members were getting older, it was decided to form a Seniors group. It started with 45 members and it grew and grew to around 320 members today. After two years they had to change their meeting venue because of space. They meet every Wednesday for a game of Bingo, bocce. Some members gather for a chat. Members are served lunch for a very small cost.

During the year members enjoy three lunches, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the Christmas Break-up. These are heavily subsidised by the group where they pay less than half the cost. They enjoy trips across the border, or the beach, restaurant day, barbecues, etc. Members enjoy a free lunch during the Seniors Week.

Reskeon Seniors participate in discussions and planning for older members in the community, especially in Darebin. Members of the committee attend from time to time at special forums and study groups, both about the welfare of the seniors community, about retirement homes, health and other matters.

Every three months the association publishes an eight-page newsletter which is distributed free of charge to all members and is sent as well to members of the Maltese Community around the world, in Malta, USA, Canada, UK, France, etc. It is also posted on different websites, such as allmalta.com and the MCCV website.

Co-Ordinators over the years were the late John Gauci, George Colvin and the present Co-Ordinator is Caesar Vella.

 

Committee Elections. Elections are held every year in August.

Committee Members for 2014/15

President                                Salvina Vella
Secretary                                Paul Vella
Treasurer                               Victor Pulis
Member                                  George Colvin
Member                                  Madeleine Vella
Member                                  Gerald Magro
Member                                  Melita Magro
Member                                  Joe Galea
Member                                  Sarah Catania
Member                                  Alfred Cachia

Membership.  Anyone is eligible to become a member by approaching a member of the committee and completing a membership application form. The membership rates are $5 for singles and $10 per couple. Membership queries to Secretary, Mrs Phyllis Vella (on 9395-3103 or by email to caesphyl@alphalink.com.au)

Newsletter. The Association publishes a quarterly newsletter which is circulated free of charge to its members.

Events. The Association organises the following events every year:

  • 8 September:      Mass of Marija Bambina at the Maltese Community Centre, Parkville
  • September (Sat. after 8 Sep):       Vitorja Dinner Dance at Firenze Receptions, Fawkner
  • September (Sun. after 8 Sep):      Feast Marija Bambina at St Mary Star of the Sea, West Melbourne
  • December 4:     Christmas Break-Up at the Maltese Community Centre, Parkville
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