Celebrating birthdays has become a common trend even to the point of spending a good amount of money and featuring it on Facebook as if it were an event to celebrate on a grand scale! What about commemorating the two hundredth issue of a newsletter or periodical that has survived for almost four decades and kept going strong the link between a parish and its parishioners far and wide? This is exactly what Il-Belt Victoria, the official review of St George’s Parish Basilica, is doing.
It was early in 1981 that during a seminar presided by Bishop Nikol Ġ. Cauchi, Dean of St George’s Collegiate and the late Mgr Emmanuel Mercieca, who was then Archpriest, it was decided that St George’s Parish should have its own bimonthly publication. The first edition of Il-Belt Victoria was issued in July-August 1981 to coincide with the titular feast of St George. Since then, the Parish remained faithful to its decision to have its own ‘voice’ and never looked back.
Hundreds of articles have appeared in Il-Belt Victoria covering different themes varying from the historical and cultural to the liturgical and pastoral. Events that took place at the Astra Theatre and others connected with the La Stella Band have also been published in it. Il-Belt Victoria always found the constant support of the various Archpriests of St George’s throughout the years and it has featured important events such as the centenary celebrations of 1984 and 2003, as well the Papal Visits by Saint John Paul II in May 1990 and that by Benedict XVI in 2010.
In the age of the internet and the mobile phone, Il-Belt Victoria continues to serve its purpose of connecting together the many parishioners and benefactors of St George’s Basilica scattered in all four corners of the world.