“My sister was the first one to die” – young teenager among victims of bombing 76 years ago
The Second World War is still alive in the memory of many older people and from time to time the events of those terrible months are commemorated through historical presentations and exhibitions.
On Sunday, Zejtun commemorated the 76th anniversary of the tragedy which hit this area.
Salvu Abela remembers 2 May 1942 as if it were yesterday. Salvu is now 82 and recalls that it was the last day he would ever see his sister Carmela alive.
While gazing at his sister’s death certificate, he said that Carmela was just 14 years old. She had gone out to do an errand near the Zejtun parish church when she was buried alive during a heavy bomb strike. The bombing, which took place during the peak of WWII, left 28 people dead.
”My sister was the first to die because they picked her up in a box…she had gone to do an errand for someone, my mother used to say,” said Salvu Abela.
Zejtun yesterday commemorated the events of 76 years ago though dramatized scenes, an exhibition of old army vehicles, traditional games and other exhibits.
A Victory Kitchen was also set up to complement the atmosphere which the people of Zejtun used to experience. The public also had the opportunity to see the type of bombs which used to be dropped on Malta while various stories describing what that period was like, were read out.
Among those helping out were voluntary organisations such as the Sea Cadet Corps. Officer Keith Caddick said that the role of cadets, which originated from the British naval forces, has evolved over time.
”It’s all about giving children confidence, it helps them when they go in to their adult life and jobs, to achieve team work.”
The activities were organized by the local council and the organistion, Zejtun Organisation to Empower You which works to create awareness about the town.