The Youth Section within the Soc. Filar. Mater Maria Gratiæ is trusted by the Executive Committee of the Society with a considerable number of responsibilities, mainly those of feast decorations and revelry during the feast marches organised during the annual Feast. The Youth Section also strives to instigate a pro-active spirit in young adolescents so that they get prepared for the eventual running of the Society themselves.
As history demonstrates, the eighties were of great importance for the Society. The Centenary
celebrations in 1983 led to a strong young element within the Society. During the year 1985, a group of people started working together to boost the revelry and fireworks during the feast of Our Lady of Grace and of course other celebrations. In fact, in 1986, a new set of artistic banners were inaugurated in Main Street, Zabbar
Quickly everyone felt the need to better organise this group of people who immediately impressed with their hard work and pro-active spirit. This led to a formation of a sub-committee in 1988 which became known as Fireworks Commission since in those days, fireworks, especially gas sticks and flares, played a substantial part of feast celebrations. Nonetheless, a few years later, new laws were introduced that prohibited street-fireworks during the marches in the festivities.
That is why in 1993, the Executive Committee felt the need to revamp the Fireworks Commission. As this Commission was not taking care of the fireworks alone but also other things, the Committee felt it would be more appropriate that this Commission is transformed into a Youth Commission, if only for the simple reason that its members were all young adolescents. During that year, therefore, the Committee also reviewed the regulations of the Commission so that it could start working better and in a more coordinated way.
Over the years the work of the Youth Commission has undergone continuous developments. From year to year, its work improved in both quality and quantity. It is useless to attempt to just make a list of all the work that the Commission has done over the years. The impressive crowds that participate annually in the feast marches organised by the Society, are testimony to the potential and ability of this Commission. Today, other societies (even from Zabbar) pursue ideas that have originated from this Youth Commission. Some of its very ambitious projects though, have never been successfully reproduced by anyone. Suffice to mention the national record holder gigantic umbrella which accompanies the Maria Mater Gratiae Band during its traditional Te Deum march on Saturday morning. This is a marvellous piece of art and engineering, manufactured entirely by the members of this Commission.
Today, the Youth Commission continues to excel in several areas. The number of persons, originating from the Youth Commission who have already taken up their posts within the Executive Committee of the Society is just a confirmation of its success, while the countless number of adolescents who already recognize the importance of voluntary work within our Society only mean a longer history of successes.
Thus the Youth Commission today looks to the future with renewed enthusiasm and optimism, and with a strong belief that the successes of the past are a mirror of the future.
The committee of the Youth Section is elected every year by it’s members during the annual general meeting. The committe is currently chaired by Mr Brandon Sciberras.