Festa-ivities build to next year's 50th

THE annual Maltese festival Festa, in Greystanes, launches into action on the last weekend of September.

It celebrates the day when prayers to the Maltese patron saint were believed to have saved the country from further invasion by the Turks during the 16th century.

The two-day festival has entertained thousands of people across Australia since 1965.

The president of the Festa committee, Joe Spiteri, said he was thrilled he'll celebrate the festival's 50th anniversary next year.

"I've been on the committee since it started and I'm glad to see the community continuing the traditions from year to year," he said.

"There are so many things to do and it attracts people from all over Australia because there are only three churches in Sydney which celebrate the Festa.

"I really look forward to celebrating with my friends and family."

Festa starts with a large statue of the Maltese patron saint, Our Lady Queen of Peace, being taken out of its glass case and carried by committee members around the Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish grounds.

Others sing and pray the rosary.

The statue holds a special place in the parish because it was transported from Rome after fund-raising efforts by church members.

Celebrations continue on Sunday with a mass, food stalls, bands and rides. The festival ends with fireworks.

■ Details: olqp.org.au.

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