Nestled on the east of the country, at the inner most part of the Marsamxett Harbour, Msida is a gem. A gem on its own merit which connects our capital city, Valletta, to the booming touristic area of Sliema. For many people in Malta, Msida is either a city from where they pass through regularly or else since it’s also home to the University, Junior College and the Mater Dei Hospital, they go to it to either study or for health reasons; yet for us who live in this beautiful city, Msida is home.
Sometimes I look back over the last 30 years and see how I remember Msida from my youth and compare it to how it is today. One thing that strikes me is that with all the improvements in technology, with all the infrastructural improvements that our country’s seen over the decades, Msida is still pretty much the same as to how I remember it back in my youth.
Apart from having the square done up, the occasional street resurfaced and some maintenance on our pavements, can anyone identify what has changed in a positive way over the last three decades? If we look back a bit, I remember a time when I celebrated my First Holy Communion, we were a group of over 200 kids celebrating it. There were so many of us that the whole church was packed with smiling young children with our beaming parents next to us. Today you’ll see a small group of a few dozen celebrating the First Holy Communion.
My favourite memories from when I was a kid was the time I spent as an altar boy at St. Joseph Parish Church. Such lovely memories! We were always over forty altar boys at any point in time. I made many friends during the 10 years I spent as an altar boy in Msida and most of us are still friends today. If we had to look at the Msida altar boys nowadays one will find a much smaller group.
Over a period of 20 to 30 years, Msida’s demographics slowly changed. Whilst before one used to see a lot of young couples moving to Msida to raise their families here, today Msida is home to an older population. Over a period of time Msida’s children started looking at property outside of Msida in order to start their own families. A testament of this is that from all my childhood friends only a handful of us still reside in Msida. Most went to seek pastures new outside of our locality. As a result, Msida’s demographics changed dramatically and the reality today is that we now have an ageing population and a vacuum in the properties that surround our houses was hence created.
This vacuum was filled by various entrepreneurs that saw the potential of our locality and invested in it in order to have a multitude of different apartments, which they can easily rent out, mostly to foreigners. This created a new industry in our locality where apart from having locals that live here, we also started to integrate with foreigners who came to Malta to work or study as well as the ever-growing Gozitan student population that live within minutes of the limits of the University.
This also created its own issues especially when it comes to parking. Since houses are nowadays being developed into apartments, most of which without their own garages for the tenants, this is increasing the parking demand exponentially. Where in the past you would need a parking space or two for each house, in the same area today you’ll have four apartments or more, and so you need an average of four to eight parking spaces or more for the same width.
Next year there’s going to be the Local Council elections throughout the whole country, with that in mind I plan on sharing many different proposals that I have for our beautiful home town. Most of these proposals are ideas that I’ve gathered from the many house visits I’ve done in Msida over the years. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to publish these proposals every few weeks starting from tomorrow.
Looking forward to discuss how we can further improve our beautiful home town,