OUR ASSOCIATION IS 34 YEARS OLD TODAY
Thirty-four years ago today, on Wednesday 12 June 1985, a group of fourteen persons who were passionate about the fascinating history of arms and militaria met in an office in Marsa and agreed that Malta was lacking an organisation which represented their interests and which was ready to take their desires to the next level.
They had answered to a call by Stephen A. Petroni, who at the time was campaigning against a Bill intended to subject the importation of collectors’ items to customs duty and who felt that there was no one to speak for arms and militaria collectors.
Those present at the meeting read and approved a draft statute setting up the ‘Arms, Armour & Militaria Society’ (AAMS) and elected an ad hoc committee to get the ball rolling. The members of this committee were:
- 001 Stephen A. Petroni
- 002 Gaston Agius Fernandez
- 003 Charles Sciberras
- 004 Alfred Cuschieri
- 005 Philip de Domenico (late)
The other nine who attended, who were given membership numbers 006 to 014, joined as members and, together with the other five members are referred to as the Founding Fathers.
- 006 Joseph Borda
- 007 Francis Galea Naudi
- 008 Carol Marguerat
- 009 Saviour Garcia
- 010 Mario Facciol
- 011 Joseph Scerri
- 012 Mario Gauci
- 013 Godwin Hampton (late)
- 014 Joseph Schembri
The young organisation then led and organised other collector bodies active in various fields into one lobby group for the purpose of presenting the Government with its objections and recommendations. Eventually, the Bill was amended and the new Act re-established the duty-free status of collectors items and antiques. Thus, AAMS scored its first of many successes and contributed to the gradual enrichment of our country’s cultural heritage.
Strong determination and a sense of civic awareness were to characterise AAMS and later AMACS interventions whenever cultural and sporting issues of national interest were at stake. The Association has set a very impressive track record since those early days. Here some principle achievements:
- successfully lobbying for a change in Customs legislation, 1985
- organisation of the first arms and militaria exhibition, 1986
- organisation of the first re-enactment event, 1988
- introduction of black powder shooting sports, 1989
- first use of full-scale dioramas in an exhibition, 1991
- proposing EU Directive-based gun legislation, 1992
- lobby for revised policy on collectors and target shooters, 1995
- introduction of target shooting, 1996
- setting up of the Gun Owners Federation of Malta, 2000
- proposing and drafting of the new Arms Bill, 2003-2004
- realising the objective of introducing the Arms Act, 2005
- concluding the publication of the Arms Licensing Regulations, 2006
- achieving further improvements to the Arms Act & Regulations, 2013
- Federation of Arms Collectors & Target Shooters with AACTS, 2016
AMACS continues in its mission to serve the community and help it in achieving its objectives for the greater good of the nation.