History of Ħal-Luqa
The village of Luqa came out as a seperate parish from that of Gudja in 1634 by a decree given by Pope Urban VIII. The day was the 15th of May which is still the day when the village celebrates the locality day each year. Before this time parishioners attended for Mass and baptised their children in the chapel of Bir Miftuh from which other parishes in the vicinity came out. We also know that there was already a growing community of people who were skilled in different trades such as builders and other craftsmanship.
One of the oldest areas in Luqa is the area of Tal-Karmnu where there is Carmel Street and Wied il-Knejjes. An important landmark to be found in this area is the old statue of St. Andrew carved in stone, where underneath it is a small marble plaque stating where the origins of Hal Luqa began.
During its history Hal Luqa has also been a witness to events that shaped also our country. In 1592 the village was hit by the Bubonic plague which devastated Europe and the Maltese Islands as well. A cemetry where the people which died from the plague is still to be found in Carmel Street Alley 4. Another sad episode was the cholera epidemic of 1850 which was the last epidemic to hit the islands. One can still find the cemetry related to this tragedy in Valletta Road.
Apart from the sad episodes mentioned here, one can say that from Hal Luqa came out many popular personalities who specialised in different areas such as Patri Damjan Taljan who was a wise 15th century Dominican priest popular for his homelies. Mikelang Sapiano who is well known amongst many Maltese people as a clock maker and engineer. Sebastiano Saliba was a popular architect in Malta and he was in charge of the works for the construction of the facade of the Church. Patri Indri Schembri is connected with the Christmas and related to the song Ninni la tibkix izjed.
Hal Luqa gained more popularity in the 20th century when the British started plans to build an airport. Surrounding the airport there were also civil service buildings which most of them still exist today such as the present offices of Water Services Corporation, residential buildings in Hal Farrug and most of Luqa Industrial Estate. The Airport was also a reason why most of Luqa was bombarded and demolished during the Second World War. It is known that there are about 19 public shelters in the village excluding the private ones. The villagers still recount the sad episode of 9th April when a bomb fell on the Parish Church and it was demolished. Another tragic episode during the Second World War was when a bomb fell in a well where there is today Pope Innocent Street and there was a shelter near it and water burst in this shelter and everyone drowned.
Being one of the largest airfields in Malta the airport of Luqa still kept its use after the Second World War after the British left Malta and was transformed in a civilian airport which still retains its function today. In the past there was also a hotel where there are the present administrative building of Water Services Corporation but this closed down. The new terminal was inaugurated in 1992 and from that time till today the Malta International Airport continued to expand to include new destinations and provide service from other airlines.
This small village with a large area still continues to face challenges that passes through them the rest of the country, it also tries to walk with the same pace as that of the same of Malta being the gateway of the island for tourists.