Maltese American Community Clubs

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The first attempt to form a Maltese club in Detroit was made in 1920 by Tony Agius. He rented a small tenement on Michigan Ave and created a meeting place for his friends.

A club that followed was the Maltese Social Club, located on Trumbull and Porter Streets, headed by Joseph Fasi. A more formal Maltese club in Detroit began around 1922 and was called the Sons of Malta, with President John Spiteri. It was located on Howard and Third Streets. Other Maltese clubs followed.

The Independent Maltese Club of Detroit was established in 1940 and relocated to the current facility at 1832 Michigan Ave in Detroit. The non-profit club took on the new name of the Maltese American Benevolent Society Inc.

Maltese American Community Club of Dearborn

The Maltese American Community Club of Dearborn, Michigan, was organized by Maltese migrants in 1958 and the first President was George Zammit. In 1972, the club joined other local Maltese clubs in organizing charter trips to Malta.

Since the club did not have a building in the early days, members met to plan activities in basements, restaurants and other locations. Annually, the club organized a dance on New Year’s Eve, which was the most popular event.

In 1979, the Dearborn club bought a building, formerly owned by the Ukrainian American Organization on Oakman Boulevard in Dearborn. Club President Larry Zahra says “Many club members volunteered to help, bringing skills from all walks of life, to renovate the facility. The hard work continued for a number of years and still takes place today as constant improvements are made to the facility.”

2013 Committee

  • President - Larry Zahra
  • Vice President - Rita Vella Cruz
  • Vice President - Manny Agius
  • Treasurer - Chuck Vella
  • Secretary - Gary Grima
  • Financial Secretary - Mia Bonnici

Past and Present Club Presidents

Club presidents include Ed Caruana, Horace Spiteri, Ninu Abela, Edward Camilleri, Anthony Camilleri, Robert Fenech, Sam Flask, Larry Zahra and Paul Borg. Currently, Larry Zahra is Club President.

Maltese American Benevolent Society, Inc.

The Maltese American Benevolent Society, Inc. (M.A.B.S.I.) is a society situated in the heart of Corktown, Detroit. It’s main purpose is to promote the advancement of the Maltese American Community in the Metro Detroit and surrounding areas, as well as educate and welcome any other ethnicity to join and participate in our family oriented club. 
An eight-member executive board runs the organisation and membership is limited to Maltese, their descendants and their non-Maltese spouses. In 2007, the bylaws were changed to allow non-Maltese membership. The current President is Carmen Nino.

In 2010 the Society celebrated the 70th Anniversary, however the club has been situated in it's current location since 1963. The largest and most ornate event organized by the club is the Feast of The Virgin Mary (Marija Bambina), celebrated over Labor Day Weekend at the club.

Maltese pastizzi and other traditional Maltese foods are sold at both clubs.


  • Maltese in Detroit (By Diane Gale Andreassi, ISBN 978-0-7385-8337-2)