The idea of a Touring Club goes back to 1975, when the founder- of Touring Club Malta, Dr Philip Agius, was the fiduciario aziendale of Touring Club Italiano in Malta. Later on, Agius wished to help a British tourist in Gozo that needed assistance for a “towing service” and the tourist car was towed through a rope from Gozo …. Transferred on the ship and then to Malta, to Valletta port. At that time, it was difficult to find a towing truck! The AA were here in Malta when there were British forces in Malta. Agius insisted to know of any organization internationally “how to help stranded tourists in case the car breakdown”.
The Maltese going overland was difficult for them to find towing assistance schemes.
In 1984, after starting the idea of the Maltese club, and after suggestions from overseas, the idea of organizing the “Touring Club Malta” was established. First we got the permission to use the word “Malta” from the authorities and also the club must be under the patronage of the authorities. So the Minister of Tourism accepted to be our first Hon. President and under his Patronage.
Agius tried to find somebody to help in towing service. At first, a committee member the late Mr Sunny Azzopardi offered to help with his Ford tow-truck. Later on, ACI of Italy donated a towing truck to Touring Club Malta. Since the club is a voluntary NGO club, it was difficult that an idea of a towing service to become a Company. Through shareholding one facilitates the idea with various more financial help than an NGO! Infact although we imported a towing truck, we paid various taxes on importation of such towing truck. Even to import an educational video-cassette, we had to pay customs tax! Through Mr Agius efforts, the club was financially helped by the founder because such idea of a touring club not to be lost or to be closed! Agius travelled at his own expense, and also Charles Bartolo, to see how foreign clubs work. They congratulated us that in Malta, their members will be helped so that was a good step to help the tourism industry, through towing assistance ..in 1984. Today we have President Architect Mannie Galea. Joe Soler also went overseas to see a Camping Rally.
The idea of towing services was entering into Maltese too and we have seen the creation of towing services in various localities. It was a good idea, like the Samaritans and after all such idea was also morally to be accepted, helping those who are in need. But as a club, without some form of financial help, suffered a lot. We needed help and asked the AIT if we can do a co-operative and they accepted the idea. We created a co-operative of towing trucks and begun to help foreign motorists in Malta. We helped also foreign motorists when they needed medical assistance. We contacted their club and they sent Airplane ambulance such as a member from TCS, ADAC etc… We helped even to send damaged car, repatriation and not the first time that we helped AA members in Malta. Obviously we have seen the majority of tourists with their vehicle to Malta from UK, Italy, Germany. We know and contacted AA, RAC, ACI, ADAC, AVD, TCS, TCB when they needed help.
We committed ourselves to Reciprocal Agreement, so that our members will be helped overseas. We were for a year, 2000, also taking care of motoring sports of the FIA and in that year we issued an international driving permit for a motoring sports enthusiast. Eventually, due to lack of interest, we resigned from the motoring sports activities because the fee was very expensive for us and various other commitments. So we concentrated on Mobility, automobile and touring only in the AIT/FIA. The idea of a setting up the Malta Transport Museum was accepted by the Minister of Education i/c Museums and in fact we have the permission to set up the Transport Museum of Malta. Once you give ideas, glad that others follow! The idea of camping sites was our idea too and we gave the idea of camping sites to the authorities and later on we had to submit our application for a Motoring Caravan site or rather our touring caravan site, but unfortunately we did not win the tender. We had to submit and enter in competition to acquire a caravan site for our club members. You know how many difficulties, our club had to face in these years since it was officially founded in 1984! We do care about persons with disability and we formed a group to support those who suffered a car accident and we founded the DBA (Disabled by Accident). They need psychological help and with various helpers this DBA been founded and the first helpers in the committee were the John and Miriam Collett from Bbugia. Unfortunately John passed away few years ago but also they were keen on camping and since we were also members of the FICC, they represented our club overseas. They travelled at their own expense and the Maltese Flag was there.
Years passed, and were not easy to continue with our club. Financial assistance was very difficult and the committee, especially the founder had the responsibility since was a founder to continue helping the club financially. Today, the club seems to be re-organized through new faces and am glad that we established ITS MALTA (www.itsmalta) through the help of the President of ITS Slovakia, they have done the website for us as ITSMALTA (Intelligent Transport Systems) and few years ago we were the first to sign the EU Road Safety charter and eventually we will be making an art exhibition soon.
Members are receiving the FICC-CCI card. This is an important Card to be used in foreign REGISTERED WITH THE AUTHORITIES camping sites.
The club is registered as an NGO with VO and registered trademark too. TCM fills regularly the Income Tax Return and presently we are under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism.
Our activities are various but we do take notice what the FIA, with whom we are affiliated, do activities as being advised by them. Recently we distributed T shirts on the agenda “Make Cars Green”. We do care for Environment too! The importance of ROAD SAFETY IS OUR TOP AGENDA. Let us prevent traffic accidents. Be member of the Touring Club of Malta. We need your support. Members bring members. Drivers must not be alone in Malta. Be a member of a Club that is affiliated with a big Organization i.e. the FIA; And the FICC. TCM is a member of the Malta Road Safety Council where its Vice Chairman is Dr Philip Agius PhD., MA., BA., FIPD Lond.
Mr Pierre Vella, General Manager of the MRSC, is the TCM’s PRO.
For more information: TCM PO Box 60 Bkara MALTA
We are straining every muscle to have a suitable premises, probably in the nearby future so that members can meet even socially and discuss their motoring experience as we used to do in the 80’s. You must be proud of an Organization that survived all these years, never closed notwithstanding the many difficulties it found on our island. Be linked with us, be a member and enjoy the many benefits that we are planning for you.
Some members meet at Mellieha with their Motorcaravans/MotorHomes every Sunday.
Touring Club Malta wishes to thank all those Members, Committee members that helped the Club in its creation, we must not forget those who helped us and passed away. We had beautiful moments and let us as good drivers show the world that in Malta we are there as a club, an NGO that helped the foreign driver and tourist in Malta/Gozo. Thanks to Founder and the Committee members, for all these years helping the club to survive.
Let us continue with your assistance in giving Malta, an image of good Maltese Drivers.
On the 25th Anniversary, we were proud to announce that we have MTC Towing 24 hrs a day services, we normally have committee meetings at the Phoenicia Hotel, Floriana, and have contacts with travel agency through MALTATOURS at Msida, Malta. We welcome FIA club members and wish to see someday an FIA conference meeting in Malta. The DBA disabled by car accident is a pressure group and wish to be known by auto clubs so that they do the same section to help those members who now are at home and cannot driver anymore!
Touring Club Malta was founded in 1984 with the vision to assist motoring tourists visiting Malta. Since then, the club included cycling, camping and caravanning groups within its sub committees.
P.O. Box 60, B’Kara