The post-World War I years in Malta brought seismic shifts in the small island nation. The British Royal Navy which employed so many Maltese directly or through the Royal Dockyards laid off thousands of workers. Needing a place to go, many heard of the economic opportunity in a far away city, Detroit. These men, especially those who had trade skills, began to migrate to the United States in 1919, 1920, and 1921. By 1922, over five thousand Maltese had found a home and in many cases a job in Detroit. With most of these being men who later sent for their wives and children, the next decade would see the numbers of Maltese soar in the Detroit region.
The community, now settled in the city began to develop social organizations and established their own parish within the Catholic Church. St. Paul's Maltese Church opened in Corktown, as did the first ever Maltese Social Club. Later, small grocers, bakers, and other would begin to fill the needs of the Maltese in the city.
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