1 Pope Francis appoints Maltese Bishop for Miami, USA

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1 Pope Francis appoints Maltese Bishop for Miami, USA
EMAIL: [email protected] Website: www.ozmalta.page4.me
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"Bring us to you and we will bring you together".
We value diversity and believe that it is an essential ingredient in creating balance within a group and within the world. We sincerely
believe that
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We must respect, value, and be open to learn from all those who are around us – family, friends and neighbours.
Pope Francis appoints Maltese Bishop for Miami, USA
Pope Francis has appointed
Msgr. Peter Baldacchino as the
Auxiliary Bishop of Miami, USA.
Msgr. Baldacchino is currently
serving as the Chancellor of
“Missio sui iuris” of Turks and
Caicos and the pastor of Our
Lady of Divine Providence on
the island of Providenciales.
He was born December 5, 1960,
in Sliema. After attending
elementary school in Msida and
secondary school in Santa
Venera, he obtained a degree in
Computer Science from the
University of Malta he worked as
a technical manager of a bottling
As a seminarian of the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Kearny, New Jersey, in the
Archdiocese of Newark, he pursued his ecclesiastical studies at the Seton Hall University in South Orange, getting the
Master of Divinity in 1996. He was ordained a priest on May 25, 1996. On March 30, 2009, Msgr Baldacchino was
appointed Chaplain of His Holiness, the Pope. The new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Miami, Monsignor Peter
Baldacchino, was picked by the pope and will be the right-hand man to Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who has been leader
of the Miami Archdiocese since 2010.Baldacchino said, "I am looking forward to doing the plan of God, as revealed to me
step by step and also through his grace, Archbishop Wenski, who's the chief shepherd."
Archdiocese of Miami Archbishop Wenski said, "I think bishop elect Mgr. Baldacchino is a good fit for Miami because of
his wide experience."
ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS Carmen keeps giving.- Such a generous life
What a treasure … Carmen Testa has spent the last 57 years volunteering to help
Maltese migrants adjust to life in their new country. She’s won numerous awards
including a Medal of the Order Of Australia and now she’s been named one of
Brimbank’s Living Treasures.
A battle with jaw cancer may have slowed her speech but it hasn’t dampened Carmen
Testa’s community spirit.
Since arriving in West Sunshine from her homeland in Malta in the early 1950s Mrs Testa
has strived to improve the lives of those in her community. After retiring from teaching 25
years ago, Mrs Testa founded the Western Region Maltese Community Council Women’s
Group, to help break down the barriers experienced by culturally isolated women.
Mrs Testa has also chalked up thousands of hours volunteering for other community
organisations including the Maltese-Australian Welfare Association, the Maltese Elderly
Citizens of West Sunshine and St Paul’s church in Sunshine.
Her tireless dedication to the community has bagged her numerous awards including A
Medal of the Order of Australia, the Council of the Ageing Senior Achievers Award and an
award from the Prime Minister of Malta. At 76, the West Sunshine resident shows no signs
of slowing down.
Two years ago she was diagnosed with jaw cancer, a crippling disease that took its toll on
Even today, Mrs Testa continues to have difficulty talking but after 10 operations and chemotherapy, has been given a clean bill of
health. “It’s been a very difficult time for me but I have been determined to stay
She was recently honoured for more than 50 years of community service when she
Her remarkable story will feature in a new exhibition at Deer Park’s Hunt Club.
Despite the honour, Mrs Testa remains humble about her achievements.
“I’m just doing what I’ve been doing for 57 years,” she said. “I’m just trying to do
what I can to help the community. I don’t feel that I have done anything special but
I feel very proud to be recognised.”
(Photo) Author Olwen Ford, left, reads her new book Harvester City with Sunshine
residents Carmen and Frank Testa.
TALES of migrant families have filled the pages of a new book about the making of multicultural Sunshine. Sunshine residents Frank
and Carmen Testa have their story featured in the 592-page book which recounts their move from Malta to Sunshine in 1951.
Mr Testa said when he first arrived as a teenager there were plenty of jobs available at nearby factories, but the community had
to work together to build new shops and houses.
“You had to build, you had no choice. You’d build a little bit, and a little bit, until we have now. It was very hard,” he said. “But we were
happy. It was beautiful. We came from a packed area in Malta and we loved the space.”
Ever entered a home so warm it embraces you at the threshold? For years I caught glimpses of Carmen Testa’s life through
the beaded curtain of our mutual friendships. Although I had never met her, Carmen’s love of people and her God pierced through our
separate lives and touched me. Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband Frank for the first time on the 9th of
February. On that day, Carmen told me she had retired from teaching 25 years ago. I disagree, for on that day, the conversation we
had confirms to me that she is still actively teaching – by osmosis – how to live the gospel. Carmen migrated to Australia and arrived
here on Australia Day 1951. Nine months later, Frank – who was her boyfriend at the time –
followed, and two years after that they were married. They had eight children – unfortunately they
lost one at birth.
(Photo) Carmen Testa with Dr. Tonio Borg in Melbourne
Frank has always supported Carmen in her community work, so much, Carmen always says:
“Behind every man there is a woman but in our house it's the opposite, behind this woman there
is that man.” Her community spirit has been evident since she was 11 years old and has
continued throughout her life. You might assume that raising seven children leaves little time to
help others, but Carmen has proven that it’s possible to successfully nurture family and support
neighbour. Even as a child growing up in Malta, Carmen helped other people. She was rare in her ability to read and write thanks to
her parents who “Valued education,” she said. And consequently, she was often asked by people in her village to fill out forms for
On arrival to Australia, she continued helping fellow migrants with basic needs: I know what it’s like to have a family and to struggle. I
used to make deb. dresses for those who couldn’t afford it…We’re very community orientated; people are important to us. Our house
has always been a warm and friendly one. My children’s friends were always welcome.
Carmen’s ventures include: a women’s group she founded in 1987, to give new arrivals and widows a social and spiritual network –
which still runs today. “(As a group) for 25 years we sponsored five World Vision kids. The people involved used to pay $2 each per
month. (Some of us) went to meet them.”
Also, she has been a regular speaker on the Maltese radio station 97.4 FM and she has raised money for the Augustinian
Orphanage whenever possible. Thankfully, her contribution to the Maltese and migrant community has not gone unnoticed. She has
received honours for:
Manoel De Vilhena Award (A Cultural Award, awarded by the Prime Minister of Malta for work within the community) in
C.O.T.A. Senior Achiever Award in 1996
Medal of the Order of Australia in 1998
V.M.C. Premier's special Commendation Award in 2001
Certificate of Recognition / Year of the Volunteer in 2001
Outstanding Achievement in Promoting cultural Diversity - Victorian Immigration and Refugee Women's Coalition
{VIRWC} in 2004
Medalja tal-Qadi tar-Republika (MQR}.This is the equivalent of the Order of Australia but awarded by the Prime Minister of
Malta in 2005
Living Treasure - Awarded for community work by Brimbank Council in conjunction with the Hunt Club in 2010
Although these awards are impressive, her strength and resilience amid 50 hours of surgery and 10 operations is incredible.
Today, her courage shines brightly as a survivor of cancer in the jaw. Carmen attributes her strength to the support of her
faith, family, friends and community.
This amazing lady also believes that you must persist in order to survive your ordeals.
I get up, when I’m not healthy I stay and read. When I pick up, I go and do things. You don’t want to give up and there’s always people
worse than you – visiting nursing homes and sick makes me realise how much you have to accept it (your situation). Clearly, despite
the pain and suffering she has experienced, Carmen advocates self motivation, “Believe in yourself. Don’t give up. You have
to fight on.”
Trusting that you and the family are doing well. First of all my whole family cannot thank you enough for working so hard
to prepare such a beautiful and most informative newsletter.We have been in Australia for 62 years but as one says – You
can take a Maltese out of Malta, but you cannot take Malta out of the Maltese.How true is that,because every single item
in your newsletter is read by all of us.My husband and I have sixteen grandchildren. Some of them have been to Malta
and some are going this year so you can imagine the interest that they have in Malta . You are to an extent educating
them because of the amount on history that they have learned from you. Keep up the good work .May God bless you and
keep you in good health. Best regards
FrankTestaMelbourne AUSTRALIA
Agreement sought for Maltese entrepreneurs to explore business
opportunities in Italy
Minister for the Economy Chris Cardona says government is set to finalise new industrial policy.
An agreement to facilitate Maltese entrepreneurs in exploring new
business opportunities and technologies in Italy has been struck,
Minister for Economy Chris Cardona said. Speaking during a meeting
with Flavio Zanonato, Italy's minister for economic development,
Cardona explained that the government is committed to provide a
platform for businesses to adopt an economic vision for international
After discussing the 'destinazione Italia', the Italian government's project
to attract more investment, Cardona said the government was
committed to provide similar opportunities for Maltese businesses to
expand their operations.
Meanwhile, Cardona said Malta Enterprise's restructured Business-First programme is set to facilitate the government in
addressing the stumbling blocks that hinder companies from establishing their operations in Malta.
The minister also explained that Malta's first industrial policy, is set to be finalsed by the government.
Highlighting the importance of the sustainability of small and medium businesses, Cardona said the government is striving
to address the sustainability, a case in point being its work on the new legislation for family businesses. The meeting took
place after a series of meetings between industry representatives at a European ministerial conference in Rome. The
minister and his Italian counterpart also discussed the Euro-Mediterranean project, the interconnector and the gas
pipeline as well as the forthcoming meeting between the ministers for competitiveness.
Hello world, welcome to Merci Mama, a site dedicated to sharing my love of food and cooking with you. I’m Jules, a foodophile (I hate
the word foodie) from the moment I could eat solid foods. I am from Melbourne Australia, with a Japanese mum and a Maltese dad,
there was no question that loving food was in my genes.
Maltese rabbit stew Serves 4
What you need:
1 rabbit cut into 8 pieces – you can ask the butcher to do this for you
500ml red wine
1 bulb of garlic, finely chopped
olive oil
1 bottle of tomato passata
1-2 tsp sugar
3 bay leaves
2 medium carrots, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks and parboiled
1/2 cup of frozen peas
salt and pepper
1/2 packet of spaghetti or angel hair pasta
What to do:
You will need to start this recipe the day before. Cut your rabbit into 8 pieces and marinate overnight in red wine ensuring that the
rabbit is covered in the wine. The next day, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pan, like a le creuset. My dad likes to use an
electric frypan as he likes to be able to put it on a very low simmer, so you can use this as well if you have one. Cover the base of the
pan with the garlic and cook for a few minutes on low heat, be careful not to burn the garlic. Put the pieces of the rabbit into the pan
and cook until browned. Take out the rabbit. Add the bottle of tomato passata and slowly bring it to the boil
Put the rabbit back into the pan. Add the wine that the rabbit was marinated in and also add the bay leaves. Add 1 to 2 tsp of sugar to
balance the acidity of the tomato. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the rabbit is tender and almost falling off the bone. Add the carrots
and potatoes in the last hour of cooking and towards the end add the peas. Season to taste. Boil the pasta and for entrée dish up a
small serve of pasta mixed with the sauce of the rabbit stew. For main, serve the rabbit and vegetables with a green salad and some
crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
Food – glorious maltese food
We decided to head up to King Street and seek
at Pastizzi,
servingMaltese food. Pastizzi has been a mainstay
Newtown restaurant for longer than I care to
remember and I was hoping like crazy that they
would be open as I was getting more than a
Lady luck was shining on us as not only were they
open but they had row upon row of delicious
looking Pastizzi for us to devour. But first we start
Pastizzi, a popular Maltese dish, are a little
diamond shaped pastry (either filo or puff pastry)
filled with either a savoury filling, like Ricotta, or
something sweet like cherry. And boy, are they
We decide to stick with the savoury and I limit
myself to just three seeing as they are not exactly
a health food with all that flaky pastry. After
drooling at the counter for about 5 minutes I ended
choosing Spinach
Ricotta, Pea,
and Salmon Dill and Ricotta. My favourite would
have to be the subtle flavour of the Spinach and Ricotta - a classic combination in my books.
Mama Malta’s pastizzi Co.. at Nimbin N.S.W. Australia
Nimbin is a village in the Northern Rivers area of the Australian
state of New South Wales, approximately 30 km (19 mi) north of
Lismore, 33 km (21 mi) southeast of Kyogle, and 70 km (43 mi)
west of Byron Bay..
Maltese Traditional Foods – it-tokk restaurant – rabat - gozo
Maltese Capers –
Kappar Malti
Hand picked capers from selected rocky areas and rubble walls in
picturesque places like Xlendi, Dwejra and Ta` Cenc. Well prepared
and preserved in brine using a traditional recipe to obtain a natural,
genuine taste. It is already matured and ready to be served
especially in salads.
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Tadam Imqadded
Selected Gozo grown tomatoes handpicked and traditionally
processed with salt in June/July and left to dry for about 4 days in a
temperature of above 35 ° C. It is then pressed and preserved in
olive oil – Grandma says that it can last for generations.
Gozo Cheeselets –
Gbejniet t’Ghawdex
Produced in chosen sheep farms around Zebbug, Ghasri and Gharb,
using both the traditional and contemporary methods of milking and
processing. When these cheeselets are dry they are marinated and
preserved in wine, vinegar, salt and pepper. They can be served
both as a delicacy by themselves and with salads.
Gozo Fig JamGamm tal-Bajtar t’Ghawdex
This is manufactured locally and considered to be an old cottage
industry. Being a Mediterranean island, Gozo has an abundance of
delicious fruits especially Figs known as Tin in Maltese which are in
season in August. A large quantity of this fruit is manufactured into
jam. Available in 212ml.
Carob Syrup - Gulepp tal-Harrub
Manufactured traditionally from well selected juicy carobs without any
preservatives. It was used as a tonic for soar throat and it is still used
as such today. Ingredients: Carob sugar and water.
The Fig tree (Maltese: Siġra tat-Tin) is known by the scientific name of Ficus carica. This common tree is found
growing in all types of environments ranging from valleys to rock fissures and even disturbed habitats and bastions. It is
thought that this small-to medium-sized tree was introduced in ancient times because of its edible - and rather delicious fruit.
Although this well-known tree with twisting branches may exceed ten metres
in height, it is usually more wide than tall. Its stems and branches, which are
smooth and slender, usually produce a white sap when wounded - this
unfortunately being an irritant to the human skin. Its large leaves resemble
an open hand and its flowers are small and enclosed in a fleshy, pearshaped pouch with a small opening at the tip, which is commonly referred to
as the fig fruit. The fig is pollinated by a specific wasp which reaches the
flowers through the opening in the ‘fruit’.
Depending on the varieties, the common fig can produce fruits in different
periods of the year. Different crops may be produced: Large early figs (
bajtar ) appear before or along the foliage, the true figs ( tin ) are borne on the young wood, and these are followed by the
late figs (tin imħawwar). The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by man and has many uses. Figs can
be eaten fresh or dried and are also used in the making of jam, cooling drinks and sorbets. The fruit is also a rich source
of calcium and fibrE.
The Maltese Monument In Sydney
The Maltese Monument was built as part of the Bicentenary
Celebrations in 1988 when the Australian government and people were
celebrating the 200th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. It
was 200 years since Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Australia in 1788
with the First Fleet and the first convicts to start the Colony of New
South Wales.
For the Bicentenary Celebrations the Federal Government was
encouraging the different communities in Australia to undertake suitable
projects for the occasion.
The Maltese Community Council of NSW decided to build a Maltese Migrants monument and appointed a sub committee
to carry out this task. The names of the members of the sub committee are inscribed on the Monument. Also inscribed on
the Monument are the names of the executive committee of the Council which guided and helped the sub committee.
Some of these people are with us today.
The project was started some 18 months before the Bicentenary Celebrations and required a lot of hard work and
persistence. With the financial assistance of the Federal and State governments in Australia and of the government of
Malta together with the grant of this land by the Holroyd Council, the Maltese Community Council acquired the necessary
resources to complete the project. The monument was designed by a Maltese architect and built by a Maltese builder.
As you can see the pillars are the wings of the eight pointed Maltese Cross and on each pillar is inscribed important
information relating to the Maltese Community such as the history of Maltese migration, the associations, Maltese names
and so on. This information is inscribed on bronze plaques to last for many years to come. The visitors can examine this
information for themselves.
In addition to the pillars, the Monument has an attractive floor design and brick fence with a pipe structure. Buried in front
of the pillars is a time capsule containing information about the Monument and the Maltese Community, which is due to be
opened in 50 years from the completion date of 1988. The monument is situated in Pendle Hill, one of the earliest sites of
Maltese settlement in Western Sydney. It is the original site of the Maltese and Gozitan market gardeners which later
became the site of the poultry industry which is now dominated by Maltese origin persons – the Baiadas , the Cordinas
and Paces.
The Maltese Community Council holds many functions for the Community in front of the Monument, the most important
being the yearly remembrance of one of Malta’s national feast days, the Sette Giugno or the 7 of June. Official visitors
from Malta are always invited to visit the Monument. In all these activities the MCC is always assisted by the Holroyd City
First draft of Child Protection Act
The Minister for Families and Social Solidarity Marie Louise Coleiro
Preca and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice Owen Bonnici presented
the Draft Act on the Protection of Children
This chapter will offer stability and puts children at the center the Labour
governments policies.
Minister Coleiro Preca explained how this law has risen from the bottom up
with consultations among children, biological parents and foster carers as
well as other interested parties.
Parliamentary Secretary for Justice Owen Bonnici said this was an important
moment as it was the fruit of the efforts of many people.
As Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, he said he was obliged to choose experts in this field who would work in the best
interests of children.
He said the government had already made ammendments to the Children's Act and through this draft the government will
continue to strenghten and protect children's rights.
This law is proposed to enter new concepts including permanent foster care and freeing for Adoption while providing a
center for Child Assessment and a Children's House with the aim to reduce the trauma children go.
St Paul’s Catacombs in Rabata, Malta
Across Europe in some famous and, let’s face it, some other less famous and downright bizarre
venues, you’ll find tourist attractions called ‘dungeons’. There are fake ones in London,
Amsterdam even Blackpool, for example, that aim to scare you witless with their spooky tales.
They have their place I suppose, but Malta has the real thing! A genuinely scary place - the St
Paul’s Catacombs in Rabat!
So, if you want to spend a couple of hours in a proper spooky place, then a visit here is
something to go on your agenda. Because while the pretenders overseas merely tell spooky
tales, this is a genuine complex of Roman catacombs that incorporates the final resting places
for more than 1,000 bodies.
This labyrinth of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that hail from the 3rd century AD also represents the
earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta. The Catacombs of St Paul derive their name from their proximity
to St Paul’s Church and Grotto. They are located in Rabat, on the outskirts of the old Roman capital Mdina, specifically
because Roman law prohibited burials within the city.
The site consists of two large areas, littered with more than 30 underground burial chambers, of which the main complex
comprises a complex system of interconnected passages and tombs. The murals found in the catacombs are of
significant interest, as they are the only surviving evidence on the Maltese Islands of painting from the late Roman and
early medieval periods. The entrance to the main complex of St Paul’s leads to two large halls, decked out with pillars,
which look like Doric columns. The halls are equipped with two circular tables set in a low platform with sloping sides
hewn out in one piece from the living rock, which resemble the reclining couch present in Roman houses. These are
known as Agape tables and they were most likely used to host commemorative meals during the annual festival of the
dead. The catacombs are thought to have been abandoned during the period of Saracen occupation of the island, when
burial customs changed. However, parts of them were put into service again during the re-Christianisation of the island
somewhere around the 13th century.
The underground complex was then abandoned again and the site fell into disrepair until it was cleared and investigated
in 1894 by Dr A.A. Caruana - the pioneer of Christian archaeology in Malta.The catacombs are open from Monday to
Sunday from 9am to 5pm and admission is €5, with reduced rates of €3.50 for students and OAPs, €2.50 for children
aged 6 to 11 and free for under 6s. There are good and frequent bus links to Rabat, which is right next door (within easy
walking distance) to the former capital of Mdina. The catacombs are in St Agatha Street, a narrow street running through
the town centre and it is well-signposted. If you’re in a car, park near the Domus Romana. It’s about 5 minutes’ walk from
Nursery rhymes in Maltese
On Reading Nursery
Rhymes With
These Maltese nursery rhymes are designed for children who are learning how
to read Maltese. Preschoolers and Kindergartners enjoy picking out the words
they can read in their favorite nursery rhymes.
All children take great delight in the rhythms and melodies of tunes.
Remember, your singing voice doesn't matter -- even a jolly rhythmic chant will
do, if you are hoarse. The emphasis on the melody and rhythm also helps the
child learn the rhyme, increasing their vocabulary, and verbal skills. Even very
young children will also imitate the songs, and have favorites they ask for. I
have heard children as young as a year and a half
trying to sing their favorite nursery rhymes.
Aghmel, xita, aghmel
halli jikber il-haxix,
il-haxix intuh il-moghza
il-moghza ttina l-halib.
il-halib intuh in-nanna
in-nanna thitilna qmis
One of the greatest inventions ever to come about during the
Industrial revolution was the steam engine. The first commercial
steam engine appeared in 1698. Here, in Malta, this great
invention took a long time to reach our shores. In fact almost two
centuries passed since the introduction of the first trains. The Malta
Railway was officially inaugurated on February 1883 and lasted for
a period of around fifty years.The train was lovingly known by the
Maltese, as 'Il-Vapur tal-Art', meaning the land steamer. The dark
green carriages were constructed out of wood and framed in steel
chassis. There were only first and third class carriages. Prior to
the introduction of electricity, carriages were simply illuminated by
candles. After 1900 the carriages were lit up by electricity.
Trains were expensive to run and the introduction of trams and
buses adversely affected the Malta Railway. Buses soon became
popular. After almost 50 years the train performed its last service
on the 31st of March 1931 . Unfortunately, from a total of 10 engines and about 34 passenger carriages, nothing is left to
remind us of the existence of a railway system except for one surviving carriage which can be found in Gnien L-Istazzjon
in Birkirkara.
The carriage that is in the garden is very dark, with no windows at
all. I wonder why they were constructed in this way. Was it
because they were third class carriages or for safety measures?
The Railway station at Birkirkara, is one of the most well preserved
buildings in Malta. For a number of years, the station was used as office for the Local Council. Now it is presently being
used as a childcare centre. The building is surrounded by pleasant gardens.
The website of the Maltese/American expatriates – worth visiting - http://www.starsandstripesmalta.com/
Ta' Pinu Sanctuary – GHARB Gozo
If you visit Malta’s sister island of Gozo, you’ll notice
that the pace of life seems much more relaxed than in
Malta. It’s peaceful, more tranquil, generally more
laidback and so it’s the perfect setting for the Ta’ Pinu
Sanctuary in Gharb.
The origins of the Ta’ Pinu are unclear and steeped in
folklore. What is known is that initially, the property was
owned by the noble family of ‘the Gentile’. In 1575,
Monsignor Pietro Duzina, made a pastoral visit to the
property under orders of Pope Gregory XII. He found the
church to be in such a poor state that he ordered it to be
demolished along with several others on Gozo.
However, this church would be the only one on his list to
survive because when a workman tried to start the
demolition and struck the first blow with his pick, it
resulted in him breaking his arm. This was seen as a sign that the property ought to be preserved after all and so it was
The church changed hands in 1585 and became known as ‘Ta Pinu - that is ‘of Philip’ after Pinu (Philip) Gauci, who was
the procurator of this church, paid for its restoration and commissioned the altar painting of the Assumption of Our Lady in
1619 by Amadeo Perugino. This work was called Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu.
The story of the church is woven around this painting and outside the church are the words ‘Ejja... fi hdan Marija, issib lil
Gesu’ – ‘Come, Jesus is found in Mary’s arms’. Following on from the broken arm incident, the next reported apocryphal
moment in Ta’ Pinu’s history occurred in 1883, when a 45-year-old spinster and devotee of the Blessed Virgin, Karmni
Grima, heard a call when she was returning from the fields.
She says she heard a woman’s voice say: “Come, come!” The devout peasant woman followed the mysterious voice and
realised it was coming from the image of the Virgin inside the church, who told her to recite three ‘Ave Marias’. This might
well have been dismissed as the deranged musings of a mad woman had it not been for the fact that in the intervening
years three miracles were attributed to the Grace of Our Lady of the Assumption. Within a short time the little chapel
became a devotional shrine and a place of pilgrimage.
And so, in 1887, the church authorities agreed to erect a larger church in the Romanesque style to handle the crowds and
the foundation stone was eventually laid in November 1920. The new church was consecrated in 1932 and in 1935 Pope
Plus Xl elevated it to the status of Minor Basilica. The shrine was visited in 1990 by Pope John Paul II, who celebrated
mass in the forecourt.
The small museum found towards the back of the Basilica contains a lot of artefacts of interest, including an offering of a
silver heart which contains a record of one of the first organised pilgrimages to the shrine in 1895. Funding has recently
been secured to restore the museum along with 12 works of art by Maltese artist Joseph Briffa. You'll also find an odd
collection of plaster casts, trusses and other medical bits and pieces from people who have been cured after offering
prayers at the church. The museum is open on Sundays from 8am to noon but the church opens from 6.30am to 7pm. It
is closed between 12.15pm and 1.30pm. Admission is free but be sure to dress appropriately or you will be given a cape
or dodgy skirt to wear and they only get washed once a week and it's very hot!
To find Ta’ Pinu take the Gharb road from the capital, Victoria and just before you arrive in Gharb the road forks. Take the
right hand fork which is Triq Ta’ Pinu, which eventually leads to the church. It is also possible to get to the church using
the excellent bus service.
WORLD WAR1 1915-2015
1914 - 1918
(thanks to Wayne Saillard on Malta for these great
reference images set here)
Malta was justly described as
the Nurse of the Mediterranean during WW1. In all 27 hospitals
and camps were set up. The peace establishment of the RAMC in Malta in 1914 was 23 officers, 150 other ranks and
12 nursing sisters of the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service. On the declaration of war, the majority of
regular RAMC officers were withdrawn from Malta for active service elsewhere, and replaced by four RAMC Territorial
Force officers, four officers and nearly two hundred men of the
1st (City of London) Field Ambulance TF.
Malta had four military hospitals in 1914. The Military Hospital
in Cottonera, Mtarfa Barracks Hospital, St Julian’s Forrest
Hospital with 20 beds used mainly for venereal diseases, and
the Valletta Station and Military Families Hospital. There was
also a small military hospital on the neighbouring island of
Gozo and the large RoyalNavalHospital at Bighi.
Ambulances at St Andrews Hospital - Malta - circa 1915.
LAZARETT HOSPITAL – Manoel Island, MaltaThe first batch
of 600 casualties from the Gallipoli landings arrived on 4th May 1915. Barges of wounded men were unloaded gently on
to the quayside outside Valletta’s ancient Sacra Infirmaria hospital, which can still be visited today. It was built by the
Knights of St John in the sixteenth century and has one of the longest wards or halls in Europe. From here the wounded
were sorted and moved on to the other hospitals around the island. Local Boy Scouts ran errands for the soldiers, posting
their letters and bringing them magazines. There was a cool garden at the back of the hospital where a weekly concert
was held for the patients.
An additional 39 nurses arrived on 7 May 1915. A total of 240 medical officers,
567 sisters and VADs, as well as 1,760 men of the RAMC attended the sick and
injured. In October 1915, a combined Franco-British force was landed at Salonika
to assist Serbia in its war against Bulgaria. From Salonika came 2,600 officers,
including members of the nursing services. Up to 64,500 other ranks were
received at the hospitals of Malta up to August 1917, the majority arriving during
the summer and autumn of 1916.
The Australian/New
casualties from Gallipoli and Salonika were
initially treated at Malta and Egypt. In 1917, however, submarine attacks on
hospital ships made it unsafe to evacuate from Salonika, and five General Hospitals were mobilized in Malta for service in
Salonika so the number of beds in Malta fell to just under 13,000. The number of sick and wounded treated in Malta from
May 1915 up to February 1919 was approx 58,000 from the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and 78,000, from
the Salonika Expeditionary Force. Not all patients survived of course. Private Donald Haldane of the Royal Fusiliers died
of wounds received at Gallipoli and is buried along with the other casualties in Malta’s Pieta Military Cemetery. To be
Father Robert Cassar O.Carm
With new Arrivals from Malta
Everything about this attraction screams at you that it shouldn’t work! It’s essentially the leftovers of the set from a not
particularly good or successful Disney film that was made more than 30
years ago. Even the website with tedious introduction and looped sea
shanty gets right up your nose! And yet it provides a terrific and fun day
out, especially for young families! The fantastical Sweet Haven Village, to
give it its proper name, occupies the shores of one of Malta’s most
picturesque locations in the northwest corner of the island close to
Mellieha Bay.
This makes you wonder how the devil they got permission to build it in the
first place? It represented a massive investment by the producers at the
time, especially when you consider it involved 165 men working for more
than seven months to put together the 19 wooden buildings and the 200ftplus breakwater built to protect the precious set from the sea.
Popeye the movie, which starred Robin Williams as the famous, mighty-
forearmed ‘sailor man’, would eventually prove to be a fairly sensible investment. It might have cost $20 million to make
but it brought in $50 million in the US alone and another $10 million in other parts of the world. A solid performance,
despite some fairly dismal reviews.
Anchor Bay hosts this still surprisingly pristine ramshackle seaside village, which played host to the six-month shoot of the
musical blockbuster. The late Robert Altman helmed the entire location shoot resulting in the story of Popeye searching
for his lost father, Poopdeck Pappy. He stumbles upon Sweet Haven village, befriends an eccentric burger eater called Mr
Wellington Wimpy and rents a room from Olive Oyl, the soon-to-be love of his life.
Popeye’s motto through the film is ‘I Yam what I Yam’, and this rings true to this very day. After all these years this ‘way of
thinking’ has swept the entire village and all those who visit the village are transported back in time, when the simple
things were those that mattered most. All the buildings are kept in their original state, save for some added safety
features, since these structures were only intended to offer a backdrop for the film's scenes. Detailed inspections are
undertaken on a daily basis and the maintenance team is on the go 24/7.
But aside from marveling at the detail and devotion exercised in creating this magical place, there are also bags of fun
activities on offer, such as boat rides around Anchor Bay, silversmith demonstrations, wine-tasting, open-air beach lido
with shower and baywatch attendant, inflatable trampolines and slides just offshore in the sea and a terrific kids’ pool with
climbing frames and slides under a sensible sun shade plus a fun park with plenty of rides. Entry to the Fun Park is free
but you’ll need to buy tokens for the rides. You get to meet characters from the film; actors who spend the day wandering
around the village and put on regular performances. So pack your swimming things and head off to Popeye Village, which
30-plus years on continues to welcome thousands of satisfied visitors each year.
The first documented Maltese arrived in Canada in 1826 and the majority
came after World War II. In the community’s heyday during the 1970s and
1980s, there were more than 45,000 Maltese in Canada, though the 1986
census reported a population of only 21,855. In the latest census, only 4,675
people in Toronto identified Maltese as their mother tongue.
While most Maltese immigrants came earlier in the last century as economic
migrants, Toronto Maltese historian John Portelli said the last wave, arriving
here between 1977 and 1982, fled political instability back home.
Migration from the small Mediterranean country has literally ended since, as
its own economy thrived.
“The older generation started dying gradually, no more immigrants are coming and some have returned,” said Portelli, a
professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. “The community is definitely
declining. The language is lost among the second generation.”
The Maltese’s success in integrating into Canadian society also contributes to its own decline, said Portelli, who came to
Canada in 1977 with a Commonwealth scholarship for his graduate studies at McGill University. Up until the early 1980s,
the old Maltese Village in Toronto’s Junction area was home to more than 8,000 Maltese Canadians, who now have
spread across Greater Toronto.
The number of social clubs in the Junction has dropped from nine to four. Just a few years ago, the community’s monthly
newspaper, L-Ahbar, also folded, apparently due to declining circulation.
“There is still the colonial attitude and influence that ‘you’d better speak English than Maltese.’ The bias is still there
today,” said Portelli, 56. “Integration can help you economically, but it kills you in terms of maintaining your identity.”
Joe Sherri, president of the Maltese Canadian Federation, said the group was made up of 20 social clubs at its inception
in 1980; today only 12 are left. “If you go to any of our clubs on Fridays or Saturdays, you won’t find any young people
there,” said Sherri, 63, who came here in 1965 for job opportunities and now runs his own food distribution business. “Our
biggest challenge is to get our young people involved.”
These days, young Maltese only show up at big community celebrations such annual Mnarja, the festival of light, in June.
The only hope of closing the generation gap is to draw youth in through groups such as the Malta Band Club or its popular
soccer club, said Vella.
“Something that concerns us a lot is where to find the new blood to replace the old blood,” lamented the retired banker,
whose three adult children, all professionally employed, speak very little Maltese. “We don’t have an answer yet.”
Youngest Canadian MP has Maltese roots
Canadian MP Charmaine Borg, the youngest member of the Canadian parliament, expresses the
wish to see Canada and Malta working together on different levels .
Julia Farrugia
Canadian MP Charmaine Borg
One of Canada's member of parliament, aged only 22, is of
Maltese origin and was elected for the first time in parliament
when she was 21. Charmaine Borg's grandfather, Alfred Borg
from Hamrun, had immigrated to Canada in the 40s.
Interviewed by Sunday newspaper Illum, Borg says that she
had faced much criticism questioning her ability to be an MP
due to being so young. "I believe that all of our hard work has
now paid off and we have shown to the Canadians that young
people have a place in parliament," she says. Speaking on her
holiday in Malta, Borg says she enjoyed visiting the Azure
Window in Dwejra and watching fireworks at St Paul's Bay.
Facing reality: Popes have ordinary moments, too
Posted on January 15, 2014 by Paul Haring
UPDATED Jan. 16: The animated GIF is comprised of a dozen or more still photo frames shot within about 4 seconds.
Each was cropped exactly the same. One of these frames is the featured photo. Neither the GIF nor the main photo were
taken from video.
VATICAN CITY — Photographers covering the Vatican are witnesses to both the grandeur and ordinariness of the events
that unfold in the Vatican. In a display of the ordinary, today I shot this unusual frame of Pope Francis as he rubbed his
Pope Francis’ expression invites many captions,
but he was really just rubbing his face. (CNS
photo/Paul Haring)
He had just finished delivering his blessing at the
end of his catechesis at the Wednesday general
audience. The 77-year-old pope first rubbed his
eyes, then his face. It was essentially the pope’s four
seconds of down time before spending the next hour
and a half greeting bishops, people with disabilities
and many others.
An animated GIF of Pope Francis taking a breather
at the end of his catechesis. (CNS photos/Paul
My colleagues and I frequently see the pope
doing ordinary human things: blowing his nose, taking a drink of water, scratching his face, etc…. We’ll sometimes
photograph these moments but usually don’t use them. There is a certain sense of decorum among us — about what is
appropriate for public consumption and what should be kept private. In this case, the photo seemed to convey just how
tiring it is to lead an audience and greet so many people outside in winter weather for two and a half hours. My
colleagues at the Rome bureau liked the photo because it showed a certain vulnerability. What do you think? On Friday in the
Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis, received in audience the president of the Republic of Malta, George
Abela, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique
Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, mention was made of the deep imprints of Christianity in the history, culture and life of the
Maltese population, as well as the good relations between the Holy See and Malta, recalling the pastoral visits made by
Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Particular reference was made to the contribution of the Catholic Church in the
fields of education and welfare, and the Agreements concluded between the Holy See and Malta with a view to fruitful
collaboration in the service of the common good.
Finally, the Parties focused on Malta’s contribution within the European Union, as well as various situations in the
Mediterranean region, and the phenomenon of migration towards Europe which involves the efforts of the Church and the
Government. President Abela, was on the visit to the Vatican with his wife, children and grandchildren, who joined the
delegation at the end of the 20-minute private audience.
The President’s grandson Luca then presented Pope Francis with the unique gift of a little plastic dinosaur.
About the Malta
On June 29th 2012, the cooperation contract for
the Malta Centre was signed by the rectors of
the University of Bremen and the Unviresity of
The Malta Centre is the result of a long
cooperation between the universities of Bremen
and Malta in the field of Maltese linguistics.
Initiated by Professor Thomas Stolz (Department
of Linguistics, University of Bremen) and
Professor Ray Fabri (Department of Linguistics,
University of Malta) a close partnership was
crafted between the two universities over the
last 10 years. In 2007, during the first
International Conference on Maltese linguistics,
the International Association of Maltese
talLingwistika Maltija, GĦILM) was founded in
Bremen. The Association currently has 65
members from Germany, Malta, the USA, Japan
and many other countries. The Association also
launched two successful publications series: The
Journal of Maltese Linguistics, ILSIENNA, and
the companion series IL-LINGWA TAGĦNA.
Signing of the cooperation contract for the Malta Centre in the Industrie-Club Bremen
Niltaqghu mal-Kummissarju Malti
to attend a reception held at the
Maltese Cultural Centre, 6 Jeanes Street, Beverley
In honour of
His Excellency Charles Muscat and Mrs Victoria Muscat
Malta High Commissioner in Australia on Sunday 30 March 2014 at 1.00 - 400 pm
Finger food and tea or coffee will be provided
Maltese-Canadian tenor Victor Micallef was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
At the age of four, Victor began to play his favourite TV and movie melodies on
his sisters’ piano, without any formal training. His father took notice and enrolled
the young tot in piano lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Singing was
always a passion for him, but he admits to being extremely shy as a youngster to
pursue that as well. It was once again the patriarch of the Micallef household that
pushed Victor to share his voice and passion for singing, beginning at church.
Although petrified at first, the rush of standing in front of an audience soon took
At the age of 16, following his father’s untimely death, Victor saw a performance
of Les Miserables and realized how powerful music can be. He wanted to touch
the hearts of people in the same way. This became the defining moment of his
career. Shortly thereafter, he began taking voice lessons, and later attended the
University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto to obtain his
Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance. Victor also fed his curiosity for the
arrangement of music – from motives and phrases to themes and sequence – by
studying music composition and conducting.
In the fall of 1998, Victor moved to Florence, Italy, where he studied with his
mentor, tenor Franco Pagliazzi. While in Europe, Victor was featured in both
opera and concert with several companies, including Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He had the honour of
working with such world-renowned conductors as Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado and Daniel Oren. In June 2004, Victor
returned to Toronto after being accepted as a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s prestigious Ensemble Studio.
For the following two years, he performed various roles, including Rodolfo in Puccini’s la Bohéme, Edgardo inDonizetti’s
Lucia di Lammermoor, Lenski in Tchaikovski’s Eugene Onegin, Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata, Luke in the Canadian
premiere of Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring, Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute,
and both Macduff and Malcolm in Verdi’s Macbeth.
Throughout his career, Victor has performed for audiences and
dignitaries in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has recorded as a
soloist and in ensembles with Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
(Bocelli/Mehta), Coro di Ferrara and the Orpheus Choir. He has also
been heard live on CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera in Canada,
and RAI’s Prima Della Prima in Italy.
Full Name: Victor Anthony Micallef Date of Birth: June 5
Zodiac sign: Gemini
Height: 6’0”
Hometown: Toronto
Current Residence: Toronto, ONTARIO - CANADA
Ethnic Background: Maltese
Pets: Macduff, an English Cocker Spaniel
Languages spoken: English, Italian, Maltese
Clockwise from top left: Remigio Pereira, Fraser Walters, Victor Micallef, and Clifton Murray.
The Ministry for Gozo has launched a
publication promoting various activities
being held in Gozo during the Lent and
Easter period.
It is the greatest feast in the Christian
calendar since it commemorates the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a ten day
festival celebrating the Passion, Death and
Resurrection of Jesus Christ and includes
various events of religious and traditional
activities, such as processions, pageants,
exhibitions and folklore.
Starting on Easter Saturday or Easter Vigil,
the parishes of Gozo, as in Malta, will gather
the faithful in their churches for a solemn religious service and the traditional rituals of the blessing of water and fire.
The church lights are turned off, and each of the congregation will light a candle from the Pascal Candle, resulting in the
whole church being bathed in the glow of flickering candles
Bells ring out across the island and the scriptures are read and sermons delivered before the celebrant blesses the holy
water that is used for baptisms and the whole congregation confirms their faith by reciting the baptismal vows. After the
service the congregation may linger for a while in the church for a drink, or to take a piece of the traditional Figolla
(Maltese almond Easter cake).
Easter Sunday is welcomed with bells ringing out across the islands, a traditional march with the statue of the risen Christ
will take place in some parishes following the service. These traditional marches are usually accompanied by local bands
and their popularity has remained undimmed through several centuries.
Pilot tablet programme to be rolled out next week
Tablet computers will start being distributed in some
primary schools next week to pilot a nationwide program
that will see the equipment being given free to all Year 4
students in 2015.
Initially the device will only be handed out to a number of
teachers who volunteered to participate in this
program. The ministry said at least one class in every
State college will be taking part, as well as some
teachers in private, Church and independent schools.”
Students with special educational needs will also be
included in the pilot.
The plan is for teachers to familiarise themselves with
the device and feedback on the software and
applications bundled with it by the end of the scholastic year.
US first lady hosts education roundtable
Updated: Sunday March 23, 2014
US first lady Michelle Obama has told Chinese professors,
students and parents that she wouldn't have risen to where she
was if her parents hadn't pushed for her to get a good
She made her comments before hosting a discussion about
education on the third day of her visit to the country aimed at
promoting educational exchanges between the US and China.
'Education is an important focus for me. It's personal, because I
wouldn't be where I am today without my parents investing and
pushing me to get a good education,' she said.
'My parents were not educated themselves, but one of the things they understood was that my brother and I needed that
foundation.' Obama said she and her husband wanted as many young people as possible in the United States and the
world to have access to education.
She then hosted a roundtable with a handful of Chinese professors, students and parents at an event at the US Embassy
in Beijing that was attended by new US Ambassador to China Max Baucus but closed to media. The US first lady plans to
visit the Great Wall later on Sunday and have lunch with her mother and daughters at a restaurant in a former school near
a section of the wall.
On Saturday, she gave a speech at China's prestigious Beijing University in which she promoted the free flow of
information and freedom of speech, the only time during her trip that she has brought up a contentious issue. China
routinely filters out information deemed offensive by the government and silences dissenting voices. Her remarks were
absent from China's state media but were circulating in social media, where they were widely praised.
Marsaxlokk is a traditional fishing village and is located where the first Phoenicians landed and set up trading posts on Malta,
during the ninth century BC. During the Great Siege of Malta, Marsaxlokk harbor was used as an anchorage by the Turkish fleet.
The present-day population of Marsaxlokk is around 4,000.
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