Association President

MALTA REMEMBERS THE DEAD

A shower of thousands of poppies over the War Memorial outside Valletta's bastions brought Malta's official commemoration of Remembrance Sunday to an end. 



Glorious sunshine greeted sizeable crowds of Maltese and Tourists, including the families of British veterans who annually fly out to Malta to take part in the functions of the 11th. November.  The programme of the day started with the arrival of Malta's President, Dr. George Vella in front of St. John's Co-Cathedral to inspect a guard of honour of the Armed Forces of Malta prior to the church service presided over by The Auxiliary Bishop the Reverend Joseph Galea Curmi.

The State dignitaries, members of the Diplomatic Corps and veteran associations then moved to the Floriana War Memorial where contingents from the Armed Forces, the Malta Police and veterans from the Royal British Legion had taken post. 

A 25-pounder field gun mounted on St. James Counterguard signaled the start of the two minutes of silence at the end of which a Kingair 200 aircraft of the AFM Air Wing flew over at tree-top height, jettisoning 28,000 poppies supplied by the Royal British Legion's Malta Branch.

Wreaths were laid by the President and other dignitaries, the Diplomatic Corps and representatives of veteran associations including the President of the George Cross Island Association and the Chairman of GCIA's Malta G.C. Branch, Mr. Peter Robinson MBE.

*****
At 11am on the 11th. November, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, the Maltese National Trust held another commemoration at the Saluting Battery of the Upper Barracca overlooking Grand Harbour. This parallel inter-faith ceremony was introduced in 2004. Prayers were led by the Reverend Canon Simon Godfrey, Chancellor of St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral and the Exhortation was read by the President of GCIA, who, together with Mr. Robinson, laid wreaths at the foot of the plinth erected for the purpose.   Members of the Diplomatic Corps and veteran associations also laid wreaths. The guns of the Saluting Battery marked the start and end of the two minutes silence and buglers of the Armed Forces of Malta sounded the last post and the reveille.



The service, which was watched by hundreds of people perched on the viewing gallery of the Upper Barracca, was brought to a close by a blessing delivered by Canon Godfrey shortly before the forecast rains started pelting down.

"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
"At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
"we will remember them."   


Joseph Galea Debono.
PRESIDENT,
GEORGE CROSS ISLAND ASSOCIATION. 


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