Association President

THE MESSAGE OF THE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT JUDGE JOSEPH GALEA DEBONO.

A well-deserved thank you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Julia and Michael Gaw for the sterling service they have given to the Association as National Chairman and National Secretary respectively over so many years. I am very pleased however that they will still hold honorary positions in the Association as National President and Honorary Member respectively, apart from any position they will hold in South East Branch. At the same time, I congratulate the officials who have stepped into their shoes, namely Ray Wrigglesworth as National Chairman, Pat Scott as Hon. National Secretary and Alex Saint as Hon. National Treasurer.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day…….

The 100th. Anniversary of the end of World War I was commemorated in Malta by GCIA in the second week of November in a number of events.

On November 8, the Malta Branch held its Annual Luncheon at the Palace Hotel in Sliema after the Annual General Meeting at which all its officials were confirmed in their posts. The Luncheon, which was well attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps, members and their guests, was brought to a close by a short address by the Chairman of Malta Branch, Mr. Peter Robison MBE and by myself proposing a toast to the President of Malta and the people of the George Cross Island.

On Saturday 10th  November, Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, the Malta Heritage Trust, organised a poignant commemoration of Armistice Day at the Saluting Battery of the Upper Barrakka in Valletta. This was attended by members of the diplomatic corps representing the allied nations as well as by a contingent of officers and cadets , headed by the Commander of the Daring Class Destroyer, HMS Diamond which was in Grand Harbour. The veterans of the Royal Marine Commandos and the standard bearers of the GCIA and veteran associations took post flanking the red-carpeted path leading to a commemorative plinth erected specially for the occasion. The Embassy of the United States also sent a colour party and the Armed Forces of Malta provided the buglers who sounded the Last Post and the Reveille. Prayers were led by the Chancellor of St. Paul's Anglican pro-Cathedral, the Reverend Canon Simon Godfrey and I recited the Exhortation that preceded the two- minute period of silence. This was heralded by the firing of one of the guns at the Saluting Battery, manned by re-enactors of Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna in WWI uniforms. Mr. Robinson read out the Dedication.

 
 


Following the wreath laying on the commemorative plinth, the eight guns of the Saluting Battery boomed out a full gun salute which brought the commemoration to a close. Luckily a very rainy day did not mar the proceedings as a win
dow in the weather provided bright sunshine just for the two hours of the ceremony.

Another break in the weather clemently allowed the official state commemoration to take place on Sunday 11th. November at the Floriana War Memorial. This followed High Mass celebrated by Archbishop Scicluna at St. John's co-Cathedral in Valletta. As usual, this was attended by state dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps. Contingents from the Armed Forces of Malta accompanied by the AFM Band and a contingent from the Malta Police Force marched onto and took post around the War Memorial. Veteran associations were also well represented. A wreath was laid by Mr. Robinson on behalf of the GCIA Malta Branch. Poppies were dropped by a King Air aircraft of the Armed Forces of Malta over the War Memorial bringing the commemoration to an end. 
  
Christmas Greetings.

Finally, I would like to wish all our members a very Happy Christmas and a new year in the best of health and express my wish to meet as many of you as possible at our annual reunion

Joseph Galea Debono.
PRESIDENT,
GEORGE CROSS ISLAND ASSOCIATION. 


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