Malta Day 2017

West Branch member, Janet Barkway, recently attended Malta Day in London, along with several other members of the George Cross Island Association.  Janet has kindly provided a write up of the day and some wonderful pictures.

Malta Day UK 2017 at Westminster Cathedral was extremely well attended and included an impressive number of of G.C.IA members.

The arrival procession included His Grace Monsignor Charles J. Scicluna Archbishop of Malta, Ecumenical Order of St John, Maltese nuns in the United Kingdom, the banner of the Bambina to mention just a few, however included in the National flags was the West Branch Standard ably and proudly carried by Barry Wenman, a first for him at the Cathedral.
The service commenced with a welcome address by The High Commissioner for Malta in the United Kingdom his Excellency Mr Norman Hamilton now in his 5th year of office.

 
 
 
 
  

As ever his theme was Fate and Heritage of which Malta has experienced plenty of both, however in this the 75th year of the George Cross being awarded to the island and the 53rd year of Malta’s Independence he wished the Maltese to concentrate on their proud heritage which he said was the present day inheritance of the Maltese people.
His Excellency The Archbishop of Malta in his address wished the Maltese people to celebrate victories past, present and future, to remember their forefathers with gratitude and pride, and to those Maltese who have found a home in the United Kingdom to work and live and grow together.

The readers of the Prayers to the faithful included Captain Jack McNulty representing the GCIA, along with Jack’s Daughter and Granddaughter we all proudly listened to his words. 

As we listened in absolute silence, you could have heard a pin drop, no phones or coughs, as Mary Rose Mallua and Renato sang the Ave Maria truly mesmerising and a great delight.

For the first time the Honourable Dr Deo Debattista Parliamentary Secretary For Consumer Protection and “Valletta18” (European Capital of Culture) addressed the congregation.  Clearly delighted to be at the Cathedral and his involvement with year’s prestigious event, in his address he said Malta was proud to display the George Cross on its National flag and reiterated the strong British past influences and current ties between Malta and the UK. 

Following the service we filed out of the Cathedral to await the arrival of the Bambino into the piazza.

 
 
 
 
 
 

This year there was no procession around the streets but instead the band played outside, and Mary Rose and Renato delighted us yet again with their singing which included a passionate rendition of nessun dorma.

The traditional firework display was, as ever, colourful and VERY loud!

The only thing missing ...the sunny blue skies of Malta!  however it did not “rain on our parade” just a spot or three!
 
Janet Barkway.

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