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Heard in the hive

Councillor Melvin Attard is Youth of the Year

The Birgu council has publicly congratulated one of its local councillors for being chosen Youth of the Year.

Melvin Attard was presented the national award during a ceremony held in Gozo under the patronage of Gozo Bishop Mario Grech on December 16, in recognition of the voluntary work he carries out regularly.

The Youth of the Year Award was organised by the OASI Foundation, the Ministry for Gozo, Ministry of Families and Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment, as well as the Youth National Council.

Mr Attard was nominated by Birgu mayor John Boxall and seconded by deputy mayor Christopher Cassar. The nomination was approved unanimously.

In 2004, Mr Attard established an educational project entitled Lumen, aimed at teaching children and youths aged from six to 16. The teaching methods move away from traditional formal education, and focus more on fun activities, such as educational games, treasure hunts and hikes. The philosophy behind this project is that children from a very young age should perceive learning and education as a pleasure rather than a boring process.

Another dimension of this project is the concept of inclusion. Among the various volunteers who willingly participate in this project as teachers, Mr Attard trained two youngsters who suffer from Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

These two youngsters have become regular and extremely active teachers. Mr Attard was able to focus on their potential as teachers, empower them and give them the opportunity to experience the other side of the classroom.

Mr Attard claims that this project is proof that despite their difficulties, some people may nonetheless have various abilities, which, if the opportunity is given, can be of great benefit to society.

McDonald's World Children's Day raises over Lm9,000 for Eden Foundation

McDonald's Malta has presented the Eden Foundation with a donation of Lm9,423.28.

This money was raised during the fifth annual McDonald's Malta World Children's Day programme of fund-raising activities held recently.

The cheque was presented by McDonald's Malta managing director Melo Hili to Eden Foundation marketing manager Robert Farrugia.

"The aim of this event was not only to raise funds for the Eden Foundation but also to raise awareness about the good work carried out at the Eden Foundation. Judging by the huge number of people who participated in the activities, the aim has clearly been reached. On behalf of McDonald's Malta, we thank everyone involved for their support," said Mr Hili.

Mr Farrugia explained that the Eden Foundation gives education and therapeutic services to children and young adults with a intellectual disability.

"The Foundation needs more than Lm820,000 every year to continue the good work started 13 years ago, and more than 54 per cent has to come from fund-raising activities and donations. So we thank McDonald's Malta for organising such event."

McDonald's Malta said they would like to thank all those involved, including Pietà Hotspurs Club, Hilton LivingWell Health Club, Cynergi St Julian's and the 24-hour Ta' Qali Health & Leisure Centre, all local personalities, members of parliament, US Ambassador Molly Bordanaro and her family, World Children's Day local ambassador Ira Losco and all the management and crew of every McDonald's outlet in Malta and Gozo, the media, the Eden Foundation volunteers and the public, who gave some of their precious time to support World Children's Day.

In 121 countries, 30,000 McDonald's restaurants played host to this huge fund-raising effort in aid of the world's children.

PHRF's 60th anniversary programme comes to an end

The 60th anniversary celebrations organised by the council of the Physically Handicapped Rehabilitation Fund recently came to an end with a thanksgiving Mass held at the centre in Corradino.

Mass was concelebrated by Mgr Carmelo Zammit, Fr Modest Gatt and Fr Charles Abela. It was attended by Education Minister Louis Galea and Mrs Galea, Labour MP Mary Louise Coleiro Preca, PHRF chairperson Georgia Tabone and Mr Joe Tabone, council officials and members, as well as PHRF members, co-operators and sponsors.

After Mass, the council hosted all those present to a reception with the assistance of the Institute of Tourism Studies and various sponsors, including Montekristo Wines and leading confectioners.

Mrs Tabone thanked all those who assisted the PHRF in organising the 60th anniversary programme, in particular the officials and members of the council.

The PHRF also held an Awareness Day at City Gate, Valletta, with the assistance of the Valletta council.

The PHRF thanks all those who donated money during Awareness Day.

25th anniversary event emphasises importance of insurance training

The importance of ongoing training in today's local market, especially in the insurance sector, were emphasised during an event marking the Malta International Training Centre's 25th anniversary.

Since opening its doors in the early Eighties, the company has been continuously striving to further the knowledge in the financial business sector and to emphasise the need for all those who work in the insurance sector to be fully qualified from the UK's Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

The anniversary commemoration saw this point further emphasised in the short addresses delivered by Education Minister Louis Galea, Middlesea Insurance chairman Mario Grech, MITC chairman Professor Roger Ellul Micallef as well as CII representative Mr B. Bullivant and ex-MITC principal Mr B. Watson.

MITC, formerly called the Mediterrenean Insurance Training Centre, has been offering a variety of insurance and financial courses for past 25 years, attracting both local as well as foreign insurance interests from the relative sectors. Today it can proudly look back at the many successes of students who have passed through its hands and are now occupying senior positions around the world.

An exhibition displaying MITC throughout the years was also put up for the occasion.

Various present and past students and lecturers, as well as representatives from the insurance industry attended the event which was sponsored by the Middlesea Group, Atlas Insurance, Gasan Mamo Insurance, Aon Insurance, Elmo Insurance, Montaldo Insurance, Millennium Insurance and Citadel Insurance.

South South Centre Prize for IOI

The International Ocean Institute (IOI), created in Malta in 1972 by the late Elisabeth Mann Borgese, has received the Prize of the South South Centre for South South Solidarity for its work in the wake of the tsunami catastrophe two years ago.

The presentation was made at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The prize, consisting of a crystal trophy, was presented on December 19 by the UN Under-Secretary General for Least Developed Land Locked and Island Developing Countries to Dr Awni Benham, president of the IOI, at a ceremony attended by Malta's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Ambassador Victor Camilleri. The event was presided over by the President of the UN General Assembly and by the Administrator of UNDP.

On December 22, Dr Behnam in turn presented the trophy to Professor Salvino Busuttil, who represents Malta on the IOI's governing board.

The Institute was established two years after the holding of the first Pacem in Maribus convention in Malta, following the epic speech made in 1967 by Dr Arvid Pardo, Malta's first Representative to the United Nations, on the common heritage principle, applied to the peaceful uses of ocean floor resources beyond national jurisdiction.

Forty years on, the next Pacem in Maribus convention will be held in Malta next November.

British High Commission

The British High Commission's offices, including the Visa and Passport Section and the UKTI Trade Section, will be closed to all visitors on Tuesday.

Daughter of Gozitan appointed to California County Superior Court

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Annemarie Pace, 38, daughter of a former Gozo resident, to the San Bernardino County Superior Court on December 22.

Ms Pace worked for the past 10 years as prosecutor in the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.

She received her juris doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, and now lives in Pasadena, California.

She was well known as an aggressive drug unit prosecutor, and is the first woman appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court in the past two years.

Ms Pace is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday.

AIESEC teams up with PricewaterhouseCoopers

Student organisation AIESEC and PricewaterhouseCoopers recently signed an official partnership. The two have been sharing an endearing business relationship for the past 24 years.

AIESEC's foundations as a local student organisation were laid in 1969. Since then, the organisation has been providing opportunities to Maltese and international students for personal growth, development and leadership skills through internships, global conferences and other events. AIESEC specialises in talent management and development.

Over the years, AIESEC moved forward into the services industry by signing partnerships with local top firms. On a global level, the organisation established partnerships with over 3,500 businesses and NGOs in the corporate as well as the non-corporate sector.

For more information contact AIESEC's external relations representative on [email protected] or 9984-4147.

Caraffa NYE in full swing

As tonight's big night draws nearer, preparations for the much-awaited Caraffa New Year's Eve festival have gathered momentum.

Having finalised the programme for the festival, co-organisers Keith Marshall, Eman Pulis, Carlo Borg Bonaci and Dr Mark Bencini have been discussing the music arrangements and rehearsing as well as the set-up of a lighting system and on-screen projections which will be accompanying the crowd to a sizzling countdown.

The programme for the festival includes four music arenas -- rock, house, pop and a chill-out zone to cater for all and sundry.

Mr Pulis expressed his satisfaction at the professional way in which things are unfolding. "The anticipation seems to be escalating as New Year's Day gets closer. This motivates us organisers, as well as the artists themselves, to give our very best. Our patrons can expect nothing less."

Daryl B and MC Spice from Ministry of Sound (right) will be travelling to Malta from London where they will be performing at the House Arena. They will fly to Malta early today.

Keith and Co. Creations have confirmed that sales have exceeded all expectations but those wishing to attend the concert may still purchase their tickets at the door. An interactive map of the place can be accessed at www.caraffanye.com/map.htm. Call 9926-3626 for more information.

Sullivan Maritime inducted as CILT Malta's first corporate member

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport - CILT Malta - recently announced that Sullivan Maritime was inducted as the first corporate member of CILT Malta.  

Following the signing of the letter of appointment, CILT International director general Cyril Bleasdale presented the membership certificate to Ernest Sullivan, managing director of Sullivan Maritime, in the presence of Captain Anand Dayal, vice-chairman of CILT Malta, senior officials of the company and representatives and members of CILT Malta.

Mr Bleasdale thanked Mr Sullivan for Sullivan Maritime's support to CILT Malta and said he hoped that other local organisations would follow Sullivan Maritime's example.  

In his reply, Mr Sullivan commented on how his family's link with CILT (and its forerunner CIT) goes back many years, as both his father and uncle were fellows of the Chartered Institute of Transport. He wished every success to CILT Malta and reaffirmed his company's support to the local institute.  

The company has six CILT members. During the event, Joseph Bugeja, representative of the Malta Motorways of the Sea, received the chartered membership certificate.

Appreciation - Maria Rosaria Pisani

Mr Guido Lanfranco, of Sliema, writes:

On December 9, I attended the funeral service for Maria Rosaria Pisani at St Paul Shipwrecked collegiate church in Valletta.

She embodied the closest living memory of her father Lazzaro Pisani (1854-1932), well-known for his legacy of numerous paintings which enrich churches and private collections all over Malta and Gozo. She was devoted to his memory and during the last few years was still striving to publish a record of his life and works.

She was always active in several cultural and heritage societies and organisations, and I came to know her better when in the early 1970s, she became a committee member of the Malta Folklore Society in which she showed great interest and contributed to its journal L-Imnara. She also became its vice-president, and more recently its president.

Ms Pisani was a pianist and actress, but her time was taken up mostly by participating in, and organising cultural evenings and activities for various societies including local Italian, Spanish and Maltese circles.

These included radioplays, articles, music, poetry reading, art and literature. She collaborated with artists and authors and, among others, translated some operas, plays and poetry by Dr V.M. Pellegrini, and designed stage costumes.

She dedicated her long active life to culture, sounding no trumpets and soliciting no recompense.

Her loss is felt not only by all who knew her - the country has lost a citizen who has contributed to its cultural heritage, and we should all recall her with feelings of gratitude.

Chamber president hosts annual reception

The president of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, Victor A. Galea, and Mrs Galea recently hosted the annual reception for members at the Sir Agostino Portelli Hall of the Exchange Buildings in Valletta.

Among the guests were Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Mrs Gonzi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and Home Affairs Tonio Borg and Mrs Borg, Competitiveness and Communications Minister Censu Galea, Foreign Minister Michael Frendo, Deputy Opposition Leader Charles Mangion, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, Central Bank governor Michael C. Bonello, chamber council members, representatives from other constituted bodies and unions and chamber members.

For your diary

A card party in aid of the Little Sisters of the poor will be held at the Skyroom Preluna Hotel, Sliema, on January 10 from 10 a.m. For bookings phone Blanche Martin on 2133-0387.

The President and Mrs Fenech Adami's engagements - January 1-7

Tomorrow
8.45 a.m. The President and Mrs Fenech Adami receive New Year's greetings at the Palace, Valletta.
Noon The President and Mrs Fenech Adami exchange New Year's greetings at the Archbishop's Palace, Valletta.
1 p.m. The President and Mrs Fenech Adami visit Id-Dar tal-Providenza in Siggiewi for the open day organised by RTK Radio.

Thursday
11.15 a.m. The President is interviewed by Julia Farrugia for the newspaper Illum at the Palace, Valletta.

Saturday
7 p.m. The President and Mrs Fenech Adami host a concert organised by the Embassy of the Russian Federation and the Russian Cultural Centre on the occasion of the Russian Christmas at the Russian Chapel at San Anton Palace.

Sunday
8.30 p.m. The President and Mrs Fenech Adami attend the annual Epiphany concert organised by the Malta Council for Culture and Arts at the Palace, Valletta.

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