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Heard in the hive

Josephine Grixti exhibition opened at Castello dei Baroni

An exhibition of 60 mixed media drawings by Josephine Grixti (her first solo exhibition) was inaugurated on February 5 at Castello dei Baroni in Wardija.

The exhibition was attended by visitors from various countries and by many Maltese art collectors and artists.

Josephine Grixti has already been selected to take part in the next Malta International Art Biennale, to be held next year.

Five of her works have been shown over the last three weekends at Villa Savannah, the Mellieha residence of Susan Schembri, the Malta Biennale delegate for Canada, together with works by 42 artists from 17 countries.

Speaking at opening of the exhibition at Castello dei Baroni, Dame Françoise Tempra, the Malta Biennale's founder-president, thanked the sponsors, Chev. Adrian Busietta and Marie-Angelique Caruana, who in previous Biennales had offered Castello dei Baroni or Busietta Gardens in Madliena as venues for exhibitions.

Dame Françoise said Josephine Grixti was a credit not only to art and her country but also to society. Josephine put her family (husband Ninu, son Malcolm and daughter, talented singer Rosalyn) before her passion and began her serious involvement in art when the children had found their own path in life, aknowledging their strong support.

Russian Ambassador Valentin Vlasov, a fervent supporter of the Malta Biennale, praised both Dame Françoise for her international cultural achievements for Malta and Josephine Grixti for the dynamic quality of her works.

Fr Marius Zerafa, the Biennale's vice-president, and Chev. Emmanuel Fiorentino also paid tribute to the artist's works.

Among the numerous guests were Malta Biennale deputy vice-president and delegate Shelley Tayar (Israel-US), the delegate for Bulgaria, Venceslav Metchev and his wife Theodora, the delegate for Hungary, Eva Kover, collectors Jacqueline Ellman, Jürgen Sixt, Marie-Noelle Wills-Tacker, Sébastien Ravily and Maria Quintar, Russian Embassy attaché Vladimir Panasyuk, and the Biennale's deputy vice-president Mina Tempra, who was here to finalise details for the opening of the first Malta Biennale Tempra Museum in Italy at the 17th century town hall of Palma di Montechiaro in Sicily on March 20.

The museum will include works by Malta Biennale artists from 22 countries, including Maltese artists Anton Agius, Harry Alden, Elizabeth Borg, Nikki Arnett Depasquale, Joseph Barbara, Gabriel Caruana, Josette Caruana, Alfred Chircop, Joseph Paul Cassar, Catherine Cavallo, Joe Genovese, Josephine Grixti, Paul Haber, Matthew Kassar, Rita Lemesre, Tony Mangion, Arthur Rizzo, David Xuereb, Martin Xuereb, Marie-Anne Zammit and Marius Zerafa.

The Josephine Grixti exhibition (reviewed by E. Fiorentino on page 24) continues until April 30 at the Manoel Theatre shop and gallery with the Malta Biennale selection (Monday to Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.), at the Tempra Museum for Contemporary Art, Mgarr council (Monday to Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) and at Villa Tempra, Mgarr, by prior appointment only (every day, tel. 9942-9769 or 9988-1975).

Greek travel agents in Malta

InterContinental Malta, together with Silver Holidays, the foremost wholesaling company of Maltese holidays in Greece, recently organised a visit to Malta for 70 members of the Macedonia-Thrace Travel Agencies Association, which is based in Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.

The aim of the visit was to increase travel agents' knowledge of the Malta tourism product. Stefanos Hajimanolis, managing director of Silver Holidays, said that his company is working hard to increase the number of Greek citizens travelling to Malta, which remains relatively low at an average of 11,000 a year.

"There are direct flights between Malta and Athens twice a week, and 18 charter flights a year from northern Greece and several Greek islands. Our main goal is to increase the number of charter flights between Greece and Malta," Mr Hajimanolois said.

"There are communities of Maltese origin in several parts of Greece, including Rhodes and Corfu, with surnames like Azzopardi, Agius and Fenech. There is considerable interest in Malta."

During their three-day stay at the InterContinental, the Greek travel agents were taken to places of interest and historical sites.

Fethi Abdennadher, general manager of InterContinental Malta, said: "Malta's leading hotels cannot be passive in generating new tourism business for the country, but must play an active role and take initiatives. It is in this light that we have co-operated wholeheartedly in bringing over the very people who sell Malta to the Greeks."

Reunion of Floriana FC veterans

Ir-Rokna Restaurant was the venue of a get-together of past Floriana Football Club players and coaches.

These players formed part of the glorious past of this club - the Sixties and Seventies were years in which Floriana FC boasted of nine international players in their team and won major trophies year after year. A great time was had by all talking about the good old times of this glorious club.

MASW marks 10th anniversary

The Maltese Association of Social Workers (MASW) recently organised a series of activities to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

With the participation of its members and social work University students a Mass was held at the University chapel on January 26.

On January 27 the executive committee of MASW held a meeting with the Minister for Social Policy, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, at the ministry in Valletta. During the week the association also commemorated the event by producing an official rubber slogan on the daily mail with the wording Ghajnuna professjonali ghal min jehtiegha.

The celebrations came to an end on January 29 with a dinner organised at the Radisson Hotel in St George's for members, social work students and guests.

The dinner commenced with an audio-visual presentation outlining the history of social work in Malta. During the evening Mary Jane Spiteri and Joe Cassar Naudi were awarded honorary membership of the association as the first social workers who attended training abroad in 1959. Former executive committee members of the association were presented with a memento for the work carried out.

The 10th anniversary of MASW coincided with a number of positive developments in the social sector, in particular the Social Work Profession Act, which finally recognises social work as a profession; the establishment of the Family Court, the long-awaited signing of the collective agreement of Agenzija Appogg and the newly appointed Commissioner for Children, who will make children's voice heard in our society.

TGI Friday's celebrate fifth anniversary

TGI Friday's recently celebrated its fifth anniversary in Malta with a series of activities that also helped raise funds for the Drug Rehabilitation Centre of Caritas Malta.

The activities included a bottle-flaring exhibition by TGI Friday's bartenders while Stompers and Kavallieri rugby team players indulged in an all-you-can-eat competition. Popular XFM Radio DJs were called in to serve guests and live entertainment was provided by Gianni and Friends and Ivan Filletti.

TGI Friday's rugby team Stompers also made an further effort to raise funds for Caritas Malta. They participated in a truck pull along the Sliema seafront.

The TGI Friday's franchise in Malta is operated by Simonds Farsons Cisk plc through its subsidiary, Food Chain Holdings Limited.

Correction

The 2003 Master's graduates in Health Services Management from the Institute of Health Care, University of Malta, whose names were carried last Sunday, also included Charles Borg, Dr Josianne Cutajar and Isabelle Zahra-Pulis, who were not in the photograph.

British High Commissioner presents certificates to Chevening scholars

British High Commissioner Vincent Fean and Mrs Anne Fean recently hosted a reception to present certificates awarded to the Chevening Scholars who studied in the UK during the scholastic year 2002/3.

Each year, a number of outstanding Maltese students are awarded Chevening Scholarships by the British High Commission and British Council, funded through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the generosity of Maltese and British businesses and institutions.

The High Commissioner thanked the current sponsors who are Farsons plc, MIDI plc, Salvo Grima and Sons, Cable and Wireless, Middlesea Insurance plc, Malta Financial Services Authority and Malta Resources Authority.

The scholars who were awarded certificates were Joseph Borg (M.Sc. in Telecommunications), Antoine Cremona (LL.M. in Commercial and Corporate Law), Elisa Krantz (M.Sc. in Occupational Psychology) Andrew Zarb Mizzi (MA in International Business Finance), Andrew Sultana (M.Sc. in Economics), Claudine Attard (M.Sc. in Organisational Change and Development), John Aquilina (M.Phil./ Ph.D. in Maths), David Gonzi (LL.M. in Intellectual Property, IT Law and Trade and Company Law), Nikola Soukmandjiev (M.Sc. in Criminology), Deborah Mangion (LL.M./M.Juris in International and European Law) and Vanessa MacDonald (Thompson Foundation Journalism course).

Middlesea Group continues to support Eden Foundation

The Middlesea Group recently hosted a lunch for its intermediaries and business partners, which was attended by over 400 guests. During the lunch, Middlesea Group chairman Mario C. Grech, presented a cheque for Lm1,500 to Dr Josie Muscat for the Eden Foundation.

Speaking during the presentation ceremony Mr Grech said: "We believe it is part of our corporate duty to support the Eden Foundation in its efforts to improve the lives of persons with special needs through their various educational programmes."

Dr Muscat thanked the Middlesea Group for its continuous support, which assists the Eden Foundation to continue in its good work amongst special children and adolescents.

Dr Muscat also highlighted the role Middlesea Group is playing to provide a work environment for its adolescents. He said: "The Middlesea Group and its employees have welcomed trainees from the Eden Foundation on a regular basis and provided them with an office work environment which in no small way motivates them in their working life."

Mr Grech also said that the Middlesea Group would like to extend its appreciation to its intermediaries and business partners for their contribution towards the success of the group. He emphasised the fundamental importance of professional integrity in today's challenging environment.

Professor Joe V. Bannister, chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority, also addressed those present, stressing the need for professional conduct in the financial services sector.

Fourth commemoration of Tumas Fenech

A record 51 journalists and public relations professionals participated in the three courses organised by the Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism (Fondazzjoni Tumas Fenech ghall-Edukazzjoni fil-Gurnalizmu - FTFEG) in 2003. This was an increase of 16 per cent on last year's participation.

This was announced by Mario Schiavone, the foundation's administrator in his address to guests on the occasion of the fourth anniversary commemoration of the death of Tumas Fenech, held at the Portomaso Suite of the Malta Hilton on February 6.

In 2003 the foundation held a course in conjunction with the Malta Police Force, another with the Malta Financial Services Authority and the third for broadcast journalists, with the help of the British High Commission.

Last year the foundation also sponsored the publication of the first volume of the Malta Journalism Review by the Malta Press Club and helped a local journalist who is following her MA in journalism in the UK.

Since it was set up four years ago, the FTFEG has received national acclaim for its efforts to help the professional development of Maltese journalists.

The foundation, which is financed by the Tumas Group of Companies, is governed by a board of trustees made up of President Emeritus Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici as chairman, Lino Spiteri as deputy chairman, and Ray Sladden, Anthony Debono, Malcolm J. Naudi and Joe A. Vella as trustees.

This year's ceremony started with an interlude of classical music by soprano Gillian Zammit, who was accompanied by pianist Lucia Micallef. Ranier Fsadni delivered a keynote speech entitled "Journalism and Bias".

The 51 participants in this year's courses received their certificates from Dr Mifsud Bonnici, who delivered a concluding speech.

Among the guests for this year's occasion were the British High Commissioner and Mrs Vincent Fean, Finance Minister John Dalli, George Fenech, chairman of the Tumas Group, and other distinguished guests and journalists.

German-Maltese Chamber delegation calls on President de Marco

A delegation from the German-Maltese Chamber of Commerce led by the president, Henry J. Borg, accompanied by the German Ambassador, Georg Merten, recently called on President Guido de Marco at the Palace, Valletta.

The President was given a brief overview of the work carried out by the GMCC in the first months of its operation since it was set up last year.

A special member of the GMCC delegation was Norbert Pudzich who is the chairman of the German-Italian Chamber of Commerce based in Milan, who was in Malta on a fact-finding mission which will eventually lead to a close working relationship between the two Chambers.

In his introduction, Mr Borg explained that the setting up of the GMCC was a direct result of the President's state visit to Germany way back in November 2001, and that following the foundations set then and the great assistance given by Ambassador Merten, the GMCC was set up in March last year.

Mr Pudzich said that both the Association of German Chambers abroad and the German Industry Ministry looked very favourably on the setting up of the GMCC and that they were excited at the work carried out by the GMCC president over the past months.

He said: "In fact, I was given the brief to assist the GMCC in these early stages of its operation, and so far I am very impressed with what I've found out as I think that Malta, on the verge of EU membership, has a lot of opportunities which are all based on its highly qualified human resources."

In his comments, President de Marco insisted that as a nation, Malta is proud of its highly educated working population, and was very glad that his state visit in Germany brought about such an activity which is focusing on the bilateral economic activity between the two countries to enhance the already healthy relationship.

At the end of the visit, President de Marco wished all the success to the GMCC in its activities.

People

Aaron Micallef, a 22-year-old student from Naxxar, has just been awarded a distinction by the University of Oxford after completing a Master of Science degree of one year in Environmental Geomorphology.

Mr Micallef placed first among all the students enrolled by obtaining the highest mark ever achieved in the history of this course.

The M.Sc. is a taught course concentrating on theoretical and applied aspects of geomorphology, the study of the form and processes of the natural physical environment, and has strong relevance to environmental management and civil engineering.

The dissertation project, which carried one-third of the marks, was sponsored by Princeton University and focused on salt migration by capillary action in lithic arenite sandstone as it is controlled by solution concentrations and drying rates.

Mr Micallef was sponsored by the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund throughout his stay in Oxford. He is presently in Costa Rica doing further research.

The President and Mrs de Marco's engagements - February 16-22

Tomorrow
Noon The President receives Ms Fathma Elzahraa Ibrahim Othman, Ambassador of Egypt, at the Palace, Valletta.

3 p.m. The President and Mrs de Marco officially welcome Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia, and Professor Freibergs at Malta International Airport.

5 The President and Mrs de Marco receive the President of Latvia and Professor Freibergs at the Palace, Valletta.

5.10 Official talks between the President of Malta and the President of Latvia.

7.15 The President and Mrs de Marco host the President of Latvia and Professor Freibergs to a state concert.

8.15 The President and Mrs de Marco host the President of Latvia and Professor Freibergs to a State dinner.

Tuesday
10 a.m. The President attends the tree-planting ceremony by Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia, at San Anton Palace.

11 The President receives Mr Albert Rutter, secretary of the Malta Community Chest Fund (MCCF), at the Palace, Valletta.

Noon The President presents a donation on behalf of the MCCF to Mount Carmel Hospital.

7.30 p.m. The President and Mrs de Marco attend a reception in their honour hosted by the President of Latvia and Professor Freibergs at the Corinthia Palace Hotel, Attard.

Wednesday
10 a.m. The President of Malta and the President of Latvia participate in a round table discussion at the Aula Magna, Old University Building, Valletta.

1.50 p.m. The President and Mrs de Marco officially bid farewell to the President of Latvia and Professor Freibergs at Malta International Airport.

7.30 The President and Mrs de Marco attend a concert in their honour by the National Orchestra at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta, with the participation of soprano Miriam Gauci and Mro Michael Laus, with proceeds to be donated to the MCCF.

Thursday
10 a.m. The President receives Dr Deborah Farrugia, secretary of the Commission for the Administration of Justice, at the Palace, Valletta.

11 The President receives Professor Ludger Kuhnhardt, director of the Centre for European Integration.

11.45 The President receives Joseph F.X. Zahra, chairman of Bank of Valletta.

5 p.m. The President attends the naming ceremony of the Active Molecule derived from Mediterranean algae entitled Pedina pavonica at the Mosta Technopark Tenants Association, Mosta.

6.30 The President attends a reception hosted by the Scout Association of Malta on the occasion of Founder's Day at Island Headquarters, Floriana.

8.15 The President and Mrs de Marco host a dinner in honour of the delegates of the fourth Conference of Speakers of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliaments at San Anton Palace.

Friday
9.30 a.m. The President receives Mr Neil Kinnock, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for Administrative Reforms, at the Palace, Valletta.

11 The President is interviewed by Saviour Balzan for Malta Today.

8 p.m. The President hosts a reception in honour of the delegates of the fourth Conference of Speakers of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliaments.

For your diary

The Mission Fund is organising a garage sale in aid of the poor in Third World countries at 21, Triq l-Imhalla, Naxxar, from tomorrow to Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For further information contact the Mission Fund on 2141-3664.

Ward u ZgHar is organising a Carnival party and get-together at the Centru Hidma Socjali on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and a Grand Sixties Music Carnival Ball at the Pitch Casual Diner in Marsascala, on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost Lm3. For more information phone 2141-8174.

The Rehabilitation Centre for the Physically Handicapped at Corradino, Paola, will be organising a coffee morning/tombola, at the Sunny Coast Leisure Club, Qawra, on Thursday at 9.30 a.m. For tickets, at Lm1.50 each, phone the Corradino Centre on 2169-3863 or 2143-6421.

A bazaar in aid of the missions is being organised at King's Shop in Tower Road, Sliema, starting from Friday, from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Padre Pio Information Centre in organising an activity next Sunday, with Mass at Selmun Chapel at 3 p.m., followed by tea tombola and a Carnival party at Selmun Palace Hotel. Transport is available on request. For more information phone 2123-1446 or 2124-5528.

New Year's Eve party raises Lm3,000 for charity

Three charities have been earmarked to share the proceeds from the New Year's Eve party held at Villa Chapelle.

David Grima and Veronica Zammit Tabona, who first organised a successful new Year's Eve party in 2001, would like to thank all who attended and participated in raising the Lm3,000 which will be shared equally between Friends of Cini Home, Equal Partners and the Hospice Movement.

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