The Governor of South Australia



Maltese Chaplaincy FestivitiesCommittee 

in South Australia Annual Dinner Dance

Saturday, 3rd October 2009



His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR


Governor of South  Australia

 


Ladies and Gentlemen:

It gives me great pleasure to be invited for this annual festival, which coincides with
Malta's National Day. My wife, Liz, and I thank you for your kind invitation
and the warm welcome you have given us tonight.

Some months ago I was speaking with your Consul, Frank Scicluna, and he asked
me if I would like to be invited to a Maltese function in order to meet the
community of whom I have heard so much. Without hesitation, my answer was in
the affirmative.

Tonight's event gives me an excellent opportunity to learn more about your rich
culture, to meet you and enjoy these festivities with you. I believe that
history tell us that the contributions and achievements of our State's Maltese
community are outstanding.

That community has shown a long-standing dedication and commitment to fostering
and encouraging multiculturalism, and a willingness to work harmoniously and
productively for the benefit of all South Australians. Your community is an
integral and highly respected part of South Australia's diverse cultural
tapestry.

A close bond has existed between South Australia and Malta for around 150 years, from the time when Maltese immigrants began coming here and settled in regional centres such as Port Pirie, Murray Bridge, Woomera and Whyalla, as well as in Adelaide.

That relationship was strengthened even further in 2007, when the Prime Minister of
Malta, Dr Lawrence Gonzi and his wife, Catherine, made their first official
visit to our State. I believe Dr. Gonzi was the special guest at an official
reception at the Adelaide Town Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, the
Hon. Michael Harbison and was welcomed by the Premier, the Hon Mike Rann at a
luncheon given in his honour at the Festival Centre.

According to the latest census, almost 5,000 South Australians claim Maltese ancestry, and the Maltese community remains characterised by its remarkable work ethic, its resourcefulness, and its strong dedication to the values of family, religion and freedom. It also carries a well-deserved reputation for its willingness to generously share its culture and traditions with the wider South Australian community.

I commend your Honorary Consul, Mr Frank Scicluna, the representative of the Government of the Republic of Malta here in South Australia, for helping to keep the community
together and for rendering important services to the community.

I also commend your Maltese Chaplain, Father Gabriel Micallef, for looking after the spiritual needs of your community, and I congratulate the Maltese
Chaplaincy Festivities Committee and all the individuals and other organisations who have helped make this wonderful ‘festa' such an annual success.

I must mention also the essential contribution to these celebrations of the Maltese Queen of Victories Band, the Master of Ceremonies, Mr Ted Camilleri, the debutantes, the musicians and the special singer, Renato, who travelled all the way from Malta.

But most of all I commend you all, ladies and gentlemen, for your support in preserving and sharing part of your cultural heritage with us.

I wish you all every success for now, and for the future.

Grazzi hafna.