Maltese Community Council of NSW weekend of celebrations

The third weekend of 2024 was a memorable weekend for the Maltese Community Council of NSW (MCCNSW) with the Commemoration of Australia Day on Saturday the 20th of January at the Holroyd Centre in Merrylands and the following day, Sunday the 21st, celebrating the Maltese Heritage Day at the Ħamrun club.

The Australia Day Commemoration that the Maltese Community Council of NSW (MCCNSW) has been celebrating for fifty years, was well organised and refined, in a very dignified way and venue.

The welcoming address by Ms Miriam Friggieri, President of MCCNSW, pointing out some of the achievements by the council and tentative future programs was well received and appreciated by those present.

The keynote speaker for this year was Mr. Lawrence Dimech OAM, who gave a very interesting address which was very appropriate for the occasion.

He touched on the immigrants coming to Australia in the fifties and sixties, with not much social security services or community support and the adversities they faced at that time. Mr. Dimech went on to pose questions as to why we have two Australian flags, the Australian and the Aboriginal one and whether it is time to blend the two and many other interesting points.

Mr. Dimech finished his address by announcing that at the age of eighty-eight it is time for him to retire from all of his community work.

Mrs Marisa Previtera was the Master of Ceremonies and did a great job keeping the program on track and interacting with the guests and the audience professionally.

The acknowledgement of the Order of Australia recipients was one of the highlights of the Australia Day commemoration.

The musical interludes by the young and graceful Natasha Tatarinoff was another highlight of the afternoon with songs in Maltese and English. Her heartfelt and emotional performance earned a standing ovation.

I was very happy to see the number of Maltese that attended the Maltese Heritage Day at the Ħamrun Club the next day. This is the first time that the MCCNSW organised such an occasion since the days when the Council used to organise the carnival at the Melita stadium years ago.

For a day with the temperature in the high thirties, and even reaching over 40⁰ later in the afternoon, it was surprising to see at least 1000 people attending throughout the day.

For those that attended there was a lot to see with the exhibitions of Maltese traditional arts, crafts and displays of MCC affiliated associations, Community Group exhibitions, a car show with at least fifty beautiful cars, some modern and others restored and, of course, Maltese food available from the Ħamrun Club Bistro and food trucks. For kids there was a jumping castle, hair braiding and face painting.

The MCCNSW also organised a variety of entertainment by the Maltese Concert Band, Għana by Victor il-Bukkett, the Maltese Community Choir and Charlie Camilleri and Charlie Muscat with their lively music.

This was a weekend of entertainment by the Maltese Community Council of NSW and I for one, with a lot of people that I talked to on the day, want to thank and congratulate the Council under the leadership of Miss Miriam Friggieri and her committee for a well planned and well organised weekend.

Also thanks go to the Ħamrun Club for providing the venue and supporting the occasion. I understand that they sold a record number of pastizzi on the day.

George Bartolo OAM, life member Maltese Community Council of NSW

By TVOTM Secretariat

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