A.L.P.S. PRESIDENT’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
The Christmas message reminds us that service to others is central to our lives, and that sacrifice and unconditional love may guide us and inspire us to lead lives of compassion, mercy and justice.
The true spirit of Christmas reflects a dedication to helping and giving. This Christmas, may the joys of the festive season renew our commitment to working together as an Association of Lyceum Past Students committed to excellence in the delivery of the best possible programme of social and cultural events for all members and friends of ALPS.
As the year comes to a close and we therefore celebrate the festive spirit with our families, friends and colleagues, we can take stock of the past year’s activities and review our accomplishments and even express our appreciation for all the support that we have received from you members and friends of the association. We must also acknowledge and recognise the challenges ahead of us for 2010.
As President of ALPS I have always observed how our members are indeed the association’s main assets. I honestly feel that no one is more qualified or more familiar with the capabilities and potential of our dynamic association.
The process of change is led from within and with your participation, in order to continue to generate a strong and healthy internal discussion and to explore your vast collective knowledge. I am always on the look-out and feel grateful for your ideas, efforts and contributions for the years that lie ahead of ALPS. This may no doubt give continued support and encouragement to the incoming new President and Council of Administration at the next annual general meeting on 22nd January 2010. I want many of you to be there and to cast a vote of confidence in the contestants who you may feel can best steer this association to greater heights and achievements.
Our sole purpose should be to make the most of the Association of Lyceum Past Students and to bring forth the qualities and potential of all its members.
Once again I thank you members and friends for the continued support that you have given to ALPS over the years. There is a fountain of knowledge among the old and new in age and experience. The primary thing that we have is surely enthusiasm and the belief that by putting our energy into the Association of Lyceum Past Students we will all benefit.
My colleagues on the Council of Administration join me in wishing you a Very Peaceful and Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year full of pleasant surprises to each and every one of you.
George dei Conti Stagno Navarra
Association of Lyceum Past Students
Ghaqda Ex-Studenti Liceo
Indeed there are no truer words to describe the annual ALPS Yuletide Dinner-Dance at the Fortress Suite of the Corinthia San Gorg Resort on 4th December. The event also helped to mark the end of a very successful year of activities in ALPS’s 15th anniversary year. As we have now come to expect from every venue chosen specially for our members and friends, the food was marvellous and served in banquet style, and the service was slick and very efficient.
There were over 250 members, friends and spouses attending, with some even dancing to the well-picked tunes from the synthesiser of David Vella, who has become a welcome regular at ALPS dinners.
ALPS President George Stagno Navarra welcomed the guests and expounded on the successful outcomes of the association’s activities in its 15th anniversary year, as well as its continuing efforts in all that it did for its members and friends. He also announced the revamping of the ALPS website www.alpsmalta.com, which had first gone online more than five years ago on the 10th anniversary of ALPS. He called on all present, and others who were not, to put forward suggestions for the website’s enhancement.
The President then presented a certificate of Honorary Life Membership to ALPS member Stephen D’Alessandro, the originator of the website. Mr D’Alessandro, for whom this was a complete surprise, then showed the revamped version of the website, in the process disclosing that it was attracting an average of seven hits per hour or 5,000 hits per month, or 75 visits a week or 300 visits a month, with the peak hours being between 7.30 p.m. and 9 p.m. The figures veritably took many guests’ breath away!
Among the new features in the revamped version are some moving parts and revolving pictures, a Calendar of Events, an In Memoriam section, as well as several updates. This Editor can vouch for the hard work put into the website’s revamping by Stephen’s son Nicholas D’Alessandro in the final weeks before the presentation, acting on suggestions and ideas previously discussed with ALPS.
Towards the end of the dinner, Council members presented to each guest present a lovely leather card holder inscribed with the ALPS logo and “15th anniversary 1994-2009”. Mr Stagno Navarra then proposed a toast to the memory of ALPS Founder-President Dr Guido Saliba, whose widow Irene was honouring us with her presence, and to all ALPS members and friends present or otherwise.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
As has already been mentioned in ALPS News, the 16th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Lyceum Past Students will be held at 6.30 p.m. on Friday 22nd January 2010 at The Lyceum in Hamrun, with the kind permission and unstinting cooperation of Head Master Tony Caruana Smith.
Following the Administrative Report by Secretary-General Alex Borg and the Financial Report by Treasurer David Abela, outgoing President George Stagno Navarra will address the meeting. Elections will then be held for the post of President for two years, as per the ALPS Statute, and posts on the Council of Administration for one year. This will be followed by the appointment of two auditors.
This notice in ALPS News is to be taken as a circular. Friends of ALPS may also attend the AGM but without voting rights.
At the end of this edition of ALPS News there are two forms for the nomination of members to the Council of Administration. With all due respect to outgoing members of Council, each of whom has willingly served the association for several years – sometimes even at great personal sacrifice – it is forever hoped that new, younger blood will be drawn to serve in the interests of continuity.
A.L.P.S. CHOIR IN L’ELISIR D’AMORE
On Saturday 30th January 2009, at 7.30 p.m., the ALPS Choir will proudly present a concert version of Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, under the direction of ALPS Cultural Commission Chairman and Choirmaster Joe Fenech. .
The concert will be held at the Hotel Phoenicia Ballroom in Floriana. It was originally meant to be held in November, but had to be postponed due to various reasons. After all, it’s still our 15th anniversary year until next March!
The principal parts will be sung by soloists Karen Camilleri, Connie Frances Zerafa, Bernard Busuttil, Joe Huber and Ivan Vella. The ALPS Choir is being trained by Marlene Ferrante. The Musical Director will be André Paul Huber, recently returned from his studies and graduation in Italy, with Corinne Briffa at the pianoforte.
Tickets will be available in January, but bookings may be made beforehand with Joe Fenech on telephone 21 410632.
LOVE WITH A TOUCH OF CARNIVAL
As in previous years, the ALPS Council of Administration is organising a Weekend Break at the Paradise Bay Resort Hotel, Cirkewwa, between 5th and 7th February 2010.
The proceeds will go to Id-Dar tal-Providenza through the Lyceum Bicycle Marathon 2010.
The Council of Administration’s first thought was to have the special weekend a week later to coincide with Valentine’s Day on the 14th, but was persuaded to move it to a week earlier because in 2010 Valentine’s Day coincides with Carnival weekend. So the event has been dubbed Love with a Touch of Carnival.
Full details about the weekend, as well as a booking form, will be found at the end of this edition of ALPS News. Also with this edition readers will find a packet of 12 tickets for the Christmas Raffle organised by the LBM organising committee, also in aid of the marathon’s proceeds. Raffle tickets are in packs of 10 for €5, with two free tickets for whoever sells all the pack. The draw will be held on 22nd January 2010.
Prizes include a Weekend Break for two persons (bed and breakfast) at the Palace Hotel, Sliema; a similar Weekend Break at the Dolmen Hotel, Qawra; six tickets for flights to Crete; Sunday Lunch for two persons at the Maritim Antonin Hotel & Spa, Mellie?a; and a radio-controlled model from Simon Models of Santa Lucija.
ALPS members, friends and families are encouraged to contribute to the good cause by purchasing tickets and enticing others to do likewise. Ticket stubs and cheques (made payable to Oscar Galea) are to be sent to Oscar Galea, the ALPS Council member sitting on the Lyceum Bicycle Marathon Committee, at “Harmony”, Mater Boni Consilii Street, Fgura FGR 1614, by not later than 21st January 2010.
OFF TO VENICE FOR A CELEBRITY HAIRCUT
Members and friends of ALPS, together with spouses, are encouraged to join the group that will be wending its way to Venice on 14th February 2010 for a four-day tour which will include attendance to the opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia with first-category tickets at the Teatro La Fenice.
The tour is being organised by sector specialists Eurotours and prices start from €990 (see the flyer at the end of this edition for details), but people booking through ALPS Cultural Commission Chairman Joe Fenech will get a special discount of €25 each.
Gentlemen intending to join the group are advised not to have their hair cut before going. Il Barbiere di Siviglia will do the honours himself – if they can believe that!
ST ANNE’S CHAPEL 2010 CALENDAR
St Anne’s Chapel at Pwales came alive again on 13th December when Alex Portelli came along and played the organ with some lovely hymns during Holy Mass celebrated by ALPS Spiritual Director Fr William Bartolo, OFM Conv. The chapel was packed with a larger-than-expected congregation who came to take part in this prelude to the Christmas season.
The event also served to offer prayers for the repose of the soul of Nicole Aquilina, the daughter of Oreste who looks after the ALPS interests in Australia.
The encouraging response to the efforts of the ALPS Council of Administration, spearheaded by St Anne Chapel Commission Chairman Oscar Galea, to make more frequent use of the chapel in Pwales Valley has prompted the drawing up of a calendar of events for 2010.
On 23rd January at 4.30 p.m. there will be a Mass of thanksgiving at the end of the 2009 administration. Other Masses will be held at 4.30 p.m. on 20th February and 6th March, at 5.30 p.m. on 10th April, 6 p.m. on 5th June, 7.30 p.m. on 7th August and 4th September, and 5.30 p.m. on 2nd October.
Of particular importance will be the feast of St Gorg Preca, patron saint of ALPS, which will be celebrated on 8th May with Mass at 6 p.m.; the feast of St Anne at 7 p.m. on 10th July; and Remembrance Day for deceased ALPS members, Lyceum masters and relatives of the Pwales community on 6th November at 4.30 p.m. Christmas Mass will be held on 13th December at 11 a.m.
Do please make a note of these dates and times.
ALSO FOR YOUR DIARY …
• ALPS Annual Spiritual Retreat at Manresa House, Victoria, Gozo, from 21st to 23rd May 2010, led by Fr Charles Tabone OP.
Further details will be forthcoming in ALPS News, but with so many members and friends of ALPS known to use their diaries with long-term foresightedness, it is felt it would only be fair to let them know as soon as date or dates for any event are finalised.
AN APPEAL FOR SPECIAL PRAYERS
ALPS member Salvator Mousù is still convalescing at home after a very serious operation. We are renewing the request for special prayers for his complete recovery. Salvator has promised that as soon as he gets better, he will take ALPS members and friends on a very interesting guided tour of Valletta.
More details will follow in due course, but in the meantime, let us pray that our friend gets better, and fast.
Every relative is sorely missed on his or her demise, and the prayers of friends bring solace to both the departed soul and the bereaved. This edition of ALPS News is asking readers to remember the following in their prayers:
†Mrs Filomena (Nené) Borg, mother of ALPS Secretary-General Alex Borg, passed away on 19th November 2009 at the age of 87.
†Mrs Frances Portelli, mother-in-law of ALPS Youths and Lyceum Affairs Commission Chairman Joe Micallef, passed away on 21st November 2009 at the age of 86.
†Ms Nicole Aquilina, daughter of ALPS NSW Australia Branch Secretary Oreste Aquilina, passed away on 4th December at the age of 36.
Our deep condolences to the bereaved families. May their dear departed rest in peace.
AN APPEAL FOR RESEARCH HELP
ALPS News has always promised to help former Lyceum schoolmates get in touch with one another after no matter how many years, but this time we don’t even know if the subject was a Lyceum past student or not. Still, here goes …
A letter has been received from a Mrs Maryann Axisa Conway of Australia who is doing some research about her late uncle, Nazareno Camenzuli. She was driven to write to ALPS after having “stumbled across the website, and I am not sure if he ever went to your school in the past,” she wrote apologetically.
Mr Camenzuli lived in Sliema and worked in Marsa at Eagle Star Insurance, also known as the Camenzuli Brothers, with his brother Lewis, who has also passed away. He learned and did so many things in life, including painting, drawing and sculpting, woodwork, insurance work, Fulda Tyres and Trackers. During World War II he was in charge of the gas pipes in Valletta and Marsa. He taught people how to play musical instruments and wrote some musical scores for the “Hamrun club” (St Gaetan Band Club).
Would members and friends of ALPS who think they might be able to help Mrs Axisa Conway please write to her at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
ALPS members are still in time pay their subscription fees for 2009 and qualify to attend the Annual General Meeting on Friday 22nd January 2010. Fees are to be addressed to ALPS Treasurer David Abela at “Juniper”, Triq Ganni Vella, Tal-Qattus, Birkirkara. As per a decision taken at the last AGM, membership fees for 2010 will be due from January at €12 yearly and €70 for life membership.