JULY 2009


The customary ALPS pause in activities for the summer got off on a very high note with the organisational success of the end-of-season BBQ and the feast of St Anne.

More than 150 guests – members, wives and friends – thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ on 26th June under the stars at the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort’s freshly-refurbished The Edge open-air restaurant. The magnificent setting greatly enhanced the excellent food, prepared specially for the event by the Radisson staff, with more than a good part played by our now “resident” David Vella with his vast repertoire of memorable music.

A special guest of honour at the BBQ was ALPS NSW Australia secretary Oreste Aquilina, in Malta on holiday, who did not miss the opportunity to attend the event and renew acquaintances with several ALPS members, as well as making new ones.

In his speech, ALPS President George dei Conti Stagno Navarra not only welcomed Oreste, but augured that, just as a similar visit by ALPS Canada President Milo Vassallo a few years ago had led to a memorable tour of Canada and a Grand Lyceum Reunion in Toronto, Oreste’s visit would somehow lead to an ALPS tour to Australia.

On the socio-religious side the feast of St Anne at Pwales, held on 11th July, was another great success. A good-sized congregation filled the parvis and surrounding area. The ALPS Choir, under the direction of Cultural Affairs Commission chairman and Choirmaster Joe Fenech, sang during the Mass with the welcome participation of tenor Ivan Vella, who had made such a good name for himself in the Souvenir d’Italie programme organised by ALPS as part of its 15th anniversary activities. Once Mass was over, Ivan and the choir continued to entertain the guests with some parts of its repertoire.

The event was made more enjoyable with the eats and drinks lovingly prepared by ALPS Council of Administration members and their wives. The enjoyment lasted well into the night, so much so that a good number of those present seemed to be very reluctant to leave.


As intimated in the June edition of ALPS News, ALPS is embarking on new efforts to make greater and more effective use of St Anne’s Chapel in Pwales Valley, which it has lovingly restored and looked after for the past nine years.

On Saturday 8th August and Saturday 5th September there will be Holy Mass at 8 p.m. On Saturday 3rd October Holy Mass will be at 5 p.m.

The annual Mass for the repose of souls of departed Lyceum past students and masters, relatives of ALPS members and friends and of the Pwales community will be held on Saturday 7th November at 4.30 p.m.

On Sunday 13th December (Republic Day, a public holiday) Mass will be at 11 a.m.

Please take note of these dates and times so that as many as possible can attend.


As in previous years, ALPS Cultural Commission Chairman Joe Fenech has come up with a comprehensive programme for attendance at a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s world-famous opera Rigoletto at the Astra Theatre, Victoria, Gozo, on Saturday 31st October 2009.

The full programme can be seen in the flyer at the end of this issue of ALPS News.

ALPS members and friends who have attended previous performances at the Astra with Joe Fenech know full well the enjoyment in store, helped not least by his top-level organisational acumen.


The ALPS Grand Reunion on Friday 30th October, for all Lyceum past students but with a special emphasis on those who entered or left The Lyceum in 1959, promises to be a very special event indeed. President of Malta George Abela has a note in his official diary to attend this reunion, barring any as-yet-unforeseen official engagements of state.

In order to make this an even more special occasion for President Abela, the Council of Administration is making efforts to locate and invite his former class-mates, but this is proving difficult for the usual reasons of moved residences. Any help that can be forthcoming from ALPS News readers, addressed to Secretary-General Alex Borg (see masthead for details), will be sincerely welcome.


ALPS member Dr Franco Grima, who retired from the British Royal Air Force with the rank of Group Captain, consultant in Occupational Medicine and experience at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, UK, has just published a book with the title Warriors of Arabia – Memoirs of a Medical Officer in Aden and Beyond.

In its 234 pages, illustrated with 76 photographs and four maps, the book recounts the author’s incessant efforts, on secondment from the RAF to the Arab army of the fragile Federation of South Arabia, to relieve suffering and control the spread of disease in a harsh land where standards of hygiene were low. This is a vivid eye-witness account of southwest Arabia at historic crossroads.

The paperback edition of Warriors of Arabia sells at €25 plus packing and postage. Enquiries are to be made to francogrima@onvol.net or on telephone 21 417651.


This is ALPS News’s last call for participants in the Art, Books, Painting, Photography & Crafts Exhibition being held in the last week of September as part of the association’s 15th anniversary celebrations.

The statements of intent mentioned in the last edition of this newsletter have since been corroborated with details and numbers of exhibits and CVs of the exhibitors. The biographical notes on some exhibitors may well constitute pleasant surprises to visitors. Since space will be at a premium, the Council of Administration has set 8th August as the absolute deadline for applications.

The exhibition will be held between 24th and 30th September at the Heritage Malta headquarters, which is actually the first building ever to have housed The Lyceum centuries ago. It is hoped that the nostalgia of the good old Lyceum days will be a strong lure for both exhibitors and visitors.


The response for the Western Mediterranean ALPS Cruise on the m.v. Norwegian Gem from 13th to 20th October has been so great that SMS Travel have kindly agreed to allocate a number of additional cabins for those who have not yet put their wishes into action and booked their participation.

Any such would-be cruise-goers should contact SMS Travel as soon as possible, in order to avoid being disappointed for having left things too late.

Joining the ALPS group this year will give participants a holiday to remember, just as it has done to others on several past occasions. The association’s members and friends certainly know how to enjoy themselves when they go abroad together as one big happy family. The sense of camaraderie is second to no other.


Please make an entry into your diaries for the 4th December 2009 . It is the date that has been confirmed for the ALPS Yuletide and 15th anniversary dinner-dance at the 5-star Corinthia San Gorg Hotel. Further details will be forthcoming in ALPS News.


Thanks are due to all those ALPS members and friends who sent in donations after receiving their copies of The Chanticleer. These donations continued to help the association to defray the huge costs of the high-quality publication.

Any other donations will be more than welcome, of course!


The association has received a new consignment of ALPS ties and Lyceum blazer badges. The latter, especially, should be a prized possession of all Lyceum past students, to remind them of the years in which they proudly wore the centuries-old badge which has now also been adopted as the badge for the whole San Gorg Preca College.

This means that future students of The Lyceum are already wearing the badge with pride.

The ties are available for €10 each and the badges for €2.50 each, including local postage, by recourse to ALPS Secretary-General Alex Borg.


ALPS News records with sadness the passing away of ALPS member Joe Casha of Tarxien on 17th February 2009. On behalf of all members and friends of ALPS the President and Council of Administration express their deep condolences to Mrs Casha and her remaining family, and asks members to keep Joe in their prayers.


The annual obligation for ALPS members to pay their subscription fees for the year is still with us. Fees are to be addressed to ALPS Treasurer David Abela at “Juniper”, Triq Ganni Vella, Tal-Qattus, Birkirkara.