JUNE 2009


Dear members and friends of ALPS,

I certainly feel that we have much to celebrate. The growth of the Association of Lyceum Past Students continues to strengthen our resolve to carry on with our intense programme of events spread throughout 2009. Through the dedication and enthusiasm of the hard-working Council of Administration we have all been enriched with our recent achievements since January. Congratulations to everyone for such a resounding success that is purely the result of much hard work.

Now we all deserve a break, and we shall therefore be celebrating with a summer barbecue at which I wish to see as many ALPS members and friends as possible.

On behalf of the Association of Lyceum Past Students I extend to all members and friends and their families safe, happy and relaxing holidays. Please God we will continue in September when the 15th anniversary programme will proceed as originally planned. Until then, continue to live life to the fullest possible.


President, ALPS

Ghaqda Ex-Studenti Liceo



The President and Council of Administration of ALPS formed an important part of a rather large delegation from Il-Liceo that paid a courtesy visit to the President of Malta Dr George Abela at The Palace, not only to mark his accession as Head of State but also because he is himself a past student of The Lyceum.

The delegation, headed by School Council President Mr Joe M. Sammut, College Principal Mr Joe Buttigieg and Lyceum Headmaster Mr Tony Caruana Smith, also included the School Council, the Students’ Council, Maltese and expatriate teachers and members of the Lyceum Scouts Group (Il-Liceo is the only state school in Malta that has its own Scout Group).

Mr Sammut thanked President Abela for the honour of accepting the visit and spoke briefly about the school’s history and its efforts in the educational field. President Abela said it was he who felt honoured by this gesture of affection from such a strong representation of his old school, which he still remembered with great nostalgia. Addressing himself specifically to the youngest members of the delegation, members of the Students’ Council, he urged them to see in the occasion living proof that if one worked hard at one’s studies there were no limits to what one could achieve. It was true, he said, that parents were their children’s primary educators, but it was also true that teachers came a close second in the formation of students.

Having been presented with a mounted metal badge of The Lyceum, President Abela then accepted cheques for the Community Chest Fund from Students’ Council President Shaun Hili, Lyceum Scout Master Alex Bonello and ALPS President George dei Conti Stagno Navarra, who also gave him an ALPS banner and a true copy of a handwritten sheet showing the names of his classmates in Form I B of 1960-61 when he had first entered The Lyceum.

Visibly delighted with the surprise memento which he said he would continue to treasure, President Abela was quick to read through the names of his former classmates and comment on those he was still in contact with.


As has now become customary over the past years, on 9th May ALPS celebrated the liturgical feast of its patron San Gorg Preca with Holy Mass at the Chapel of St Anne in Pwales Valley. The congregation was so large that it spilt out onto the parvis.

Holy Mass was concelebrated by ALPS Spiritual Director Fr William Bartolo with Fr Joe Barbara (Lyceum entry 1955) from Rabat Malta, who has lived in Australia and other parts of the world for the past 20 years. It was Fr Barbara who delivered the homily.

Fr William also led the annual ALPS spiritual retreat in Manresa House in Victoria, Gozo, between 22nd and 24th May. All available accommodation at Manresa was taken up by 52 members and friends of the association, most of whom were accompanied by their wives, as well as those who travelled over for the day. The weekend of recollection brought all participants closer to the word of God, helped no end by the detailed research that Fr William had obviously done and by the open debate and discussion during the talks. In his own brand of basic and simple language Fr William challenged participants to look deep inside their hearts and see how they are living and demonstrating the Christian faith.

There was an unplanned bonus to the profound experience when Manresa House Director Fr Joe Cilia SJ invited Mr John Formosa of the MUSEUM to deliver a talk about San Gorg Preca.

There were many positive and encouraging remarks at the end of the retreat, enhanced as usual by the genuine Jesuit brand of hospitality and care.


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. As a first step, Holy Mass will be celebrated in the chapel on Saturday 13th June at 5 p.m. All members and friends of ALPS, as well as family members, are welcome.


This year’s feast of St Anne at the Pwales chapel will be celebrated with Holy Mass at 6 p.m. on 11th July. The ALPS Choir will sing hymns during Mass and later entertain all present with parts of its repertoire. Light refreshments will be served to all present.


Following the uplifting success and appreciation of its Yuletide round of visits to old people’s homes, the ALPS Choir under the direction of Cultural Commission Chairman and Choirmaster Joe Fenech will be visiting Casa Antonia at Balzan for a mini-concert on its terraces, to entertain the elderly residents and their families. The mini-concert will be held on 19th June.


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 that certain “knowledgeable” quarters in the education sector wanted to kill off in the 21st century. It was after concerted efforts mounted by ALPS that not only did the Liceo badge prevail, but it has now also been adopted as the badge for the whole San Gorg Preca College with effect from last April.

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 (see masthead for details).


The ALPS end-of-season BBQ mentioned by President George Stagno Navarra in his front-page message will be held at The Edge open-air restaurant of the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort on Friday 26th June . The time will be 8 p.m. for 8.30 p.m.

The menu is at the back of this edition of ALPS News. The price will be €25 per person, including a welcome drink and half a bottle of house wine as well as water. David Vella, now a regular at ALPS activities, will be in attendance with his synthesiser.

Bookings, including advance payment, may be done with ALPS Secretary-General Alex Borg (see masthead for address) or Social Commission Chairman Robert Ferrante at “Haven”, Triq Almeridja, Birkirkara, by not later than Wednesday 24th June.

Parking space on the hotel grounds will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. It being a Friday, it is recommended that patrons plan to arrive early close to the venue by the side of the hotel, from where one can walk straight into The Edge Restaurant.


Arguably one of the greatest organisational challenges in the activities ALPS is bringing up in the year-long activities to mark the 15th anniversary of its foundation in March 1994 will be the Books, Painting, Photography and Crafts Exhibition on September 2009.

There has already been a good number of statements of intent from potential participants in the exhibition.

The bulk of the organisational work is being taken up by Lyceum Youths Commission Chairman Joe Micallef, eagerly helped by Lyceum masters and senior students for whom the Lyceum Youths Section was set up earlier this year. But of course, help will be forthcoming from quarters of the ALPS Council of Administration, not least ALPS News and the Communications and Publications Commission chaired by Laurence Vella.

There are, of course, hundreds of Lyceum past students (not necessarily members of ALPS) who have made their professional or amateur mark in one or other of the artistic fields that the exhibition will embrace. But space will be at a premium because the exhibition will pointedly be set up in the first Lyceum building in Merchants Street, Valletta – what are now the head offices of Heritage Malta. This makes early registration by intending participants imperative.

It is hoped that the aura of nostalgia that the first Lyceum building suggests will make it a strong attraction not only for the participants but also for all those who are proud of belonging to The Lyceum – especially the ones that will be drawn there because the building brings back years of serious schooling for them. The visit is sure to conjure up many memories of the good old days.

Initially, at least, please channel all enquiries and registrations through ALPS Secretary-General Alex Borg (see masthead for details), who will then coordinate with Joe Micallef.


Bookings for the ALPS Western Mediterranean cruise on the m.v. Norwegian Gem, between 13th and 20th September, are coming in very well.

Any ALPS members or friends who have not yet made up their minds 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 you 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.


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.

ALPS End-of-Season

The Edge Open-air Restaurant
Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort

Friday 26th June 2009


Penne Rigatoni
with smoked chicken, artichokes,
asparagus and tomato cream

From the BBQ Grill

Skewered Lamb kofte with garlic yoghurt sauce
Tuna with herbs and olive oil
Chicken drumsticks with black bean sauce
Mignons of pork with rosemary and garlic

Jacket potatoes and assorted salads

Chocolate Tart
with Kahlua and hazelnut mascarpone cream
served with orange kumquat marmalade

Half a bottle of house wine
and water per person

Price: €25 per person                                   8 for 8.30 p.m.