All those who attended the Grand Vocal Concert to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, on 30th October at the Grand Hotel Phoenicia Ballroom in Floriana, came away with nothing but praise for the great evening organised by the Association of Lyceum Past Students.

Put together by ALPS Cultural Commission Chairman Joe Fenech, the concert featured seven of Malta’s best solo voices and the ALPS Choir, which is really going from strength to strength. Sopranos Claire Caruana, Karen Camilleri and Anita Cauchi, tenors Joseph Aquilina and Bernard Busuttil and baritones Kevin Caruana and Louis Cassar performed 16 pieces from 12 operas composed by Puccini. In the finale from Turandot they were joined by the ALPS Choir, which had already sung the Coro a Bocca Chiusa from Madama Butterfly and Inno di Roma with soprano Louiselle Pace Gouder as guest singer.

The music was provided by pianists Cynthia Genovese and by Yolanda Micallef who helps Joe Fenech to train the choir. In the finale there were also three trumpeters, Horace Aquilina, Justin Azzopardi and Leandro Colombo, all members of the Società Filarmonica Sliema. The show was very ably compèred by Abraham Borg: his vast knowledge of the subject shone through his very enlightening comments.

The Grand Vocal Concert attracted an audience of over 400 patrons who crammed the Phoenicia Ballroom. Immensely appreciated was the presence in the audience of at least two big names in Maltese classical singing circles: Paul Asciak and Antoinette Miggiani. They must have felt nostalgic tugs at their heartstrings while listening to various excerpts that they themselves have sung brilliantly over the years.

The ALPS Choir members completely deserved to be elated with their performance. Well done, everyone! It was another feather in the multi-coloured ALPS hat.


The ALPS group who went on a week’s Mediterranean cruise on the m.v. Costa Concordia in October have come back with glowing reports of their experience, generally calling it “fantastic”. They visited several ports of call and took land excursions in Palermo, Rome and Viterbo, Savona, Barcelona, Majorca and Tunis.

ALPS President George dei Conti Stagno Navarra, who led the group together with Secretary-General Alex Borg and Treasurer David Abela, said they visited some very interesting places, made even more so by the tour guides who went out of their way to give the best possible explanations. They took the group to vantage points in many places of interest from where they could admire the beauty of every city. But what made the cruise even more marvellous was the opportunity for ALPS members, friends and spouses to be happy together and forget everyday worries for a week.

Mother Nature reserved very calm seas and excellent weather conditions, accentuating the sturdiness of the ship and the pleasures of travelling therewith.

George was happy to say that all the organisation that had gone into the cruise with SMS Travel had borne exceptionally-good results. He is looking forward to seeing many more new faces for the next cruise which is already being planned for 2009.


The Yuletide Dinner of the Association of Lyceum Past Students will be held on Thursday 11th December at the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort, St George’s Bay, at 8 for 8.30 p.m. The price per person will be €22. The venue will be the hotel’s lavish Grand Ballroom, which will be exclusively for the ALPS event.

True to form, the Radisson has come up with a very good menu which readers can peruse at the end of this edition of ALPS News. The price will include a welcome drink and canapés, half a bottle of wine per person and free-flowing local water.

Prepaid booking will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Please contact ALPS Secretary-General Alex Borg (see details on masthead) or Social Activities Commission Chairman Robbie Ferrante on telephone 21 444570, mobile 7960 3622 or e-mail

Overnights will be at €100 per double room per night, including American breakfast.

There will be parking facilities for the ALPS Yuletide Dinner. The facilities will be available only up to 8.30 p.m., following which latecomers will have to find their own parking space. The parking facilities will be available on a first-come-first served basis.

At the end of the newsletter there is a pass for the parking facilities. Readers are advised to cut it out and present it on the night.


The customary Mass for the repose of the souls of dearly departed ALPS members, Lyceum masters and students, and relatives of the Pwales community will be held on Saturday 15th November at 4.30 p.m. at the St Anne Chapel in Pwales. Mass will be said by ALPS Spiritual Director Fr William Bartolo, OFM Conv.

It is obvious that most people pray for the dead, but attendance at the chapel will give it a sense of togetherness with The Lyceum and ALPS as the common factors.


While the Association of Lyceum Past Students is still desperately in need of more advertising to cover the costs of producing the next edition of The Chanticleer, ALPS News is urging more members to put on their thinking caps and contribute some article to help make it a bumper issue (after all the waiting time, we owe it to ourselves!). We would particularly like to hear from overseas members of ALPS, notably in Australia, Canada and the UK. The articles do not have to be only about the good old Lyceum days: they could cover the joys of meeting old schoolmates in organised or unexpected occasions, some amusing anecdotes and even current affairs in Malta and beyond. After all, The Lyceum has produced most of the Maltese Islands’ greatest minds.

There have been many times when ALPS members rose to the occasion and showed their generosity with those most in need. This is a time when members can show how dearly they hold the Association of Lyceum Past Students, through their own or their acquaintances’ advertising. Thank you all.


Thanks to the appeal for the donation of suitable books and videos to the child patients receiving medical care at the Disneyland Ward of Mater Dei Hospital, the ward has already received a generous donation from an ALPS member in USA. The books were delivered directly to the ward library.

Books have come pouring in from a good number of other ALPS members to help in this noble cause. These unfortunate children certainly deserve all the help they can get to while away the long hours in hospital – not to mention the physical pain of the treatment in some cases. Please give all the help you can. Telephone 2545 4920.

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Yuletide Dinner 2008