CANADA WAS A SHOT IN THE ARM
It was a very happy group of ALPS members and friends that
came back from a three-week visit to Canada on 18th September,
but happiest of all must have been President George Stagno
Navarra, Secretary-General Alex Borg and Treasurer David Abela
at the unmitigated success of the trip. Who could not be happy
knowing that the trip had given ALPS Canada a new lease of
life and ALPS in Malta yet another organisational shot in
the arm, not to mention absolute enjoyment for all participants?
The ALPS group left Malta on 28th August via Frankfurt. They
were met at Pearson Airport in Toronto by ALPS Canada President
Milo Vassallo with a small Maltese flag in hand. The ALPS
Malta President walked into the arrivals lounge sporting the
ALPS banner over his luggage trolley. After visiting Niagara
Falls, the next event on the tour was a top-notch garden party
hosted by Milo and his wife Rita, both of whom had left no
stone unturned to make it perfect.
31st August marked the early peak of the tour programme so
painstakingly put together by Milo: a Grand Reunion at the
exclusive Ontario Club in Toronto between the visiting group
and 32 Lyceum past students who are settled in Canada. At
the end of the formal dinner George Stagno Navarra delivered
a heartfelt speech reminiscing about the setting up of The
Lyceum, the good old Lyceum days and the great Maltese names
that the school has produced. He then proudly proceeded to
present Milo with a well-deserved Certificate of Honorary
Life Membership of ALPS, and Mrs Vassallo with a large silver
frame. This was reciprocated by the Vassallos with a very
attractive ALPS banner bearing the slogan “Still going
strong”. The rest of the “Canadian” party
were each presented with certificates of honorary ALPS membership.
It was a wonderful occasion for old friends to meet and new
ones to be made, complete with a number of exhibits harking
back to the old Lyceum school days. Catcalls of “Viva
s-Serduk!” were so flying around that the only thing
missing was the crow of a real cock – but there was
a stuffed one in Lyceum colours, brought along by one of the
A good number of the photographs taken will be made available
on the ALPS website.
The tour continued with visits to Toronto, Lake Ontario,
Niagara, Calgary, the Pacific Coast, Vancouver, British Columbia,
a five-day tour of the Rockies and a seven-day cruise in Alaska
on the m.v. Norwegian Sun. It was a poignant moment when one
Lyceum past student who had not made it to Toronto, Eddie
Turner, drove with his wife Carole all the way to Sun Peaks
in the Rockies to rendezvous and stay overnight at the same
hotel with the ALPS group.
An elated President George Stagno Navarra told ALPS News
that “History has been written in the annals of ALPS.
It will be impossible to ever forget the smiles and the singing
when Lyceum past students from all walks of life converged
for the grand get-together. The Maltese/Canadian group made
the most of the opportunity to reminisce on their Lyceum days.
The hugging and promises to meet again sealed a most memorable
evening that we had all envisaged would turn out to be a wonderful
experience. I wish and hope that we may yet repeat this extraordinary
event that leaves nothing but indelible memories, making us
all feel young at heart.”
BUMPER GRAND REUNION ONLY DAYS AWAY
The third Grand Reunion of Lyceum Past Students in as many
years is now only days away – and it promises to be
a bumper event. Hundreds of members and friends of ALPS, as
well as non-members, have applied to attend on Friday 12th
The gates of The Lyceum will open at 6.30 p.m. for attendees
to get together and give a rousing welcome to Archbishop Paul
Cremona, who started attending The Lyceum in 1956. Together
with Mgr Lawrence Gatt (who made it nine years before him),
Mgr Anton Gouder and ALPS Spiritual Director Fr William Bartolo
OFM Conv., as well as any number of ordained past students
who would like to join them, the Archbishop will say Mass
in the Main Hall at 7 p.m. A reception will be held thereafter.
Archbishop Cremona has willingly accepted the invitation
to the Grand Reunion, while Mgr Gatt, Director of Dar tal-Providenza,
has asked to meet as many as possible of the surviving students
who first joined him at The Lyceum in 1947.
Great enjoyment is simply guaranteed.
TREE-PLANTING CEREMONY STILL OPEN
It has been confirmed that the planting of the ALPS Grove
in the 34U Campaign will be held at the Kennedy Grove on the
morning of Saturday 3rd November. The scores of ALPS members
and friends who have registered for the event will meet near
the Bella Vista Hotel at Qawra, from where the whole group
will proceed to the planting area with 34U officials.
There is still time for anyone wishing to join in this noble
gesture for posterity, at just Lm6 per tree, to contact ALPS
Secretary-General Alex Borg (see masthead).
READ, LISTEN AND CONTRIBUTE
Gorga is the first book in a new series by ALPS member Charles
Micallef St John. The book has received high acclaim from
Prof. Joseph M. Pirotta and President Emeritus Ugo Mifsud
Bonnici, incidentally both Lyceum past students. Charles is
selling to ALPS members and friends at a special price of
Lm4 instead of Lm4.99, and has promised ALPS a donation for
every copy sold. Readers can contact him on mobile 7942 9886
Veteran tenor Andrew Sapiano, a stalwart of ALPS cultural
events, is putting on the market a CD with operatic arias
sung by him over the past 30 years. The CD sells at Lm3 each,
and Andrew will donate all moneys collected to Dar tal-Providenza.
He can be contacted on telephone 21 820908 or during the Yuletide
Dinner on Friday 7th December.
Further info about the Yuletide Dinner will be in the next
issue of ALPS News.
FOUNDATION DAY CONCERT BROUGHT FORWARD
The ALPS Foundation Day Concert for 2008 has been brought
forward to Saturday 19th January.
Following the outstanding success of the 2007 event, a concert
version of La Danza delle Libellule that packed the Salesian
Theatre in Sliema to capacity, the 2008 event will be a semi-concert
version of another operetta, La Principessa della Czarda,
with music by Emerich Kalmann.
Joe Fenech, who as usual is spearheading the efforts, is
inviting any ALPS members and friends, male and female, who
would like to join the chorus to contact him on telephone
21 410632 as soon as possible. Early notification will avoid
missing out on the imminent start of rehearsals.
FOR YOUR DIARY …
The annual Requiem Mass for the repose of dear departed relatives
of ALPS members and friends, teachers and students of The
Lyceum, as well as relatives of the Pwales community, will
be held at St Anne’s Chapel, Pwales Valley, at 4.30
p.m. on Saturday 17th November.
The Annual General Meeting will be held in the evening of
Friday 25th January 2008. More details will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, ALPS members who may not yet have paid their
membership for 2007 can ensure eligibility to attend the AGM
by sending Lm5 (annual subscription) or Lm30 (once-only life
membership) to Treasurer David Abela at “Juniper”,
Triq Ganni Vella, Tal-Qattus, Birkirkara.