|NUMBER OF NEW MEMBERS IN 2006:||
|NUMBER OF NEW LIFE MEMBERS 2006:||
|NUMBER OF LIFE MEMBERS TO DATE:||
|NUMBER OF MEMBERS TO DATE:||
|NUMBER OF COUNCIL MEETINGS HELD
|NUMBER OF ISSUES OF A.L.P.S. NEWS
As in previous years I wish to start this Administrative
Report by putting on record my great appreciation for the
devoted and hard work done during the past year by all members
of the Council of Administration and the respective commissions,
which contributed to another exceptionally-successful year.
The example given by our hardworking President George Stagno
Navarra gave each and every member of the Council the push
to make that bit of extra effort to ensure that each event
we organised constituted another success story for our Association.
I am sure the ever-growing success makes all of us proud to
be one of the leading and most active associations of its
kind in Malta.
The year started off with the Annual General Meeting in January,
in keeping with the Statute. It was unanimously agreed during
that AGM to set up a new commission to run any philanthropic
projects agreed on by the Council. The newly-elected Council
members immediately put on their thinking caps to collectively
formulate the programme for 2006.
The new Philanthropic Commission, chaired by Dr Nazareno
Azzopardi, started functioning immediately. The first project
organised by the Commission was Pitazz u Lapis –
the collection of exercise books and pencils from schoolchildren
around Malta to be sent to children in the missions of the
Missionary Society of St Paul (MSSP) in Peru. The proper advertising
and marketing was done. Dr Azzopardi wrote to all the State,
private and Church schools about the project while Communications
& Publications Commission Chairman Laurie Vella orchestrated
an extensive media campaign. In just a few weeks over 7,000
items were collected, including not only exercise books and
pencils but also other school items. These were conspicuously
labelled to credit ALPS and were dispatched to destination
by the MSSP’s Centru Animazzjoni Missjunarja.
As has now become customary, the first social event for the
year was the Valentine’s Day Dinner. This annual event,
which our romantically-inclined members have come to look
forward to, was held at the Coastline Hotel with the attendance
of nearly 200 participants.
March 2006 was a hive of activity for ALPS. A 60s Music Night,
which had for so long been suggested by several members, was
finally organised on 17th March at the Bella Vista Hotel,
Qawra. Participants were treated to a delicious buffet dinner
while they enjoyed listening and dancing to the 60s songs.
That month also saw the participation of our Association
in the annual three-day Bicycle Marathon at The Lyceum from
24th to 26th March. The presence of the Association was conspicuous
through participation in events held during the marathon.
Various ALPS members donated a good amount of items to be
sold at the bazaar. On every day of the marathon ALPS members
could be seen participating, all having been informed through
a flyer with the March ALPS News. Besides individual
donations by all those who visited, the Association organised
a Pasta Evening at the marathon venue, thus enhancing its
active participation in the event. The Pasta Evening attracted
some 100 members and friends, with all proceeds going towards
the fund-raising aims of the marathon.
The first day of Aril 2006 was certainly not April Fools’
Day for the Association. On this day the annual Foundation
Day Concert was organised at the Lyceum Hall. As in previous
years the complete organisation of the programme was entrusted
to our Deputy President Joe Fenech. The dedicated preparation
of the U3E Choir and a number of other lyrical singers, under
the baton of Mro Fenech himself, resulted in a memorable evening
for all those who attended. ALPS is proud to be the organiser
of this annual cultural event. The concert was followed by
a reception for all those present.
The month of May was characterised by the annual spiritual
retreat at Manresa House outside Victoria, in Gozo. About
30 members and friends of ALPS and their spouses attended
the retreat, which was held with the usual unstinting help
of the Manresa House Director Fr Paul Zammit SJ with a programme
of sessions prepared by Biblical scholar Mgr Lawrence Sciberras.
The highlight of the retreat was undoubtedly the visit by
the newly-appointed Bishop of Gozo Mgr Mario Grech. This was
a unique opportunity for our Association during which President
George Stagno Navarra presented Bishop Grech with a certificate
of Honorary Life Membership of ALPS as a past student of The
Lyceum in Gozo.
On 19th June the Association organised a BBQ dinner at the
Royal Malta Yacht Club on Manoel Island. The guests of honour
at the event were ALPS Canada Branch President Milo Vassallo
and his wife Rita. Mr Vassallo was visibly overjoyed to meet
his former schoolmates and friends, several of whom had made
it a point to attend the event as soon as they knew of his
presence. This was certainly another successful event.
That other most popular religious function organised by ALPS,
the annual feast of St Anne at the Pwales Chapel, was held
on 15th July, with over 300 persons attending to the point
of constituting a very real problem of parvis space. The weeks
of preparation and cleaning of the chapel and its immediate
surroundings by the Council members had given the expected
good results. Mr Joe Fenech had prepared a set of hymns which
were sung by the U3E Choir during the Holy Mass celebrated
by ALPS Spiritual Director Fr William Bartolo OFM Conv. The
religious part of the event this year was enhanced by the
welcome presence and concelebration of Fr Albert Felice-Pace
OP, who for the past years has been leading ALPS efforts in
the Western USA for more membership of the Association.
Following Mass a programme of popular arias and operetta excerpts
were sung by the choir, after which Council members distributed
drinks and some finger eats to all those present. The evening
continued with one of the choir members playing the accordion
to the enjoyment of all present. The façade and the
parvis of the chapel were well lit and decorated for the occasion,
giving the atmosphere of a typical local festa on
a smaller scale with the statue of St Anne exhibited on the
pedestal on the chapel parvis. A deserved vote of thanks goes
to the Lyceum Scouts Group, who had passed a whole weekend
cleaning the path to make the chapel easily accessible to
patrons attending the feast.
After the great success of the 2005 Grand Reunion the Council
decided to follow it up with another one. The months-long
efforts of Membership Commission Chairman Tony Aquilina to
get information on Lyceum past students who had entered or
left The Lyceum 50 years before, in 1956, gave the desired
results with a good number of Lyceum past students of the
time who were contacted – irrespective, I must add,
of ALPS membership – and attended the re-union. These
reunions, which it is now hoped to organise every year, are
open to all past Lyceum students but with special attention
to, or emphasis on, those students who would have entered
or left The Lyceum 50 years before. Our Communications &
Publications Commission is always very careful to point this
out in all its news releases, so that no other past student
will feel he is not welcome because he was at The Lyceum earlier
or later. We have no sense of guilt in admitting that we do
gauge the success of our activities by attendance, too, besides
the obvious enjoyment of each event. Old schoolmates met and
enjoyed the get-together and reception. Similarly to the first
Grand Reunion in 2005, the event encouraged more than forty
new members to enroll in ALPS.
Deputy President Joe Fenech was again the promoter and organiser
of another socio- cultural event, this being a very informative
talk as a preview of the three one-act operas that were to
be staged at the Astra Theatre in Gozo in October. Opera
lovers, members and friends of ALPS converged on the St James
Cavalier Music Room to get the background to the composition
and storyline of each opera, which surely helped them to better
enjoy the evening eventually. After the talk most of those
who attended took part in a Pasta Evening at the Inspirations
As in previous years, during November a Holy Mass was celebrated
at the St Anne Chapel for deceased former Lyceum students
and teachers, members of ALPS and family members of the Pwales
community; the latter visibly appreciated the mention of their
loved ones during the homily. ALPS Spiritual Director Fr William
Bartolo celebrated Holy Mass in front of a packed congregation.
A good number of those who attended accepted the invitation
of Assistant Secretary-General Charles Calleja and his wife
Therese for a cup of tea or coffee at their residence, and
later proceeded to Moments Restaurant in Bugibba for dinner.
The advent of Yuletide could not pass by unnoticed by the
energetic members of the ALPS Council of Administration. Members
and friends of ALPS packed most of the Coastline Hotel’s
Master Deck Restaurant for another memorable buffet Yuletide
Dinner. Over twelve attractive hampers prepared by Mrs Therese
Calleja and Mrs Madeleine Stagno Navarra, as well as other
gifts, were raffled. This being the Association’s last
social event before Christmas, President George Stagno Navarra
thanked all present for the continuous support by patronising
functions organised by the Association, and imparted the season’s
greetings on behalf of all members of the Council of Administration.
Unusually this year, the Yuletide Dinner was not the last
event held by the Association before the Annual General Meeting.
With the express purpose of living up to the Council’s
promise of more active and fruitful participation in the 2007
Bicycle Marathon held by Lyceum students, the Council decided
to organise a superb fund-raising dinner in support of the
marathon and, eventually, Id-Dar tal-Providenza.
All proceeds of the marathon this year will go towards the
refurbishing of the main kitchen of the Home. The buffet dinner,
complete with live cabaret show, was held at the Paradise
Bay Resort Hotel at Cirkewwa on 20th January and, with well
over 300 paying guests, was easily the greatest such event
ever organised by ALPS. Most of the guests took the opportunity
of the hotel management’s advantageous offer of overnight
accommodation and buffet breakfast.
In due course between this AGM and the marathon itself in
March, members and friends of ALPS will be invited to other
fund-raising events and efforts, in the hope that the ALPS
impact on the proceeds will be an all-time record.
All possible efforts are made to effectively publicise each
event organised by our association, especially through the
media. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our Communications
& Publications Commission Chairman Laurie Vella who, through
the extensive contacts he has built up with the editors of
the various local media over his journalistic career, always
persuades them to include our news releases on recent and
forthcoming events in their columns for the information of
all Lyceum past students and friends, as well as the general
public. Mr Vella’s work also includes the regular publication
of ALPS News and the continuous updating of the ALPS
website. Both these in-house media of ours are a source of
great satisfaction because they keep all the ALPS family together
both locally and away from our shores, especially in Australia,
Canada, the USA and the UK.
It would be sadly amiss at this conclusive point of the Administrative
Report not to point out the need for new blood at Council
level to understudy and support those of us who are now getting
on in years. This is not to say that any Council member has
ever faltered in his efforts for the Association. In fact,
I could not conclude this report without thanking all the
members of the Council of Administration and the various commissions.
The high-key tone of this report was made possible only through
their individual and collective dedication and energetic teamwork.