Republic Day honours | Journalists and artists feature prominently

National honours list for Republic Day 2011.

Singer and broadcaster Enzo Gusman was awarded the Midalja ghal Qadi tar-Repubblika.
Singer and broadcaster Enzo Gusman was awarded the Midalja ghal Qadi tar-Repubblika.

On Republic Day each year, the President pays public tribute to a number of Maltese citizens who distinguish themselves in different fields of endeavour, by appointing them to The National Order of Merit or to the Xirka Gieħ ir-Repubblika, or by awarding them the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika.

The Investiture Ceremony was the culmination of a process which started with a public call for nominations issued in September to which a number of citizens responded by submitting their nomination.

National Order of Merit, Companion

Prospero Grech K.O.M.

Born 1925 in Birgu, Grech served as secretary at the Vatican vicarate and professor at the Augustine Institute, Rome and founded the Istituto Patristico Augostinianum, Rome in 1970. He is a member of the Societas Studiorum Novi Testamenti (SNTS) and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

He has lectured for over thirty years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome on hermeneutics. He was professor of Biblical Theology at the Lateran University, Rome, Counsellor to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and Secretary of the Maltese Augustinian province. He was also nominated Apostolic Visitor for seminaries in India.

Grech joined the Augustinian Order in 1943 and seven years later was ordained at San Giovanni Laterano in Rome.

After graduating Doctor of Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome (1953), Grech conducted research in Semitic languages at Oxford (1957-58) and Cambridge (1958-59) Universities.

National Order of Merit, Officer

Alfred Bonnici U.O.M.

Former Nationalist MP and Speaker of the House of Representatives (1966-71), Bonnici is President of the Malta Philatelic Association, Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, and editor of the Malta Philatelic Society Journal.

Born in St Julian's, Bonnici graduated BPharm (1954), MD (1958) and later graduated at the Royal Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine (UK). Bonnici is an aviation medical consultant acting for most international aviation agencies, having been appointed for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in the United States of America, a senior aviation medical examiner in 1968, and for the Civil Aviation Authority in the United Kingdom in 1972, chairman of the Malta Civil Aviation Medical Board (1975) and since 1974 Chief Medical Officer of Air Malta.

In 1997, Bonnici was ordained Knight of Magisterial Grace in The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.

National Order of Merit, Honorary Member

Timothy Rowland Morley, M.O.M

Morley first came to Malta 30 years ago, where he ran clinic in Malta in 1985 and operated on a regular basis on children with spinal deformity working closely with the local spinal orthopaedic surgeons.

Born in 1939, Morley read medicine at Cambridge University, and trained in General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Neurosurgery and Orthopaedics. On becoming an orthopaedic surgeon he was appointed as a Registrar at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore. Subsequently, Morley was appointed as the Senior Surgical Officer and in 1974 Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at King's College Hospital.

Morley specialised as a children's spinal surgeon with particular interest in scoliosis. Having worked at King's College Hospital he was appointed as a Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in 1978.

Morley travelled all over the world demonstrating and teaching new techniques together with designing and developing new spinal implants.

National Order of Merit, Members

Victor Aquilina, M.O.M.

Born in Sliema in 1942, Aquilina joined Allied Newspapers in 1964 as a reporter. He also served as features editor, and later deputy editor. Aquilina has been writer for The Times since 1971. He was also Malta correspondent for the Associated Press and United Press International.

Aquilina was appointed editor of The Times in 1993, and on his retirement from the post in 2003 he was appointed editorial adviser for the newspaper. As editor, Aquilina is credited with giving the newspaper a new, modern direction and with contributing to higher standards in Maltese journalism in the English language.

In May 2010, Aquilina received the Institute of Maltese Journalists' Gold Award in recognition of his contribution to journalism.

Carmelo Camilleri, M.O.M.

Born 1954 in Valletta, Camilleri is the fourth generation of confectioners C. Camilleri & Sons. When Camilleri took over the business in 1980, the business had only four employees. Through Camilleri's initiative, Camilleri Group has diversified and today it has more than 320 employees the majority of whom are women.

This year, Camilleri, as Managing Director of the Camilleri Group, was chosen as finalist for the Entrepreneur of the year by the European Business Awards and was awarded the prestigious Ruban D'Honneur.

Camilleri was secretary and later also president of the General Retailers and Traders Union (1980-1989), member on the Valletta Rehabilitation Committee (1999-2008), and directorships with Go Mobile, Maltacom, Innovate Software Limited, Coreswitch, Holiday Malta, and the Water Services Corporation since 2008.

George Camilleri, M.O.M.

Born in Valletta in 1936, Camilleri qualified Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 1957, and subsequently continued his postgraduate education in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Camilleri was awarded the Quintin Hogg research fellowship at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1962-64). He served as consultant dental surgeon with the public health services (1964-1970) and as senior dental surgeon (1970-81).

He was appointed professor of dental surgery at the University of Malta (1964-78 and 1987-2001) and served as dean (1970-78, 1987-1992).

He is presently a Visiting Professor in Dental Surgery at the University of Malta and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Unit of the History of Dentistry, Dental Institute, King's College, London.

Camilleri served as president to both the Association of Surgeons and Physicians of Malta (1973-74) and the Dental Association of Malta (1985-89).

Nicholas De Piro D'Amimco Inguanez, M.O.M.

The ninth baron of Budach, De Piro was educated at Worth Preparatory School and at Downside, United Kingdom.

De Piro opened Casa Rocca Piccola, originally built in the 16th Century for Don Pietro La Rocca, a Knight of Malta.

De Piro has held various appointments and worked ostensibly to protect the cultural heritage of Malta. He served as a council member of the Poetry Society of Cheltenham; is a founder member of Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, a member of the Committee of Privileges of the Maltese Nobility, rector of the Archconfraternity of the Most Holy Rosary; a past Chancellor of the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta; and a nominated past member of the government committee of guarantee of Malta's cultural heritage. He is presently a council member of the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA).

Ethel Farrugia, M.O.M.

After joining the British Council, actress Ethel Farrugia was toasted at a young age by Sir Arthur Waugh, Head of the Commonwealth, bestowing upon her "young shoulders... the responsibility of the future of music and drama in Malta."

Farrugia furthered her studies at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Bristol University Drama Department where she trained as an actress and followed courses in music and singing. In 1962 Farrugia obtained a diploma as an Associate of the Drama Board, London.

She worked briefly with the Nottingham Playhouse, the Theatre Royal Windsor, and the Aldwych in London. She later toured in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" and Moliere's "The Misanthrope".

In 1967 Farrugia appeared in the Edinburgh Festival in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and in Molière's "Scapin". Farrugia also worked for BBC TV and has appeared in the 20th Century film "The Magus" starring Anthony Quinn and Michael Caine.

She worked hard for the establishment of the Manoel Theatre as Malta's National Theatre, setting up the Manoel Theatre Club and the first professional drama course. In the field of music Farrugia organised monthly vocal and instrumental concerts in the British Council premises later establishing a full scale symphony orchestra to perform in the Radio City and the Manoel Theatre, later to become the Malta National Orchestra.

Achille Mizzi, M.O.M.

Born 1939, Mizzi was a co-founder of the Moviment Qawmien Lettetarju of the sixties. In 1968 he was accepted as member, and eventually became the President (1994-2000), of the Akkademja tal-Malti. He published no less than seven books of poetry and is today represented in all major anthologies of Maltese poetry.

Acclaimed as one of the leading Maltese poets, his poetry is full of existential angst and discusses fundamental human issues that show concern for the predicament of humanity.

In 1995, Mizzi was made Commendatore dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana and honoured with the Croce dell'Ordine al Merito Melitense of the SMOM.

Michael J. Schiavone, M.O.M.

Schiavone joined the Allied Malta Newspapers in 1968, while in 1969 he moved to the Nationalist party press, today MediaLink Communications, where he appointed the first editor of In-Nazzjon Tagħna in 1970 and editor of Il-Mument ten years later.

Following his appointment as director of Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza (PIN) in 1989, Schiavone produced more than 300 publications. Together with Dr Charles Briffa, Schiavone is the editor of the Maltese cultural series of 100 volumes Il-Kullana Kulturali, and 15 volumes of Kullana Għat-Tfal.

Schiavone is the author of three books about the history, statistics and results of the Maltese general elections since 1849, and two volumes about the first local councils. His publications also include the Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century co-edited with Louis J. Scerri, and the two volumes of the Dictionary of Maltese Biographies in 2009.

In 2007 Schiavone was awarded the Special Lifetime Award for his contribution to the Maltese Book by the National Book Council, and in 2011 he was awarded the Gold Award of the Maltese Journalism Awards by the Institute of Maltese Journalists.

Francis Stivala, M.O.M.

Stivala is the pioneer in developing the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) profession and industry in Malta. To date, well over one million international students of all ages have come to Malta to study English. Through his vision, foresight and unceasing involvement, Stivala's determination became what is now an organised and well established leading segment of Malta's tourism profile that employs thousands across the various service sectors of the English language stay and contributes no less than €200 million annually to the Maltese economy.

Stivala started to build this venture on professional lines when he was an active student leader within the Student Representative Council (SRC/KSU) just over 40 years ago. He took the Council's National Student Travel Service (NSTS) to new heights and was instrumental in transforming it into the National Student Travel Foundation (NSTF).

Among his current international responsibilities, Stivala is Chairman of the Congress of the World Youth, Student, Educational Travel Confederation which embraces a diverse membership from over 60 countries worldwide.

Gejtu Vella, M.O.M.

Born in 1960, Vella proved to be a proficient trade unionist who eventually served as Secretary General of the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin for a number of years.

Vella started his career in the hospitality industry prior to joining UĦM as a member in March 1982. Vella was later called to sit on the executive committee of the private sector section within the union. In 1989 Vella was appointed the first secretary for the hotels and F&B section of the union.

In 1998 Vella was elected Secretary General of the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin, a position he relinquished in October 2011.

Vella represented the UĦM on various committees, boards and authorities both locally and internationally, including the Occupational Health and Safety Authority, the Malta European Union Steering Action Committee, the Employment Relations Board and the Foundation for Human Resources Development. Vella also represented the UĦM on the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development.

 Midalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika (service to the Republic)

Grace Attard M.Q.R.

Grace Attard, a teacher by profession, is serving her second term as President of the National Council of Women. Attard is a regular contributor to local media on social policy and gender issues, particularly on the early detection of domestic violence and the promotion of gender equality in political and economic decision-making.

She chaired the Working Group on Gender Equality Legislation (2004), and Domestic Violence Legislation (2006), and was a member of the Working Group on Early Childhood Education and on Legislation on the Voluntary sector.

Attard is an expert in the European Gender Institute, member of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) Civil Society and the National Consultative Council for Enterprise, and is the co-chair of the Committee on Women in Research and Science within the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST).

William Chetcuti M.Q.R.

Born in 1985 and a resident of Manikata, Chetcuti practically won all double trap competitions organised by The Malta Shooting Sport Federation and was sponsored by the Malta Olympic Committee to participate in a number of overseas encounters.

In 2001, at the age of 16, Chetcuti won his first silver and gold in seniors at the GSSE (San Marino) and the Mediterranean Shooting Championship (Malta) respectively.

His success continued between 2002 to 2004 when he won a bronze in the Double Trap at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and silver in juniors at the European Championship in Italy. He won gold in, seniors during the GSSE games (Malta), in juniors during the European Championship (Cyprus) and at the International Junior Grand Prix. He placed fourth at the European Championship (Czech Republic) and ninth at the Athens Olympics and broke both a European Record and a World Record.

Between 2002 and 2009 Chetcuti was voted as the Maltese Sportsman of the year for no less seven times.

Thomas Julian Cremona M.Q.R

Born in 1988, Thomas Julian Cremona had to undergo treatment for leukemia at a very tender age. Since the age of 8 years, Cremona has shown a positive disposition to sport and participated in various athletic events on behalf of St. Patrick's Athletics Club.

Cremona participated in philanthropic events that included swimming from Gozo to Malta and taking part in the LifeCycle Challenge 2006 to raise funds for the local renal unit.

A month after he sat for his final session of the ACCA examinations, Cremona started his Row4Cancer campaign in preparation of his attempt to row across the Atlantic. Concurrently, he strove successfully to break a 20-hour world record on the Concept2 rowing machine. This record was achieved in Plymouth England. Cremona delivered the 24-hour world record on the Concept2 Longest Continual Row in Malta on 12 December 2010.

As part of the six-man crew of Sara G, Cremona broke the world record for the 'fastest Atlantic row in a monohull' as duly recorded by the Ocean Rowing Society International and the Guinness World Records.

Enzo Gusman, M.Q.R.

Singer and broadcaster Enzo Gusman was the first disc-jockey to include Maltese records on radio. In 1968 he started with Redifussion and in 1980 he worked with CHIN Radio/TV based in Toronto, Canada. He returned to Xandir Malta in 1991 and then proceeded to Bay Radio, PBS, Super One, Radio 101, NET TV and Calypso Radio.

He started taking part in Festivals in 1960 aged 13. He won various Festivals including Canzoni d'Oggi, Festival della Canzone Napoletana, Malta Song Festival, Malta Folk Festival and L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

Gusman's self-penned hit songs include Fil-Pjazza tar-Raħal, Zepp u Grezz, Fis-Sewwa jew fid-Dnewwa, Zomm Idejk Fuqna, Għax Għadni Nħobbok, Telefonata mingħand il-Mulej, Illum il-Festa Tagħna and Agħtini Pint'Oħra amongst others.

Paul Haber, M.Q.R.

Born in Xewkija, Haber established himself in the art scene with his first exhibition at the National Museum in 1972. However, his formal studies and practice had started much before. From a young age and through the influence of his father Peter, Haber spent most of his spare time working with his hands making creative objects.

Leaving his family home in Gozo, where the art scene consisted of a few artists working in churches, he entered the Government School of Art in Malta. Haber won scholarships to Italy and the UK, gaining a locally-unprecedented degree in ceramics which had become his preferred medium of self-expression.

Rosa Micallef Judge, M.Q.R.

Rosa Micallef Judge started her music career in Malta obtaining the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music. She continued her studies as an Associated Board Scholar in Pianoforte and Harp at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In 1970 she was appointed Hon. Representative in London for the Manoel Theatre, and was later Chairperson of the Hospital Committee for Maltese patients undergoing treatment in London. On her return to Malta in 1972, she was appointed Hon. Representative of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She was the first woman member to be appointed on the Commission for Higher Education under the Darendorf Commission, and Member of the Council of the MMDNA under Sir Gerald Creasy.

In 1982 she was created Cavaliere dell'Umanità by the Società Internazionale dell'Unione Cavalleria Cristiana of Italy. In 1993 she was invested Cavaliere dell'Umanità Marchesa of the Holy Roman Empire whilst in 1994 she as invested Chevalier dans l'Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres. In 1998 she was bestowed as Dame of the Military Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in the grade of Compatriot of Merit (MMLJ).

Carmelo Vella, M.Q.R.

In 1954 Vella migrated to Australia, where his association with Malta Eagles dates to the year of the team's formation in Sydney in 1955. Then, in 1956 the club amalgamated with the Melita Football Club when Vella was the club's President. Vella served as the Melita Football Club President, coach and even goalkeeper. He is now honoured as life member.

His love for football led him to the world of journalism when in 1957 he helped to produce a magazine called Soccer Light. His journalism took a further step in the early 1960s when he was Sports Editor for the Sydney-based Malta News.

In 1961, when the popular newspaper, The Maltese Herald, commenced publication, Vella had his own column on sports.

In 1971 Vella took over as editor and has become sole owner of the newspaper since 1983. On the 28 July of this year, the Maltese Herald celebrated 50 years from its first publication.

In 1999 Vella was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the Maltese community by the Federal Government.

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