At 93 and sitting in the Strangers’ Gallery

Parliament salutes elderly woman who chose to follow today’s sitting from the Strangers’ Gallery

Carmela Gauci, 93, with Speaker Anglu Farrugia
Carmela Gauci, 93, with Speaker Anglu Farrugia

The Strangers’ Gallery is the seating area in the House of Representatives reserved for members of the public to follow parliamentary procedures.

Not many people attend, bar the odd sitting here and there, in which particularly hot issues or laws are being debated and approved. Others follow Parliament on television or online.

But today’s normal sitting that started at 4pm had a special guest among the audience – a 93-year-old woman, who decided to follow MPs from the Strangers’ Gallery.

Carmela Gauci from Rabat was saluted by Speaker Anglu Farrugia during MPs’ question time and thanked for her interest in parliamentary work.

“I wish that at your age we would all be so interested in parliamentary work like you are,” Farrugia remarked.

A spokesperson for the Speaker’s office told MaltaToday that the woman was unrelated to any of the MPs.

“She expressed a wish to attend Parliament and was invited to the sitting,” the spokesperson said.

Carmela Gauci and her daughter Emma (right) with Julia Farrugia Portelli (centre)
Carmela Gauci and her daughter Emma (right) with Julia Farrugia Portelli (centre)

Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli said Gauci was her neighbour. "I received a request from Mrs Gauci's daughter, Emma, asking me whether Carmela could attend a parliamentary sitting. We arranged the visit and she was delighted," Farrugia Portelli said.

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