On Thursday evening, in Victoria, Gozo, a commemorative celebration was held in the Cathedral and in Independence Square in commemoration of Gozo Day.
Acting President Dolores Cristina attended this occasion. After the Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Cathedral, wreaths were laid at the memorial of Archpriest Saverio Cassar.
As part of the Gozo Day ceremony, an annual award, Ġieħ Għawdex, is also given in a show of appreciation to the people who have contributed to Gozo throughout their lives.
This year the Ġieħ Għawdex award was given to Dr Anton Grech and Mgr Joseph Vella Gauci. Dr Grech specialises in the field of psychiatry and was very active in the Don Bosco Oratory as well as in the founding of the OASI Foundation. Ambassador Mgr Vella Gauci today serves as Malta’s representative to UNESCO and throughout his career he has always worked hard so that due recognition is given to the national heritage of our country.
In a speech on the occasion, Acting President of Malta Dolores Cristina noted with pleasure that even though both Dr Grech and Ambassador Mgr Vella Gauci are well-established in the international arena, they have both remained active in our country. Moreover, she expressed her satisfaction for the fact that, to this day, they still make every effort for the benefit of the Gozitan community.
She appealed to everyone responsible for the development in Gozo, to keep in mind the importance of the balance between progress, which of course must continue, and the safeguarding of the natural and historical heritage which she described as unique to this region. Therefore, said the Acting President, “safeguarding this must always be the first thought in our minds in order to protect both the Gozitan heritage for future generations, and the livelihoods of the many families depending on it.”
The Acting President was presented with two books, ‘Il-Qassis li Rebaħ’ and ‘The Annals of the Circolo Gozitano’.
President of the Gozo Region, Samuel Azzopardi, the President of the Circolo Gozitano, Alfred Grech and the Minister for Gozo, Clint Camilleri, also addressed those present during the ceremony.