The President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca visited the George Cross Falcons Community Centre in Cringila, Wollongong, New South Wales. This community centre was built in 1951 to serve the Maltese community that arrived in the Illawarra region to work in the steel industry. It has also served as a welcoming place for all the Ministers, Presidents and clergymen who have travelled to Australia from Malta to meet the Maltese that migrated to all parts of Australia.
Whilst addressing those present, the President talked about her experience in Australia so far, saying that this is turning out to be ‘one of the most emotional experiences ever’, as the enthusiasm of the Maltese-Australians, as well as the way they still feel about Malta, is something truly commendable and ‘that cannot be easily forgotten.’
The President told those present that “Malta will never forget you, Malta will always miss you” as she encouraged them to carry on with their successful efforts to keep the Maltese traditions, customes and culture alive in Australia, adding that no matter where the Maltese people are in the world, they will always carry a part of Malta with them, ‘just like I will always carry this Maltese-Australian experience with me’.
Finally, the President thanked Louis Parnis, President of the George Cross Falcons Club, together with the rest of the committee for their dedication in keeping the community spirit alive in Wollongong, and congratulated the club as it celebrates its 65th anniversary.
Earlier, President Coleiro Preca and Mr Preca attended mass with the Maltese Community at St Paul’s Catholic Chapel in Sydney. Following mass, which was celebrated by Reverend Father Tarcisio Micallef MSSP, the President met with the congregation present at the chapel.