Official Opening of the Convention
The opening ceremony took place on Tuesday 25th January at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. After the introduction addressed by the Chairman of the Convention, Mr George N. Busuttil, messages from the delegate countries' High Commissioners and Embassies were read. His Grace Mgr Joseph Mercieca, Archbishop of Malta stated that when Maltese and Gozitans went searching for new pastures in other lands, the Church in Malta toiled relentlessly to be with them and among them. "We Maltese, wherever we are in the world, should not be afraid to show who and what we are," he said. "Whatever the cultural currents and lifestyles we face or find ourselves in, we should have the courage to lead a life according to the values we believe in and which are part of our identity as a people."
Following His Grace, His Excellency Professor Guido De Marco, The President of Malta, in his opening statement, addressed the delegates, saying that the Maltese associations in different countries were crucial to ensuring that the Maltese identity remained a living reality beyond our shores. He believes that such associations are best placed to continue the partnership between Malta and the Maltese communities abroad.
Source: 'Malta' - Maltese Culture Movement, Issues 4,5,6, 2000.