Speech - Larry Zahra (USA)

Larry Zahra, observed how the early Maltese settlers had to struggle as the Maltese were not recognised, in the American society. And how the process of assimilation for most Maltese often took many years. How the property on which the Maltese church sat was condemned and the church abandoned. He said that in spite of raising nearly $100,000 to rehabilitate the church, Fr Michael Z. Cefai, the Maltese pastor was not permitted to rebuild and operate his ethnic church. Highlighted also was, that the second wave of immigrants that travelled to America soon after World War II, could no longer draw financial support from the Papaffy and/or the Bugeja foundations. Only those who migrate to England, Canada or Australia could get passage assistance from those relative countries. He concluded that the Maltese people are well respected and are not afraid to say they are Maltese as some of their earlier settlers were. And in an emotional statement he quoted his son's words as he was being sworn in as a Judge, "I owe all this to my father and mother who came from the tiny Island of Malta and installed in me the values that were handed to them by their parents". The Maltese are now recognised as hard working people, achievers, and community minded.

Source: 'Malta' - Maltese Culture Movement, Issues 4,5,6, 2000.

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