In 2014, the Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo continued to provide its services in Gozo. We saw an increase in membership while the principal highlight of the year was the setting up of a website of the Volunteer Corps.
We wish to thank MASMOM, Mr Martin Micallef and Mr Keith Debattista for being the main protagonists behind the setting up and the constant updating of the site which is also connected with the MASMOM official website.
Committee and Fundraising
Last year, we also saw the appointment of several persons in office. Dr Giovan Pace and Chris Galea remained as President and Director respectively. Mr Aaron Formosa became Secretary while Ms Manolita Farrugia volunteered to be our first Treasurer. Fr Geoffrey G Attard continued to take care of the spiritual welfare of the Volunteers who were also invited to attend the regular retreats organised by MASMOM. The meeting continued to be organised every month at the Volunteers’ office in St George’s Square, Victoria.
The Volunteer Corps in Gozo also carried out some fundraising and a good lunch was organised in December, 2014 at Ta’ Frenc Restaurant. We made €900 in this activity which was also attended by Members and Volunteers from Malta, apart from a good turnout from the Catholic English-speaking Community and the Anglican Community in Gozo. Currently, we have around €500 in our Lombard Bank account.
The Gozo Volunteers also continued with the key project of providing a special ambulance service for wheelchair cases on the island. The Order of Malta vehicle, which was donated in August 2010, is used regularly for the benefit of the community. Various elderly persons attending hospital sessions, disabled youth at St Martha Disabled Center in Victoria and Church homes were regular users of this service. A particular case which the tail-lift minibus continued to assist was the transportation of a wheelchair-bound gentleman from Victoria who had to go for night shelter regularly at the Arka Respite Center. Other persons were also provided with the service to go to medical facilities in order to receive treatment. Elderly persons at Church homes were also taken out for excursions on a regular basis. Many persons were transported to special feasts and on pilgrimages.
The Order of Malta transport has also conveyed terminally ill patients to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu.
On Good Friday, apart from the transport of elderly persons who wished to do the Seven Churches Visitation, the Order of Malta corps also provided a First Aid post during the procession organised in Victoria. The first-aider’s with the Maltese Cross armbands assisted various chain-bearers and pilgrims who participated in this religious activity.
Visiting the Elderly
One of the main aims of the Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo is to visit the sick and elderly. A visit was organised every month to a different hospital or home on a rotating basis. Several gifts were also purchased by the volunteers themselves to be distributed to Our Lords the Sick. Special thanks goes to those who provided scarves, small statues and oranges to be given as gifts to the elderly residents.
On behalf of the refugees, the Order of Malta wishes to thank the Friends of Gozo (Gozitan residents in the UK) led by Ms Nicole Vassallo and Ms Winter for choosing the asylum project of the Order as one of the charities helped by another fundraising dinner, organised in August. Last year the Volunteers in Gozo were presented with €1,700, all of which was spent on refugee cases based in Gozo. The Order purchased badly needed items including hygiene products for refugee families, spectacles and a considerable number of shoes. Other clothes and items were also collected after making a public plea to Gozitan parishes and other aid organisations.
In another case, the Volunteer Corps also had to assist several families from Eastern Europe who needed logistical and relief aid.
Relief aid abroad
For the second time, the Order of Malta donated a box of medical supplies for Cuba. The donation was presented to Rev. Paul Buttigieg from Malta who is currently serving in Cuba. The medicines and first-aid kits donated can be used at a local hospital in his area.
Tons of clothing and other materials, like toys and stationary for schools, were also shipped to Accra, Ghana with the collaboration of various Ghanains residing in Malta. A large number of spectacles was also donated to a Maltese mission in Peru while Christmas presents were also sent to a Russian orphanage in Tula.
Organ Donor’s Campaigns Campaigns
During village feasts organised in Gozo, the Order of Malta Volunteers in Gozo could be seen with a stand in front of the parish church organizing Organ Donors Campaigns. People of various ages enrolled as organ donors in order to ensure that lives are saved in the future. This was done with the collaboration of the Diocese of Gozo and the Transplant Support Group Malta.