The Maltese Association kept its annual appointment with the Elderly at the tea party hosted in the gardens of Verdala Castle in the afternoon of Thursday 29 September 2016, with the most kind permission of H.E. the President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.
There were an estimated 300 special guests in attendance, hailing mainly from the Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Vincent de Paule Residence, St. Catherine’s Home and various Government residential homes for the elderly. This time round a number of past Lourdes patients were also invited.
Her Excellency unfortunately had to absent herself owing to other State commitments overseas, but was very competently represented on this occasion by the Acting President Dolores Cristina.
The event fittingly started off with Holy Mass celebrated by Mons. Lawrence Gatt, our Principal Chaplain. Fr. Raphael Abdilla, being the Castle’s Chaplain, and Canon Carmel Busuttil concelebrated, whilst Kevin Dingli and Marcus Micallef were on their acoustic guitars leading the singing.
Our President Daniel de Petri Testaferrata then delivered a brief warm welcome address, after which he then introduced the Acting President.
A lavish tea then followed, which kept the numerous volunteers who were in attendance quite busy as they endeavoured as best they could to keep up with the demands made on them. The sweet taste was left for the end, as a various delicious cakes baked by a number of our volunteers were cut up and served.
As has become customary, a number of foreign prison inmates who are regularly visited by our Prison Ministry team were given permission to join us in order to allow them to perform some very valuable philanthropic work. They took no time at all to bend their backs to the task at hand, and performed admirably. The Hospitaller was also very pleased to note a number of young volunteers rolling up their sleeves and offering some of their precious time towards this worthy cause.
We were extremely lucky with the weather, which held out, especially after the strong rains which were witnessed on the previous day.