The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
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Brian May among guests in series of events to celebrate historic events

Malta Independent Monday, 10 February 2014, 13:53 Last update: about 11 years ago

Putting aside our differences and singing the same tune is the aim of the activities to be held this year during four anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of Independence, the 40th anniversary of the Republic, the 35th anniversary of Freedom Day and 10 years of EU accession, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said today during the government’s unveiling of 63 activities tied to these anniversaries.

The activities will include a performance by legend guitarist Brian May and another by a Ministry of Sound top deejay, Garath Emery.

May is the author of classic Queen songs like We Will Rock You.

Today's event, which was held at Auberge de Castille, was used as an opportunity for Dr Muscat to congratulate the Malta Eurovision Song Contest winners, Firelight.

Firelight won with their song ‘Coming Home’. They will be representing Malta in the Eurovision song contest to be held in Denmark in May.

The activities planned for the anniversaries are being coordinated by the foundation for national celebrations whose members were appointed by the government soon after the general election, and which include former television host Lou Bondi and radio personality Gianni Zammit.

Other activities and initiatives include exhibitions, an interactive activity organised by Meusac for children turning 10 this year, the publication of a children’s book on the four historical events, which eventually will be included in the curriculum, four multimedia shows at Grand Harbour, Floriana and Valletta, among other events. Worthy of note are the events tied to the Malta Arts Festival, which will also be integrated with some of the 63 activities planned.

The theme of these events is ‘Int, jiena, ahna Maltin’ (You, me, we are Maltese).

Dr Muscat urged all Maltese citizens to unite to mark these special occasions.

He said that St Paul had stayed on our islands for three months and had changed the landscape of the islands, performing a number of miracles. He was speaking in the context that it is high time us Maltese change the current landscape in terms of celebrating national events, and to celebrate them as one nation.

The feast of St Paul's Shipwreck is being celebrated today.

Soon after the March general election, Dr Muscat had been quoted as saying that the number of national days should be reduced from five to two. He had said so during a Labour Party activity held in Birgu to commemorate the 34th anniversary of Freedom Day.

He had said that the time was ripe for this to happen and could not understand how 25 years had gone by before the government and the Opposition celebrated a national day together but had stopped short of mentioning which of the public holidays would become national holidays. The rest of course would remain public holidays. He had expressed his wish for Labourites to love Independence Day as much as they loved Freedom Day, and for Nationalists to love Freedom Day as much as they did Independence Day.

Asked by this newspaper, following today’s event, if he was of the same thinking 10 months down the line after raising the issue in March, Dr Muscat replied: “It is now part of Malta’s convention and one needs to discuss”.

Exchanging a few words with Firelight’s band members, Dr Muscat joked that the only one who will not be supporting the band during the Eurovision contest is the finance minister.

During today’s unveiling, a number of familiar faces in the music scene were present and gave a short interpretation of what these activities meant.

A band member also said that we should put aside our differences and sing the same tune, words which were echoed by the prime minister during his address.

Today’s event was presented by former Net TV programme presenter Andrea Cassar.

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