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On Friday 29th August, the Gharb Local Council celebrated Gharb Day, with a cultural evening at the Gharb Main Square having as background the magnificent façade of the Gharb Church Basilica, dedicated to the Visitation.

After the thanksgiving mass, attended by the Mayor David Apap and Councillors, a symbolic ceremony of the laying of the wreaths in front of Bishop Molina, (who declared Gharb Parish on the 29th August 1679) was held infront of Bishop Molina monument at the square.

Afterwards local new and established talents took part during the Cultural evening. The evening also included a presentation about the 15th years in which the Council has been operating, a speech by the Mayor and presentation of various awards amongst which:

Gharb Day Award this year awarded to missionary Fr. Gammaria Cauchi from Gharb who has been working as a missionary in Brazil for the last 45 years. He chose to work in the poorest part of the country. Nowadays he is in charge of two parishes in the state of Paraibi. These two parishes are found in a large area and quite a number of chapels are found within. This missionary travels from one chapel to another to celebrate mass and administrate the sacraments to the locals.

The Church in Brazil helps a lot the people who live in such poor conditions. One of the reasons why those people are so poor is that farmers don’t even have a piece of land of their own which they can cultivate. Therefore they have to work in fields belonging to others thus resulting that the rich people become always richer and the poor remain poor. Fr. Gammaria helps a lot in the Land Pastoral Commission. The work of this commission is not an easy task but its members do their utmost and are ready to fight against any problems that may occur. Fr. Gammaria, through his mission made an honour and a name to our locality overseas.

Qlub Generuzi Award 2008 was presented to Salvina Portelli who has lived a lot of years taking care of her late father and her mother, who is still alive. For these last 11 years her mother has been ill and had to stay at home, and sadly for the last 9 years her mother has been bed ridden and needs her daughter with her 24 hours a day. Before all this, Salvina gave voluntary services at St. Joseph Institute for 8 whole years. The Council has therefore decided to award this kind hearted person for her sacrifices that she gave and is still giving today.

This year on Mayor David Apap proposal, the Council has launched a new award named ‘Premju Volontarjat Lokali’, which has the aim of recognizing a person who works on a voluntary basis towards the local community. Even though today’s life is chaotic, we still find a lot of people dedicated to voluntary work towards the locality and the parish.

This award was given to Luigia Mercieca a person that despite her disability is very active in the local voluntary work. Particularly she is very active in the Legion of Mary, and in the upkeep of the church’s decorations and she also does sewing for the Church. Luigia is also a Minister of the Holy Communion. Very often she recites the rosary to the locals at the Church. For the last 18 years she has been teaching catechism to young children.

During the evening certificates were presented to all the students who attended courses organised by the Council during the last year. Certificates were also given to graduates of the University of Malta and MCast.

The Gharb Gozitan Cultural Award is a prestigious award given by the Council to honor those artists for the success achieved with their talent. This year the Board decided to give this award to singers and models. From the nominations, the board decided to award singer Morena for her successes both locally and abroad and model Katrin M. Pavia for her talent in modeling and participation in competitions abroad in which she represented Malta and Gozo.

At the end of the evening a group of young children in the presence of the Mayor David Apap and Councillors cut the cake that they themselves had prepared during a cooking course organized by the Council. The evening ended with performance by special guest Hooligan and a reception for all those present.
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