The tune of Viva Malta has never sounded sweeter.
On the 13th December 2016, Freddie Portelli was awarded a Medal for Service to the Republic, which was presented by H.E. The President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.
The National Order of Merit was bestowed to retired Archbishop Paul Cremona, and former US Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Italian Ambassador Sandro Gozi, EU Commissioner Lord Mandelson, Algerian Ambassador Machid Marif, and Judge Emeritus Philip Sciberras were made Honorary Officers of the Order of Merit.
New Members also include Ambassador Clifford Borg Marks, Maria Camilleri, who is the head of the Muslim school, Fr Anthony Edmond Caruana, editorial director of the Vatican Publishing House, Dr David Mifsud, an expert in biological sciences whose work extends to the fields of entomology and the preservation of honeybees, the late Karmen Mikallef Buhagiar, publisher of Dun Karm’s poems, lecturer Dr Godfrey A Pirotta, businessman Joseph Zammit Tabona, Stephen Drewes (Lufthansa Technik CEO) and industrialist Alexander Piltz.
The Medal for Service to the Republic has also been awarded to the late band marches composer Mro Anthony Aquilina, the Hospice Movement, the Franciscan Sisters who care for Maltese patients in London, national waterpolo coach Karl Izzo, referee Esther Azzopardi and broadcaster Peter Paul Ciantar.
The award was also given to dancer Alison White Micallef, Nicolina Farrugia, former director of the nursing service, Dr Christopher Micallef, a University lecturer who has studied the Mnajdra Temples and Dr Alan Ralph Curry, founder of the Lifecycle team.