A young Gozitan teenager took the islands by storm when she managed, by her wonderful voice and personality, to take top prize in the first Malta X Factor contest. As expected, all Gozitans were routing support for Michela. Families followed her both by viewing in homes and collective viewing in all clubs around Gozo.

Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana did well in asking the Gozitans to welcome Michela by providing a marvellous event in St Francis Square. Hundreds of people gathered in Victoria to congratulate and welcome this young artist for bringing pride to Gozo.

I join the multitude of well-wishers in having faith in her to have a more promising future and also to further success when participating in Israel.

One has to be fair also with the other contestants. All gave extremely good performances with their songs and presentations. It is a pity that only one had to finish as a winner as all of the four contestants were winners and deservingly so. Well done to all.

Gozo has also another young energetic and capable woman, the Gozo Minister. Women tend to see things different and in several ways more accurately than men. What a man misses a woman usually doesn’t. Any married couple can tell you this. A woman takes care of her looks, personality, the children, grandchildren, the house, cooking, cleaning and all sorts of things which in general men do not. Men take care of other things but in these areas it is the woman that has the sharp eyes for these tasks.

So permit me to go through only the January schedules that the Gozo Ministry had announced to see how things are progressing in Gozo. These of course needed a lot of homework and planning:

The long overdue major works for the total reconstruction of the Nadur major road started; the Gozo Extension Employment Refund Scheme; donations of €95,000 to voluntary and sports associations; introducing plans for a Xlendi regeneration of the beach and parking spaces; tributes to the year’s best worker   - Anton Mizzi, an exemplary and efficient worker at the Gozo law courts won this year’s honour. Mr Mizzi totally deserves this honour hands down;

If not for our past and present politicians, our islands would have remained the lackeys of foreigners and without a future

Opening of Ta’ Sopu Garden in Nadur with a slogan for people to adopt a tree; the regeneration plans for the Marsalforn outer breakwaters arms – the inner menqa harbour breakwater as well as plans for sandy beaches; a call for artists to exhibit their talents;

Announcement that 501,907 passengers and 156,343 vehicles had crossed over to Gozo for the Christmas festivities, showing that Gozo is attracting more local and foreign tourists to its shores; acquiring of a hostel in Malta for Gozitans students and Gozitans who have relatives at the Mater Dei Hospital. One has also to take into consideration the previous agreement that the Gozo Ministry had on the same subject with the cooperation of the Gozo Bishop and nuns in Malta. Only a few places but it was an initiation for future projects.

One must take into consideration the vast work that takes place behind the scenes. One simply cannot come out with half-baked ideas.

Many people tend to be armchair critics, giving their views and opinions without any thought. Some do so based on their political leanings while others are just critical to anything new and innovative. Others are just destructive. They see everything black but when asked for their opinions they simply don’t have any.

A citizen has to appreciate politicians who really work hard to better the ministry that they are in charge of. If not for our past and present politicians, our islands would have remained the lackeys of foreigners and without a future.

Many projects had also been announced for Gozo by the previous minister Anton Refalo. The Industrial Park has taken off. The Citadel was most ably been reconstructed by former ministers. It has become a jewel of Gozitan heritage. Much still needs to be done in excavating many sites at the Citadel.

Projects such as the Gozo new law court, a national swimming pool, a second fibre-optic cable are still on paper and haven’t been done yet. Gozo is in need of these projects.

The Old People’s Home in G─žajnsielem, which was initiated under Refalo and extended and continued by the present minister is almost completed. This is also a first for Gozo, which is much needed as previously it was only the Church that provided such institutions. I believe that more is needed in this field due the majority of old-aged people in Gozo.

So let us encourage and give our whole support to the Gozo Minister to continue her massive projections and work for the betterment of our life.

Since my last article I was informed that Gozo Public Registry has now has been provided with digital copies of Gozitan deeds. People can now make researches from Gozo itself. This is positive. But for one to get the official property and ownership title searches of Gozo deeds, these are still being carried out in Malta by Identity Malta and have to be ordered from there.

One must also stress there are no additional costs whatsoever as was previously under a conservative administration.

But I ask, why isn’t this final process being carried out in Gozo, when this could be easily done? Also this work could also be an incentive for Gozitan workers to be transferred to Gozo. This was promised by all governments – that work that can be done in Gozo will be transferred there to offer posts for Gozitans. This will also provide equal pay for equal work.

Personally I do admire the hard and honest work that is being carried out by the Gozo Ministry and its employees. Some workers are more diligent than others, but on the whole these workers are loyal to their place of work and proud of their commitments. So as a normal citizen, I congratulate one and all for their hard and honest work.

Let us continue to see many more innovative projections.

Lino DeBono is a former Labour MP.


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