Last month, a solemn investiture was held at the International Diplomatic Headquarters of the Knights of Malta at Castello dei Baroni, Wardija, under the patronage of the Prince, Grand Master Baron Nicholas F.S. Papanicolaou, and Duke Adrian Busietta, Grand Master Emeritus.
Officiating were Chevaliers Robert Vella, Grand Prior of Malta, George Mercieca, chaplain of the Grand Priory of Malta, Harry Row, Grand Prior of the UK, and Rev. Pastor Ardell Daniels from Florida.
The new postulants from several countries included Valeriv Vynogradnvy and Olag Bhakmatyuk from Ukraine; Anatoli Strigo and Tatiana Kalinina from Russia; Robert Juharos from Hungary; Norah Maier from Austria; Paul J.M. Quaedulieg from Holland; Renald Attard from the US; Antonino Cancemi, Sergio M. De Simone, Rosario Iacono and Angelo Tartufoli of Italy; and Alfred Fenech, Anthony Fenech, Hector Cassola, Antoine Bonello, Dominic Galea, Amy Joan Zahra, Ruth Sammut Casingena and Josette Sciberras of Malta. Serving Brother from the UK was Peter Beaumont.
During the ceremony, Chevaliers Simon Grixti, Alberto Serra and Bruno Romani were promoted to Knight Commanders.
Knights and dames were welcomed by Mr Busietta and Marie Angelique Caruana at a lavish reception held in the palace's magnificent gardens. Special guests included Russian Ambassador Andrey E. Granavsky, the Grand Prior of Hungary, Chev. Arped de Bonta, the Grand Prior of Austria, Chev. Dr Wil Goodheer, the Grand Prior of Greece Chev. George C. Georgopoulos, the Grand Prior of Florida, Chev. Keith Carson, and the Grand Chancellor of Assisi, Chev. Prof. Georgio Cegnia.
A formal gala dinner was later held at the Casino Maltese, Valletta, where guests were entertained by singer Analyse Psaila and by an excellent choir, led by soprano Ruth Sammut Casingena. Chev. Peter. W. Van Zwet was the master of ceremony. A delegation of knights and dames also visited the Cittadel in Gozo and attended Mass at the cathedral, celebrated by Nikol Cauchi, bishop emeritus.
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