The Gozo Culture and Information Office within the Gozo Ministry organised a music and literary evening to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the death of Mgr Lwiġi Vella at Savina Square, Victoria. A philanthropist and writer, Mgr Vella used to live at Savina Square. He was a promoter of the Perpetual Adoration of the Holy Eucharist at Savina church, which he worked hard at in order to have it built.

The evening, compered by Paul George Pisani, saw the Laudate Pueri choir perform arrangements by the late Prof. Joseph Vella of popular religious hymns in Maltese, including Tina l-Ħlewwa tal-Ilsna tas-Sema, Nadurawk ja Ħobż tas-Sema, Fil-Ħlewwa ta’ Mejju and Riesaq il-Lejl Mulejja. The choir, directed by Fr George Frendo, also sang the Innu ta’ Savina, which was composed by Mgr Vella.

Dr Pisani introduced the evening by outlining the life and works of Mgr Vella, followed by a commemorative speech by the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Malta to Unesco Mgr Joseph Vella Gauci. Dr Vella Gauci, who is also chairman of the National and Regional Celebrations Committee within the Ministry, spoke about Mgr Vella’s outstanding contributions as a priest, philanthropist and writer. He said that Mgr Vella’s outstanding work had to be seen in the context of the society and age in which he served. However, even in today’s climate, Mgr Vella’s contributions were still valid only if people continued to nurture a sense of diligence, good intention and service, Dr Vella Gauci said.

The programme also included the reading of some of Mgr Vella’s literary works as well as three poems that classified in the first three places in a poetry competition three years ago. These were Francesco Pio Attard’s Għanjiet l-Iżmna, John Cremona’s Lill-Mons. Lwiġi Vella fl-okkażjoni tal-kxif tal-mafkar and Charles Bezzina’s Għawdex u Niesu.

Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana expressed her gratitude and admiration for Mgr Vella’s works and legacy. “Apart from the bronze and marble monuments he so rightly deserves, the presence of people commemorating his legacy stands out as a living witness in today’s society which still appreciates the examplary life of Mgr Vella who left a profound impact on the society he lived in,” she said.

The evening came to an end with the placing of flower wreaths at the foot of the monument and the singing of the National Anthem.


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