President George Vella and Mrs Vella attended a commemorative service on Tuesday evening marking the 77th anniversary of Operation Pedestal.

Operation Pedestal, known as the Santa Marija Convoy, was the British operation which carried crucial supplies to Malta in August 1942, during World War II, when the country was running out of food and fuel. 

In his address, President Vella said how Operation Pedestal is probably one of the most decisive episodes in Malta’s recent past. 

“On this special day we remember and salute the victims of Operation Pedestal and others who bravely gave their lives to protect peace and stability in Europe and the Mediterranean,” he said.

The service, the President added, is also a celebration of the bravery and determination of the Maltese population of the post-war period who, through renewed sacrifices, rebuilt the country into a modern and peaceful nation, the State we all can enjoy today. 

Representatives from the Royal Navy Association (Malta Branch), Armed Forces of Malta (Maritime Section) and relatives of the sailors who had been on duty for Operation Pedestal were present, as well as dignitaries from the British High Commission and US Embassy. 

Mgr Alfred Vella, from the Malta Emigrants’ Commission, and Rev. Simon Godfrey, the Chancellor of St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, presided over the commemorative service.