Sunday, 28 February 2010

NGOs appalled by authorities inaction on Nadur cemetery

- Gozo News.Com - -

NGOs appalled by authorities inaction on Nadur cemetery

Posted By Gozo News On February 27, 2010 @ 2:08 pm In Featured | 4 Comments

NGOs appalled by authorities inaction on Nadur cemeteryThe NGOs, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association, Koperattiva Agrikola Ghawdxija Gozitano and Nature Trust (Malta) have said they are appalled as to how the authorities have been treating the Nadur Cemetery case.

The NGOs added that the long delays in the decision of the Appeals board, while the development continues, simply show that the citizen is not a priority in such cases and the rights of farmers who are concerned about the impact of this development are falling of deaf ears. The way this case has been dealt with shows that the ECO Gozo initiative which Government has been trumpeting, is no more than a cosmetic exercise, while unsustainable development gets the go-ahead despite all protests.

The livelihood of twelve farming families depends on the 100 tumoli of land that will be affected by large-scale excavation of the cemetery site. Furthermore some 5000 trees may end up dying, parched of water – highly ironic when the 34U campaign is trying to plant trees in Malta.

The case goes back to the 5th of June 2007 (World Environment day) when Mepa approved the construction of a cemetery of over 630 graves for Nadur notwithstanding the fact that statistics show that the deaths at Nadur rarely exceed 30 a year. This permit was issued on a site that hydrological experts’ reports have confirmed to be an important water source, indispensable for the agricultural production of the area.

An appeal lodged by one of the NGOs as on behalf of the farmers was followed by a long period during which eleven hearings and one site visit were held. In the meantime Hydrologist Ing Marco Cremona also testified and submitted a report on the hydrology of the area which was rebutted by the Appeals Board without a satisfactory explanation being given. Over these two and a half years the development has been ongoing at a steady pace, destroying this unique ecological/agricultural area and wreaking havoc with the farmers’ freshwater supplies.

The NGOs said they cannot understand how the Authority responsible for sustainable development continues to allow such damaging cases.
Finally the NGOs said they feel that this is another case where despite promises of MEPA reform, of ECO Gozo and of sustainable development, the Government and the authorities are failing miserably to uphold farmers’ rights, to help agriculture in Malta and to ensure that tourism, one of the main pillars of our economy, is not undermined by more damage to our environment and landscapes.

Article printed from Gozo News.Com:

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Nadur cemetery appeal proceeding at dead slow pace

Times of Malta
Saturday, 27th February 2010

Nadur cemetery appeal proceeding at dead slow pace

Environmental NGOs have complained of long delays in the appeal lodged over the development permit for the Nadur cemetery, while building works continue unabated.

Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar, Ramblers Association , Koperattiva Agrikola Ghawdxija Gozitano and Nature Trust (Malta) said they were appalled as to how the authorities have been treating the Nadur Cemetery case.

"The long delays in the decision of the Appeals board, while the development continues, simply show that the citizen is not a priority in such cases and the rights of farmers who are concerned about the impact of this development are falling of deaf ears. The way this case has been dealt with shows that the ECO Gozo initiative which the government has been trumpeting, is no more than a cosmetic exercise, while unsustainable development gets the go-ahead despite all protests. The livelihood of 12 farming families depends on the 100 tumoli of land that will be affected by large-scale excavation of the cemetery site. Furthermore some 5000 trees may end up dying, parched of water - highly ironic when the 34U campaign is trying to plant trees in Malta."

The case goes back to 5 June 2007 (World Environment day) when Mepa approved the construction of a cemetery of over 630 graves for Nadur notwithstanding the fact that statistics show that the deaths at Nadur rarely exceed 30 a year, the NGOs said. This permit was issued on a site that hydrological experts' reports have confirmed to be an important water source, indispensable for the agricultural production of the area.

An appeal lodged by one of the NGOs as on behalf of the farmers was followed by a long period during which 11 hearings and one site visit were held. In the meantime Hydrologist Ing Marco Cremona also testified and submitted a report on the hydrology of the area which was rebutted by the Appeals Board without a satisfactory explanation being given. Over these two and a half years the development has been ongoing at a steady pace, destroying this unique ecological/agricultural area and wreaking havoc with the farmers' freshwater supplies, the NGOs added.


ftheuma (7 hours, 4 minutes ago)
I would like to appeal to the Minister for Gozo, and to the Gozitan LP representatives to have the immoral and irrational construction of the Nadur cemetery stopped and the area restored to its previous pristine beauty. The splendid idea of Eco-Gozo will not become reality just because we have a nice website on the net but if concrete action is taken. Make no mistake this is a test case. It will show how deeply the government believes in Eco-Gozo. If the cemetery construction goes ahead it will prove conclusively that Eco-Gozo is nothing but a dead letter. It would be a tragedy if the idea of Eco Gozo dies even before birth, a victim to the small and obdurate ideas of those among us who are unable and unwilling to see beyond the grave.

Janika Azzopardi (1 day, 1 hour ago)
Our family has been trying to buy a plot for a long time. Why are the NGOs picking on the Nadur Cemetary. Most of my family who all live at Nadur or throughout Gozo and some in Malta and abroad all want this new cemetary. Why the vehement and instigation against the new cemetary. Why I ask. Please stop and think what a beautiful cemetary this is going to be once it's finished. I am sure all and one will come to appreciate this monument. I also hope that people get their facts straight about the number of people who died each year at Nadur. All they have to do is look at the issue of Luminarja which includes all the people who die throughout the year. Misinformation and misrepresentation is not right on the part of the NGOs because that is how they lose credibility. Let the new cemetary be built in peace. At this point, the new cemetary is well at an advanced stage and although there is an appeal, the permit has already been granted, thus the cemetary is being built based on an approved permit. Even the EU rejected the NGo's appeal.

Steve Borg (1 day, 1 hour ago)
@Marita Bigeni

In-numru ta' Nadurin li mietu fl-2008 kien ta' 31 ruħ. Dak l-ammont ma għandikx għaliex tiddubitah. L-ewwel darba li ssemma' kien meta semmejtu jiena meta kont mistieden waqt il-programm televiżiv Inkontri mmexxi minn Joe Grima fuq One TV.

L-għejjun tiegħu ma ġibhomx mingħand xi ħanut tat-te' imma mis-sors uffiċjali ewlieni ta' Malta - l-Uffiċju Nazzjonali tal-Istatistika!

Li wieħed irid iżid mar-rappurtaġġ li għamel it-Times huwa li s-630 qabar huma oqbra tal-familja. Mhux se jintużaw darba imma aktar minn darba. Il-każ semmejtu għall-ewwel darba waqt diskors li għamilt Birkirkara waqt il-kampanja tal-elezzjonijiet tal-Parlament Ewropew, ħafna qabel l-arċipriet il-ġdid li qiegħda ssemmi.

Dan huwa każ klassiku fejn il-MEPA għandha għaliex tistħi. U imbagħad joqogħdu jsemmu eko-gozo tiela u eko-gozo nieżla. L-uniku konsistenza li hemm hija fin-nuqqas ta' kredibilta' li d-deċiżjonijiet jittieħdu biex josservaw il-Pjan ta' Struttura tal-Gżejjer Maltin.

lesley kreupl (1 day, 2 hours ago)
It is a great pity that the church has allowed this devastation to take place, however, that MEPA gave them permission to do so in the first place is beyond belief. It is also beyond belief that the Ministry for Gozo chose to ignore the whole project, especially in view of the fact that both the present, and probably the future, Ministers for Gozo are Nadurin.
I suppose it is fitting that a water-polluting cemetery will be the final nail-in-the-coffin of the eco-Gozo concept – perhaps the church could organise a plaque to that effect?

Sort of

Unfortunately there is nothing that the hard working NGOs can do to restore/repair what has already been destroyed, but one hopes that they will continue to try and prevent similar disasters from happening in the future.

ftheuma (1 day, 2 hours ago)
The death rate for Malta is calculated at 8 per 1000 people per year (google any reliable statistics web site). Nadur has a population of more or less 4000 people hence 32 deaths per year. Statistics usually factor in a margin of error but let us say that the number of deaths is 40 per year, it is still far short of the 630 graves that can take, and i am being conservative here, at least 2000 burials. Ms Bigeni mentioned that last year 14 people died in February. Where does the figure come from and how many died during the rest of the year? What is the point? Is she implying that 14 people die every february, that there were 14 deaths during the other 11 months? And if people from outside Nadur will be buried in this mega cemetery why cannot the people of Nadur be buried elsewhere in the first place? For example at the Qala cemetery, it is quite capacious. As for Mr Azzopardi I think he should reveal the selfish interests and hidden motives he keeps claiming that those who oppose this cemetery have. Unless they do not exist of course.
Marco Cremona (1 day, 4 hours ago)

Alas, the development continued despite the appeal and now Gozo has lost another part of its unique beauty. One may ask - what use is the appeal process is the developer is allowed to proceed with the construction anyway? Even if the appeal is won by the farmers and the NGOs, who's going to get their water supply and the piece of virgin land back?

The process is rotton to the bone.

Marco Cremona (1 day, 4 hours ago)

A study by the developer's geologist (not hydrologist) mistakenly concluded that the cemetery would not affect the groundwater in the area. But this report does not even recognise the presence of springs that lie a mere 50m downstream of the development and on which water the farmers depend. Sure enough when excavation started the farmers' spring water turned milky-white with silt and the springs' flow was affected.

Some 2 years ago, I was commissioned by the farmers to draft a hydrological-report to be used in their appeal against the development. I produced a report that documented all of the above and showed that the developer's 'hydrological' report was flawed and that the cemetery would have a severe impact on the farmers' water supply- as was the case.

I gave witness during an appeal hearing in Gozo but it is now undersood that that my report is not being taken into consideration because 'it was not submitted on time'.

If it were not submitted on time, why was I called to give witness and be interrogated by the MEPA appeals board and the developer's lawyers more than a year ago? Was it being taken into consideration then or not?

Marco Cremona (1 day, 4 hours ago)
The case of the Nadur Cemetery is a perfect example of how things should NOT happen. I think it presents the perfect case study for MEPA reform and a number of PHDs on the subject of planning(sic).

Firstly, the Nadur cemetery is an extravagant 'development'. The size of the cemetery certainly exceeds Nadur's needs so the intention was not to meet the town's social needs but to capitalise financially on the sale of graves.

It could have been built elsewhere and not on the pristine land enjoying one of the most scenic views in the Maltese Islands. Incidentally, the land in question was classified by MEPA as an area of Scenic Beauty. But this was not enough to save the land from development.

An alternative site was discarded because the WSC said that the cemetery at that site would affect the groundwater, when the developer's consultants claim that there is no way a cemetery can affect the groundwater.

MEPA then decided that this extravagant development on pristine land in an area of scenic beauty did not require an Environmental-Impact-Assessment - but an extension of the Addolorata in an industrial area requires an EIA. A case of 2-weights and 2-measures.


Alfred Aguis (1 day, 4 hours ago)
This is what Pn can promise you. A cemetery. And they will make money out of it obviously.

lesley kreupl (1 day, 4 hours ago)
As a Mr. John Azzopardi pointed out to me in the Times comments recently, the Nadurin want the new cemetery. This may be so, but did they want it on top of the aquifer? Were they even aware that it was going to do untold damage to the underground water system? I know that the local farmers were aware of this fact and tried their utmost to prevent the excavations, unfortunately to no avail. The church officials simply ignored their pleas and petitions – a situation that I find very sad, considering that these farmers are obviously deeply religious people.
Judging by other recent comments of Mr. Azzopardi, he appears to be pro everything that will be detrimental to the Island of Gozo. I can only assume that he either does not live on the island, is elderly and needs a smart grave or simply does not care about the mess that future generations will inherit.
Unlike him, I don't have any ulterior motives, I simply love Gozo and want what is best for it. Certainly turning it into a mini-Manhatten and covering virgin land with concrete and decomposing bodies is not.

Marita Bigeni (1 day, 5 hours ago)
Deaths in Nadur rarely exceed 30 a year. I really doubt it. Plus the graves will not be used by Nadur residents only. Last year 14 people died in February alone in Nadur! I do not want to be drawn into the environmental issues that this article is about, but I don't entirely trust the statistics mentioned.

laurence schembri (1 day, 5 hours ago)
A nice clean (hygiene) Crematorium would have saved all these problems.

John Azzopardi (1 day, 6 hours ago)
Why is it that a few NGO are always making noise and they think they can win all the time. What about the rights of those individuals who want the cemetary. The cost of this cemetary is not coming out of their pockets is it. It's always the same individuals. Well, I am here saying along with a lot of people from the town of Nadur that we want the new cemetary. Why this pressure, because Nadur is installing a new archpriest. There is always something behind their motive and I bet anything, this is one of them. Yea right, the interest of the farmers they have in mind. IT's their interest though that they have in mind.

victor pulis (1 day, 6 hours ago)
What happens if the development is completed and the NGOs eventually win the appeal?!

Franco Farrugia (1 day, 6 hours ago)
@ Raymond Camilleri: Kien hemm xi haga ahjar? Ma nahsibx.

Raymond Camilleri (1 day, 8 hours ago)
people get what they vote for: GONZIPN. Gawdu!

Brian Ferrante (1 day, 8 hours ago)
Welcome to MEPA. If the NGOs think that any other application is treated differently, they are mistaken. MEPA is equally inefficient for everybody.

Walk Sunday 28th February

Walk on Sunday morning, the last walk of this 6th Gozo weekend.

Walk leader: Antonia.

Some photos below.

Wied tal-Lunzjata

Ghajn Abdul

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Gozo Saturday 27th Feb 2010

All-day walk, starting and finishing in Xlendi.

Walk leader: Victor Galea

Duration: about 8 hours.

More photos in the next post.

Gozo Saturday 27th Feb 2010

More photos

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Airstrip: Gozo's downfall or deliverance?

Letter from the Times
Thursday, 25th February 2010

Airstrip: Gozo's downfall or deliverance?
Amadeo Mifsud, Attard

The Gozo Business Chamber (GBC) claims that with an "airstrip" Gozo could be sold as a distinct tourist destination.

However, travelling by air to Gozo would still require taking an additional flight out from MIA - more travel time; higher travel cost - unless one could fly in directly from overseas, which would make the "airstrip" an international airport!

This is the purported solution to Gozo's alleged problems - an "airstrip" to provide a constant influx of tourists.

If one cannot already imagine what this would do to Gozo, one need only look at what such a "dream" - as the GBC likes to call it - did to Malta.

It would line a few select pockets and ruin just about anything else that is of value on this gem of an island.

Needless to say, one would have to provide adequate accommodation for these masses of tourists.

Then expect the GBC to start whinging again about the shortage of beds and the need to build more hotels, possibly with some form of subsidy to boot. Fast forward to the third phase of the now familiar cycle - a little blip in the tourist industry, hotels suddenly become unfeasible, close down, and are pulled down and rebuilt into ghastly apartment blocks.

While the tourism industry is important for Gozo, it is not as important as it is made out to be by certain quarters.

Besides, Gozo already has a tourist market right across the channel.

The Maltese tourist does not need an "airstrip" to visit Gozo and, if you ask any Gozitan who works in the industry, the Maltese are by far the preferred sort of tourist.

So, why would one want to invest huge amounts of public funds to build an "airstrip" just to bring second-preference tourists over to Gozo?

Why bother, when one could save all that money, and continue targeting the first preference tourist market?

The answer probably is that there must be more to the "airstrip" than meets the eye.

An "airstrip" may serve some particular interests in Gozo but it does no good to the island or its community.

No benefit whatsoever will rub off on your typical Gozitan. An "airstrip" is not what your typical Gozitan needs or wants.

The Gozitans are a very smart and hard-working lot. Their only problem is that the source of their services and wares is too detached from the market, and this is not only in the geographical sense of the word.

An "airstrip" would do nothing to bridge that gap. What the Gozitans need is the know-how, resources and means to penetrate a market, promote their products and services, and tap the benefits.

The problem is the same as it was decades ago when the streets of Gozo used to be lined with women of all ages making lace items that they would sell typically for 50c to shop owners in Malta who would then display them in their shops with a Lm5 tag.

Those who had access to the market made the most profit with the least effort, while those who had the know-how and put in the effort only got the crumbs.

Such a situation has subsisted, almost unchanged, for decades and there are those who might want it to remain unchanged so they can continue to propose "solutions" that only serve as vehicles to push their hidden agendas.

The "airstrip" is one such "solution" but no one has explained how it would help sell the incredible array of Gozitan wares that remain hidden from all but those who spend years familiarising themselves with this magic island and its people.
Instead of pumping public funds into a useless "airstrip," government would do well to spend the money to provide the means for Gozitans to discover niche markets for their top-class products and services, and to help them bring their wares to such markets at competitive prices.
An added advantage of such a strategy would be the distribution of the benefits among a much wider segment of the Gozitan community.


Romano Cassar (2 hours, 25 minutes ago)
Mr Mercieca, please have a look at today's letter on the same issue, by Roderick Abela.

Mr Abela writes: "We are not just encouraging the authorities to build an airstrip to link Gozo with Malta, but we are pushing it further - link Gozo to other towns and cities lying within a 400km radius from Gozo" Is this a small general aviation airfield?

Again quoting Mr Abela, "we do not need a private little airport at all because our little aircraft have absolutely no problem to operate from the existing runway strip at the Gozo Heliport ..... . We have been operating over Gozo for many years and since last September the authorities have given us permission to land at the "heliport". There has not been one single complaint from residents living around the heliport!"

So, again according to Mr Abela, the needs of the GA community are already satisfied. In view of Mr Abela's letter, Mr Mifsud's letter seems to make a lot of sense.


lgalea (3 hours, 17 minutes ago)
Victor G.Mercieca This is about destruction of the Gozitan environment and a screen for military operations as inadvertently exposed by a contributor a little while ago. Do the Gozitans want to continue destroying their environment and expose themselves to the dangers of military aircraft and operations and possibly retaliatory measures such as attacks including terrorist attacks? This is also an issue that concerns ALL the Maltese people and not only the Gozitans Victor.

Victor G.Mercieca (4 hours, 8 minutes ago)
Mr.Mifsud your lack of understanding that puts this issue in jeopardy & often makes it challenging for any administration to navigate effectively! This is about a small General Aviation airfield serving the larger community in more ways then one, not for Airlines to operate.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Updated Walks Programme

Walks Programme: February/March 2010

RAM presents the programme of walks proposed for the first three months of 2010. All walks are circular walks unless otherwise noted. Some walks might present problems to anyone who is not used to walking over unpaved ground. Good walking shoes and suitable clothing for the weather are recommended. It is always a good idea to bring some drinking water along, especially on the longer walks. RAM endeavours to adhere to the published walks programme but reserves the right to make changes without prior notice as the need arises.
Walks are organized for the benefit of RAM members. Guests are welcome but a contribution of €5 will be requested.

RAM takes great care in picking the trails but one’s safety is ultimately one’s responsibility. One can choose to stop walking at any stage as one deems it fit to suit one’s abilities. RAM declines all responsibility for any personal injury or loss of belongings.

Only in case of very bad weather will walks be cancelled. If in doubt please consult the blog ( or phone 99497080.

RAM Grading Standards:

Very Hard - only for hardy ramblers loving difficult challenges, ready to take a beating.
Hard - for the fit rambler in good physical shape to take on steep inclines and long stretches.
Moderate – for the average rambler who can take on up to four hour stretches of walking on uneven surfaces.
Easy – for the occasional rambler who prefers leisurely strides at a slower pace.

Note: Booking a place on a restricted walk is not the same as buying a ticket to a concert. I.e., if a member is accepted on the walk, then the member cannot decide to transfer his/her place to another person. If a member cannot make it to a walk that he/she has booked, he/she should inform the organisers at once as there might be others on the waiting-list eagerly waiting to come along.

Wed 17 Feb: Mellieha-Selmun Circular (Scenic, Historical, Geological)
Starting at the imposing parish church dedicated to Marija Bambina we will climb down to pay a visit to the very old Sanctuary of Il-Madonna tal-Mellieha. Skimming the coast the walk will proceed over the hill towards Selmun and its famous Palace, and then on to Fort Campbell. A tour of this fortification will be complemented with the magnificent scenic views over the Bay of St Paul’s. Our way back to Mellieha will take us past the paleo-christian tombs and a Girna.
Duration: circa 3 hrs
Rating: Moderate with some steep inclines
Meeting Place: Mellieha parish church
Time: 1400.

Wednesday 24th February: Walk Cancelled

Friday 26th to Sunday 28th February: Gozo Weekend.
The programme of walks for each day will be given only to participants at the hotel every morning during our stay.
Rates at the San Andrea Hotel have remained unchanged from November. The rates per room on Half-board basis, are:

Side view: €120.00 per twin room for 2 person 2 nights (€30.00 pppn)
Sea view: € 138.00 per twin room for 2 persons 2 nights (€34.50 pppn)
Side view: € 160.00 per triple room for 3 persons 2 nights (€26.67 pppn)
Sea view: € 182.00 per triple room for 3 persons 2 nights (€30.33 pppn)
Side view: € 82.00 per twin room for 1 person 2 nights (€ 41.00 pppn)
Sea view: € 90.00 per twin room for 1 person 2 nights (€ 45.00 pppn)
(Please note that the third bed in the triple room will be a folding bed that needs to be folded away during the day to make space in the room.)
Participants can check into the hotel anytime after noon on Friday 26th Feb. The management of San Andrea has always given us the best service and our sixth time should not be an exception. We have been promised good value for money once again. Only paid-up members need apply, as always on a first-come first-served basis.

To book your place, please send your details to, and complete with a cheque made out to the Ramblers Association of Malta, to the above address. Booking opens on 1st February.

Saturday 6th March:The North West + Buffet (Scenic,Gastronomical)
We will take a westerly direction to Anchor Bay, climb behind Popeye Village to follow the cliff-edge right down to ic-Cumnija. We will sweep Qammieh taking in the views in all directions. A Luncheon will follow at the Danish village, where we will have the choice of an extensive buffet, including coffee and one drink, for the price of €17. The menu is attached to this programme. Please book by sending an email to, and a cheque for €17 payable to the Ramblers Association, to P.O. Box 108, Sliema, SLM 1000, after the 1st day of February .
Duration: 3.5 hours plus the lunch
Rating: Moderate, with rough terrain and moderate inclines
Meeting Place: Mellieha Bay Bus terminus
Time: 0900

Saturday 13th March: National Rally at Valletta calling on Government to Enforce the Law to protect our Environment
This Rally is being organized in collaboration with other environmental NGOs for the purpose of calling on the Authorities to enforce the law with respect to the protection of Maltese Urban and Natural Environment. Your attendance is very important and it is expected that you give support to your Association by bringing members of your family and your friend with you. Unless we impress upon the Authorities that our numbers count the Association will never be able to achieve its objectives to open access in and protect the Maltese countryside which is the source of our walking activities.
Duration: 2 hours
Rating: Grave
Meeting Place: City Gate, Valletta
Time: 10.00am

Sunday 21st March: Marsaxlokk area (Scenic)
From our meeting place, this circular walk skirts the power station to Ras il-Fenek, then around Munxar to St.Thomas Bay, where we can take a short break. We will then proceed to tas-Silg Chapel, passing near a fireworks factory, then back down to Marsaxlokk,
Duration: circa 3.5 hrs
Rating: Moderate
Meeting Place: Hunters' Tower Restaurant (a short walk from the church and bus stop)
Time: 0930

Saturday 27th March: Marsascala area (Historical/geological/Scenic)
This walk includes visiting some interesting historical features such as a watermill and historical towers. We will pass through the Munxar headland and Xrobb l-Ghagin and then back to Marsascala.
Duration: circa 3 hrs
Rating: Moderate
Meeting Place: Inspire (ex-Razzett tal-Hbiberija)
Time: 0900

Wed 31 March: Siggiewi- Fawwara Circular (Scenic, cultural)
From Siggiewi we cross the valley towards Is-Salib tal-Gholja, then we climb up to the ridge. We then head towards Fawwara cliffs, from where we have an easy walk down to Siggiewi passing by interesting cultural edifices.
Duration: circa 3 hrs
Rating: Moderate
Meeting Place: Siggiewi main square near Police Station
Time: 0900

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ramblers' Association president steps down

Ramblers' Association president steps down

Lino Bugeja, president of the Ramblers' Association, has stepped down. He will be turning 80 this week.

Mr Bugeja told the association's annual general meeting that he was not standing for re-election and it was time for him to call it a day. This, he quipped, would help lower the average age of the committee. The members approved a motion to declare him honorary president.

Association Secretary Alex Vella, speaking on behalf of the committee and members, thanked Mr Bugeja for dedicating the past five years to furthering the objectives of the association, which he was instrumental in founding in 2005.

The seven members that will make up the new committee of the association are: Joe Agius, Romano Cassar, Mark de Marco, Saviour Grech, Michiel Paetzel, Josette Sultana, Alex Vella.

Two other members under 40 years of age will be co-opted to the committee by the elected members, according to the terms of the new statute.


Victor Carmelo Sciberras(3 weeks, 5 days ago)
Many Happy returns Lino, I have always loved reading your features about the three cities, maltese history and our countryside. Hope you will continue to write, which always makes my Sundays all the better by bringing Malta a little closer when I read your work on line.

Best wishes.
Pule' Carmel(1 month, 2 days ago)
I guess both of us always knew the real hidden beauty of Vittoriosa better than many people, as we grew, played and spent our childhood years roaming, its war ravished streets. In the name of all the people of Cottonera, I wish to sincerely thank you for popularising and projecting the real beauty of our three historic cities with your detailed writings and spectacular photographs, in many publications, in addition to your great efforts in preserving the beauty and tranquillity of our countryside. To that I must add further thanks, for your efforts, and examples, as a teacher, sportsman, family man, in assisting the youths of Cottonera to expand their education, their sport abilities, their personalities, their happiness, from what a meagre war battered zone provided and offered for you, to the highest levels which you helped to achieve.
Thank You,
Carmel Pule’and Family, Joe, Anthony, Victor, Marian, Bernadette, (Parents), Toni, Cettina.
And all the people of Cottonera,

Joseph V. Grech
(1 month, 3 days ago)
Thank you Lino Bugeja for your tireless work on behalf of the environment and people's basic rights!
How despicable that the Ramblers' sterling work was not fully appreciated - and backed - by our politicians. Sadly we still keep putting political interests before all other considerations.

Marco Cremona
(on 9/2/10)
Thank you for the thankless campaigning for the protection of Malta's environment and for furthering a culture of rambling and appreciation of Malta's natural beauty

From a fellow environmentalist
Marco Cremona

Sandro Bugeja
(on 9/2/10)
Thank you to a true gentleman.

R Muscat
(on 9/2/10)
Thank you Lino for all the good work that you have done over the years to open up the countryside to all those who appreciate and love nature, history and Malta.
Wish you very happy birthday and best wishes to the new committee may they be successful in their task which is an uphill battle against greed, destruction, machismo and ignorance.

S Zammit
(on 9/2/10)
Prosit Lino for all the good work you did to protect our ever diminishing countryside. Well done!! you are a good example to others and the island would be a better place for all of us if people would create awareness and protect nature so well as you did.
Best regards

(on 9/2/10)

Victor Fiorini
(on 9/2/10)
Happy birthday Lino. and thanks for your services

R. Bugeja
(on 9/2/10)
I feel proud to form part of your family tree Mr. Bugeja :)

Well done for all you've done for Malta and I wish you all the best!!

Frank Portelli 2BFRANK
(on 9/2/10)
Ad Multos Annos Lino

keep writing those interesting articles

Frank Portelli

peppi micallef
(on 9/2/10)
Grazzi minn qalbna Lino.

Joe Morana
(on 9/2/10)
Thank you very much Lino for your meaningful contribution towards safeguarding what is left of 'our' natural environment and heritage. You have been an example for others (of all ages ) to follow.
Best wishes.

S Debono
(on 9/2/10)
Thank you Mr. Bugeja. It is people like yourself who left a positive effect on Malta's natural environment and heritage. Maybe the Times could commemorate by carryng out some investigative work on current MEPA applications, and their impact on the environment. Hopefully environmental NGOs would be willing to assist.
a attard(on 9/2/10)

Dear Mr. Lino Bugeja, your work and enthusiasm in bringing about so much awareness and contributing towards the protection of our very little left open countryside and also heritage is greatly appreciated. Your energy will be a great inspiration for those who will follow on your path. Thankyou for all your work,

Paul Buttigieg
(on 9/2/10)
Hapy birthday May God bless you with many many more years of good health.

I would like to thank you (and I think I am not just talking for myself but for many others) for your ongoing work to save the natural beauty of our islands.

I always admired your true dedication by encouraging others to care for the environment like you do.

Hope to still hear you on the radio.

All the best

Paul and Carmen

Charles Sacco
(on 9/2/10)
Indeed, Mr Bugeja did a lot for the country, especially we boys who in the late fifties/early sixties hailed from Cottonera where, as a then Standard V class master he prepared us for the Lyceum entrance examination ... and all students passed with flying colours. Those were the days when the Cottonera excelled. I have always respected Mr Bugeja for his verve to pass on education to one and all and even now he continues to strive for a better Malta. At 80 years young, Ad Multos Annos, dear Sir!
schembri .ml(on 9/2/10)

Lino Bugeja is the person who did something for the future of our children.I would like to thank him on behalf of my grand children.

Evarist Saliba
(on 9/2/10)
Dear Lino,
It is a long time since we last met. Thank you for the initiatives you have taken to make the Maltese public more aware of the beauty of the countryside, which you have also sought to enhance and make it more accessible. May your example of graciously handing the baton to others be an inspiration to others.

Enjoy the fruit of your work in your new retirement.


Charles Flores
(on 9/2/10)
Lino Bugeja deserves every tribute he can get. He led by example. Even his decision to call it quits is an example to leaders in other sectors. Giving way to younger men and women is a natural process that many sadly resist. Doing a "Harold Wilson" is very much a part of that same process.
One hopes Lino's rambling days, though, are not over......

Muscat. Pat
(on 9/2/10)
Thank you Mr Bugeja; you are an honest gentleman.

J Brownie
(on 9/2/10)
A big thank you to a real gentleman who has Maltese enviornment and people's health close at heart .

Tony Mangion
(on 9/2/10)
Dear Lino, although you stepped down from the precidency of the Ramblers Association, every one hope that you will not stop stepping around our villages. Good luck and good health.

Gino Schiavone
(on 9/2/10)
Well done Lino. The Malta Exercise Health and Fitness Association wishes the best of luck in life. You have worked hard as a professional in your Free time to give the best to the community- and as an NGO representative you did this for Free. We hope there will be more professionals who set up NGO's where required- like a Federation of Outdoor Activities.

As an NGO MEHFA thanks you for your excellent work as we all benefit from such great initiatives.

Enjoy LIFE.

Joe Azzopardi
(on 9/2/10)
A big thank you to Lino Bugeja who has done much to bring to the attention of the general public the problems, but also the beauty, of the Maltese countryside. My complements also for his decision to step down after giving the Ramblers a solid base. It must be hard to let go of something one has given so much to create. Sahhit!!!

Kevin Zammit
(on 9/2/10)
A big heartfelt thank you Mr. Bugeja.