Xmas at Vinnies

Over one hundred people attended the combined AMCC, Knights of Malta Christmas Party, which was held at Vinnies Italian Restaurant on 14th December 2008.

As usual, the restaurant served up a sumptuous buffet lunch that included our old favourites, rabbit and goat meat. Did I say goat meat?

Chev Billy Cassar supplied the rabbit and goat. The latter thankfully never made it to my plate, though someone devoured it, as the large tray it was served on was almost completely empty by the end of lunch. Apparently, us Maltese have stomachs of steel, or some of us do anyway. My suspicions were with Chev John Bonello, but I can’t say for sure if his stomach was the final destination of the goat.

Elvis Presley, alias John Vella made an appearance and sang all his hits. Are all Elvis impersonators Maltese? Anyway, he was great and got everyone rocking. Santa also made a brief appearance handing out biscuits and lollies. Elvis didn’t get any.

The lunch was an ideal time for members and their families and friends to get together one last time before the end of the year.
AMCC President and Grand Prior, Chev Sydney Borg was in a relaxed mood following the rigors of what was a busy and productive year for the two institutions he heads.

Revival of Networking Nights

2009 will see a return to a format which was particularly popular a few years back. The Chamber used to hold committee meetings at member’s place of business which would also double as an opportunity to showcase the business.

Following much discussion, two such meetings will be held in 2009. One at the premises of Committee member Charles Hili’s business Gato’s Pastizzi and another at Chev Joe Borg’s business, UBEECO.

The meetings will be proceeded by a networking evening that all members and their associates are welcome to attend. In the case of Gato’s Pastizzi, attendees will be treated to an array of fresh Pastizzi, Ravjul and beverages, compliments of the owners. “In a way, we are promoting our business and products to The Chamber’s members, while also giving them an insight into what makes a Pastizzi factory tick”, said co-owner Joseph Hili. Chev Joe Borg will showcase his new
Business Premises in Erskine Park which is sure to impress all Chamber members.

Gato’s Pastizzi recently hosted a networking night for The Cumberland Business Chamber which was attended by over eighty people. It was hugely successful. There is no reason why a similar function for The AMCC can’t achieve similar results.

Malta designated as a Visa W aiver Program (VWP) country

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated Malta as a Visa W aiver Program (VWP) country and Maltese nationals that hold a biom etric passport (e-Passport) will be able to travel visa-free to the United States.

The VW P will enable citizens of Malta to travel to the United States, for 90 days or less for tourism or business purposes without a visa, provided they have a biom etric passport (e-passport) and an approved authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

In recent months Malta was required to meet various security requirements, including more enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States. VWP members are also required to maintain high counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control and document security standards. Currently, 34 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

As from 12 January 2009, all visitors from VW P countries must apply for and receive an approved travel authorization via ESTA to board a plane or vessel bound for the United States. For additional information about the VWP, as well as the new ESTA requirement, please visit

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

Maltese President says farewell

The President of Malta, Mr Eddie Fenech-Adami, arrived in Australia on the 21st February.

The visit, his last official one as President of Malta was also his farewell to Australian friends and supporters.

After meeting with The Australian Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd, where The Australian PM explained Malta and Australia’s relationship as friendly, constructive and one based on strong people-to-people relations with historical links, The Maltese President attended a National Day of mourning for the Victorian bushfire victims.

The President, his wife and the Deputy Prime Minister of Malta, Dr Tonio Borg, later travelled to Sydney to meet with cultural and business leaders.

Over four hundred people attended the official function held for The President, at The La Montage Function Centre in Haberfield on 25th February.

President of The Australian Maltese Chamber of Commerce, Chev Syd Borg, the executive, committee and other members and their partners who attended were treated to fine food and entertainment of the highest order. Chev Syd Borg even went on to say that it was the best function that had ever been organised for a visiting dignitary.

Member Profile Section. Louise Vink

Starting with this edition of The AMCC quarterly Newsletter, The Member Profile Section will acquaint m em bers with each other by giving a brief bio of the featured m em ber. In this edition, we introduce Mrs Louise Vink.

My name is Louise Vink ,(nee Form osa). I was born on the Island of Gozo, Malta. I came to Australia with all my family in 1965 and settled in W entworthville, NSW . In 1967, I married my husband, Casper, who was born in Holland who also came to Australia that same year. W e have two daughters, Monique and Nicole
and two grandchildren Luke and Florence.

After living in Sydney for 24 years, Casper wanted a change. We decided to move to Perth. W e did not make this decision lightly, as we knew that it would be a big adjustment for us all, leaving all our family and friends behind. Initially it was more difficult than we expected it to be, but once our daughters settled in at the local High School and made friends, we all started to feel a lot happier. Both daughters finished their tertiary education at Curtin University ,where they acquired a Degree in Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Management.

When we first moved to Perth, Casper had a few business ideas. After checking the Perth market, he decided to give one of the
possibilities ago. He started by supplying just two paper products, namely Facial Tissues and Pocket Tissues to the Supermarkets. The manufacturer that we purchased these products from, ABC Tissue Products which is a Sydney based company. introduced many more products over the years and we were ordering the products by container loads. Casper managed to secure a few more retail lines from various manufacturers to add to his paper products and after a few years of supplying the retail market, Casper decided to go into commercial tissue products. By then, ABC Tissue Products were converting all types of toilet tissue, hand towels, napkins etc. and are now considered to be one of the biggest manufacturers of tissue
paper in Australia. W e took the opportunity and we grew with them. W e have the contract to supply all government bodies in WA and through a network of resellers, we now wholesale the products here in Perth and country areas.

Last year Casper and I decided to retire and we handed over the business to our daughters. Both Monique and Nicole worked in the family business for the last 10 years and consequently it was an easy transition for all of us. I am happy to say that they had an excellent year and we are very proud of them. I still work a few hours a
week in the business just to keep myself busy. I am also an active carer, twice a week of my two grandchildren, which allows my daughter Nicole to continue to work in the business. I am involved with the Maltese Professional and Business Association and I have been the President for the last 10 years. My involvement with the Maltese community is very rewarding.

Press Release: UBEECO Packaging Solutions

UBEECO Packaging Solutions, a member of the UNITED BOX GROUP, announced today that it had successfully relocated all of its Smithfield operations to a new, much larger “state of the art” manufacturing and operating facility at Erskine Park: an area situated in Sydney’s west.

The relocation climaxes a project two years in the making: a project which required considerable research into impact on customers, employees, future environmental footprint and the growth of the company.

At a time when most businesses are putting a hold on expansion plans, UBEECO has moved onto a complex which has 3.5 times the undercover production and storage facilities and 3 times the hardstand capacity it previously held at all of 6 Smithfield sites. The Borg Bros are clearly demonstrating their faith in the future growth of the Australian economy beyond the next 6-12 months of current economic upheaval.

Given the “state of the art” new facility, UBEECO is gearing up to provide customers, within the next 6 months, not only their standard and often regular industrial packaging requirements but also with the opportunity to take up its new “cradle to grave” packaging product thereby preparing all customers to achieve the required carbon footprint.

With its relocation and the “cradle to grave” model UBEECO has now established itself as the leader in industrial packaging in New South W ales. Together with its strategy of “ONE STOP PACKAGING SHOP”, UBEECO has boldly pioneered the highly successful concept of delivering a full suite of packaging consumables thereby “project managing” the customer’s packaging requirements.

The industrial packaging suite includes, timber cases, crates, pallets, timber componentry, on- site machinery packing, storage, management & distribution of fiberboard products including the exclusive QIKPAK range, distribution of a large range of packaging consumables such as industrial tapes, bubble wrap, etc.

UBEECO Packaging Solutions, now headquartered in Erskine Park NSW , has built a capability to respond nationally to customer’s needs through its winning network of strategic interstate alliances.

The Borg Bros extend an invitation to customers and other stakeholders to visit their new facilities, where at the very least, they will have a cappuccino waiting for them. The UNITED BOX GROUP is a family owned business and was recently the NSW & ACT winner of the FAMILY BUSINESS of AUSTRALIA Award.

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