PCS Aust. hosts Chamber’s 2008 AGM

The AMCC held its AGM at PCS Aust. Headquarters, Granville, on the night of Wednesday, 19th March.

The AGM and subsequent election proved to be quite special, as most members finally had the opportunity to also meet the new Consul General to NSW, Miss Anna Marie Bonnicci, in her first official engagement with the Chamber.

Miss Bonnicci handled her duty as returning officer for the election of The Chamber’s incoming executive and committee with a degree of professionalism that reflects the true image the chamber wishes to convey.

In what can only be described as the most smoothly run AGM in the chambers history, the entire outgoing executive and committee was returned, unopposed for another year.

The Executive is comprised of the following: President, Chev Syd Borg; Vice President; Chev Joe Borg; Secretary; Mrs. Joselle Attieh; Treasurer; Chev Steve Vassallo.

The Committee is comprised of Mr Joe Attard, Chev George Doublesin, Chev Paul Sant, Chev Charles Hili, Mr Glen Fisher and Mr Victor Gauci.

Five new committee members have also been elected to represent their respective regions on the new National Committee. These are, Dame Maria Selleck and Mr Gordon Selleck , representing Canberra , Chev George Bongiovanni, representing New Zealand, Mr Richard Vassallo, representing Queensland and Ms Louise Vink, representing Western Australia.

President, Chev Syd Borg re-affirmed the Chamber’s commitment to expanding activities in the new regions which are now clearly represented on the new board.

“If any new member does not get value for money in their first year of membership with The Chamber, then I’ll eat my hat”.“The very fact you get to network with some high profile business men, including solicitors, accountants, and former federal politicians, makes membership essential”, he said.

New members welcomed at AGM

Following the election of the new executive and committee, President, Chev Syd Borg, welcomed further new members by presenting them with their AMCC membership kits.

The new members are: Mr Chris Borg, representing Adriatic Adventure, Travel & Tours and Mr Richard Vassallo, who is now on the National Committee representing Queensland. Other new members joining from the MABPA but were not present at The AGM are, Mr Wayne Schembri, Mr Michael Mifsud, Mr Andrew Vella, Mr John Blanco and Mr Richard Mercieca. The Chamber looks forward to welcoming these new members at the first official function they attend.

Maltese Connection in HMAS Sydney

Who would have thought the discovery of the final resting place of The HMAS Sydney, which was sunk off the coast of W estern Australia in 1941 could hold any significance to the Maltese Community in 2008?

We Maltese have always held our adopted home of Australia as dear to our hearts as our original place of birth, however, most immigration to Australia did not commence until after the conclusion of the war, therefore events occurring on the other side of the world in 1941
would certainly be precluded from this analogy.

When The HMAS Sydney was confronted off the coast of Western Australia by the German Raider Kormoran, which was disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel, on 19th November 1941, two of the Australian sailors aboard HMAS Sydney were indeed Maltese.

The two men were Canteen Manager, Salvatore Zammit and canteen worker, Samuel Psaila. Both men were among the 635 souls who went down with the Sydney. Despite being fired upon at point blank range, from what was thought to be a friendly ship, The Sydney still managed to fire enough ordinance at The Kormoran to inflict damage that would see the aggressor also sink, long after the Sydney had met its watery grave. Most of The Kormoran’s crew survived the battle. The Sydney’s crew were not as fortunate and all hands perished.

The unlikely discovery of both ships, lying off the coast of Western Australia has sparked renewed interest by the Royal Australian Navy to put the pieces of the loss of The Sydney and its entire crew into perspective. Descendants, now have a place they can call a final resting place for loved ones stilled mourned over some 65 years later.

But there is one final piece to this jigsaw, that despite being somewhat trivial in nature by today’s standards, takes on larger dimensions when taken in the grand scheme of things. A single body, wearing a boiler uniform was washed ashore on Christmas Island a few weeks after the Sydney’s sinking. The body was never identified and was buried in an unmarked grave there. It is widely accepted that the body was that of the only crew member from the Sydney to be found. Other items found suggest there was a second crewman, whose body was swallowed by The Indian Ocean before it could be washed ashore.

The Navy has retrieved the body from Christmas Island and has begun the painstaking process of DNA testing to prove beyond doubt, the identity of the forgotten sailor. Why would this all matter to us as Maltese descendants, you may ask. The reason why it does is simple. The Navy has narrowed the search from a list of crewman numbering 635 down to eleven. Canteen manager, Salvatore Zammit is one of those eleven men. The history books, therefore, could actually be rewritten to imply that the only body recovered from The HMAS Sydney was that of a Maltese Sailor, a somewhat highly improbable outcome, considering there were only two on board the Sydney that fateful day.

Press Release from Zammit Marketing & Sales

Dear Members,

Portraits in Oil.

W e are very pleased to announce that Mrs. Carmen Di Napoli is now affiliated with Zammit Publishing as an Associate Director, to accept commissions to do portraits in oils, with additional and over-arching responsibilities to oversee the artwork, design and layout section of the Zammit Publishing division.

Ms. Di Napoli is a highly respected artist and educator of visual art. She has received much recognition and has been a recipient of numerous grants and scholarships in support of her creativity in Australia and abroad.

Her portrait in oils of the Premier of NSW , The Hon. Morris Iemma MP, won great accolades and, in fact, was a finalist in last year’s Archibald Prize. Carmen is highly accomplished in painting, both small and large scale portraits, and at very competitive prices.

Should you, or any of your family members, be interested in considering a portrait to be commissioned, then please let us know and Carmen will arrange to meet with you at a mutually convenient date and time.

Paul Zammit FAICD OSJ
Zammit Sales, Marketing & Management
S7/88 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
M: +61 (0)419 444 135
T: +61 2 9223 4300
F: +61 2 9223 4400
E: paulz@zamsal.com.au
W : www.zammitsales.com

MABPA vote to stay their separate way

The Maltese Australian Business and Professionals Association held a crucial meeting on 28th March to decide whether to accept an amalgamation offer from The AMCC.

In a close vote, the motion, which was put forward by MABPA Vice President, Mr W ayne Schembri, was defeated. Some members within The MABPA, including Mr Schembri, were of the view that amalgamation with The AMCC would strengthen the Maltese /Australian Business Community, therefore putting forward a stronger and united front.

President of The MABPA, Chev Joe Cauchi, implored members to vote against the motion, stating that The MABPA has and never will stop members from joining other associations, including The AMCC. He also felt that both organisations had different agendas and that The MABPA should stand alone and pursue his organisations objectives without having to amalgamate. Other members of the committee also spoke strongly in favour of standing alone.

This was the second time in less than four years that the subject of amalgamation of the two associations has been raised and pursued.

President of The AMCC, Chev Syd Borg was quoted as saying, “This is the last time the issue of amalgamation will be raised. W e simply have to accept that we have two completely separate organisations which will never amalgamate. We now have to get on with our own agenda, which is to grow The AMCC and to rigorously pursue and implement our own business plan”.

On the other hand, MABPA President Chev Joe Cauchi, stated that his organisation would be reviewing its constitution to reflect its activities more accurately. A relieved MABPA executive and committee were happy with the outcome and the professional and amicable way members presented their respective views.

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