13 December  -  Republic Day

Malta became a Republic in 1974 by resolution of the House of Representatives. Celebrations, including horse races at Marsa, are held to commemorate the event.


Malta celebrates Republic Day
By MaltaMedia News
Dec 13, 2006, 12:57 CET

On Wednesday, Malta is celebrating its 32nd anniversary of becoming a Republic in 1974.

A number of activities marking this national holiday started on Tuesday with the wreath laying on the monument of Former Presidents Agatha Barbara and Anton Buttigieg by members of the National Festivities Committee. The celebrations continued on Wednesday morning which unlike last year’s heavy rain which had hit the islands on the day, a bright sunny day enabled ample celebrations.

The Armed Forces of Malta, who were accompanied by the Forces Band, marched along Republic Street and held a parade in St George's Square. The President of Malta Edward Fenech Adami, the Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and various distinct personalities attended the ceremony.

Following the parade, an Investiture Ceremony and a medal-giving ceremonial took place at the Grand Council Chamber at the Palace in Valletta.

The President, on behalf of the Government and people of Malta, paid public tribute to a number of Maltese citizens who distinguish themselves in different fields of endeavour, by appointing them to The National Order of Merit or to the Xirka Ġieħ ir-Repubblika, or by awarding them the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika. Nationals of other countries may be conferred with honorary membership of the Order or of the Xirka or awarded the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika on an honorary basis. In rarer cases the Midalja għall-Qlubija can be awarded, even posthumously, to a Maltese citizen for an act of exceptional bravery.

This year's Investiture Ceremony again took place at The Palace, Valletta, on Wednesday 13 December 2006, immediately following the customary Ceremonial Parade held at the Palace Square.

During the Ceremony, seven members and two honorary members were appointed to The National Order of Merit. These were Giovanni Bonello and Richard Cachia Caruana as Companions; Ena Cremona as Officer; Spiridione M. Aquilina, Joseph Calleja, Carmine Lauri and Joseph C. Sammut as Members; Leslie Cassar and Santo Salvatore Portera as Honorary Members.

Richard Bates was awarded the Midalja għall-Qlubija. Mr Bates is an employee of Gozo Channel Company Ltd and a professional diver who, in the early morning of 14 October 2006, with no regard to his own personal safety, committed an act of bravery by saving the life of an elderly man and his daughter after their car ended up in the sea at Gozo Mgarr Harbour.

Four persons were awarded the Midalja g5all-Qadi tar-Repubblika. These were Alex Borg, Paul Curmi, Mary Inglott and Dionysius Mintoff.

The Investiture Ceremony was the culmination of a process which started with a public call for nominations issued in September to which a number of citizens responded by submitting their nomination.

The Malta Labour Party also scheduled activities marking this day including wreath laying on monuments of Former Presidents and on the Republic Monument in December 13 Road, Marsa followed by a speech by Opposition Leader Dr Alfred Sant.

Republic Day is also characterized by the two main political parties' separate marathons which always manage to collect thousands of Maltese Liri for party exigencies.