Annual General Meeting 2023
Annual General Meeting of the Malta Geographical Society to be held at the Malta Council Volunteer Centre,181,Melita Street, Valletta on Thursday March 16th 2023
The Malta Geographical Society
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to our Annual General Meeting.
This is my third report for the Society while serving for a second term as Chairman of the Malta Geographical Society. This year has found the Society back to offering its members a full list of walks throughout Malta after those dark and awful days of Covid in 2021. Here I wish to express my thanks to your committee for their help and advice over this period. I also would like to thank Neil Taylor who retired as Treasurer in December 2022 for his tireless work over a number of years on the committee.
In November, our dear friend and committee member Paul Debono passed away and all those that knew Paul will sadly miss him. The Society passes onto his wife Doris and her family our sincere condolences for their loss. We have decided to honor Paul by naming a walk “The Paul Debono Memorial Walk” which will be held each year in the month of November, and we will ask all participants to donate to a charity as selected by Doris.
2023 is a special year as the Society is 80 years old, how time passes. The Society started with just fifteen members in 1943 and here we are today with nearly 250. We will be announcing a commemorative event later in the year and we hope members will join us to celebrate this incredibly special year.
During the year I am pleased to announce that we applied for and were granted the status of a regulated Malta Voluntary Organization.
The following members were on the Committee during 2022:
Richard Davies: Chairman
Timmy Zammit: Vice Chairman
Anna Dalli: Honorary Secretary
Neil Taylor: Treasurer Society
Maura Marlow: Membership Coordinator
Mario Farrugia: Walks Organizer
Evelina Albanozzo : Social Events Coordinator
Paul Debono : Walk Leader
Mary Mangion: Social Event Coordinator
Helga Camilleri : Walk Leader
The Committee held 7 meetings at the British Legion from January to December 2022. The Committee also kept in constant contact via e mail. One cannot underestimate the huge workload involved and I am pleased to inform you that all members sitting on the current committee, excluding Neil Taylor, have agreed to remain on the committee for the coming year.
I am pleased to announce that the widow of Paul Debono, Doris has accepted the invitation to join the committee.
We will continue with our system of organizing three walks in each month. In the year under review (January 2022 December 2022), we organized 33 walks of which three were cancelled due to weather conditions, but a total 1290 attended the scheduled walks. As usual, our walking program was again coordinated by Timmy Zammit and Mario Farrugia who keep the records of all walks and the statistics of the people attending. It is the Society’s custom to scout all walks a week or so before the actual walk. Our thanks go to Mario Farrugia who leads, together with our small team of walk leaders, namely Helga Camilleri, Maura Marlow, Doris Debono, Eva Albanese, and Frans Attard.
We are pleased to announce that three members, Antida Zammit, Mario Borg and Stephen Guy have joined the walk leaders with the intention of helping us run the walks. We thank them for their help as this is a concern for the Society to continue running the walks in a safe and efficient manner to the benefit of members.
During the year we organized two walking tours in April to Sicily organized for us by Go Sicily tours with a combined total of 76 attendees. In October we had a trekking tour of Puglia which was organized by committee member Maura Marlow with 33 attendees.
Social and Cultural Events
We held a BBQ at the Sorada Hotel on July 29th with 49 attending, and this was our first social since before Covid. We also tried to organize a Christmas event but were not able to, due to availability problems. For our 80th Birthday celebrations we are in discussions with various establishments and will soon finalize arrangements to celebrate this special occasion.
The membership of our Society for year end 2022 is 143 paid up members and combined with our previous life membership it exceeds 240, this being near the same level of the 2020. We granted members a free year in 2021 due to Covid as we were unable to operate as an organization like many others.
Maura Marlow keeps our membership register as well as collecting subscriptions, a demanding job which she is always does so well. I am happy to report that once again there will be no increase in the membership subscription this year. We took the decision not to issue membership cards due to the increase in postal charges and the time and work involved.
Facebook Page & Website
The Facebook page is extremely popular, and photos and information are being uploaded regularly. Special thanks go to our member Antoine Attard who takes care of this page and to all those members who upload their photos.
The Website has been visited or” hit” by many interested parties from all over the world. The Society invested in a new operation in 2021 and members can now see all the necessary information on both PC and their mobile phones. We note the increasing numbers of visitors who access the site with their mobile phones, and we will continue in getting information to members this way.
I would like to thank all Committee members and walk leaders for their continuous support. The entire Committee work hard to co-ordinate the various activities and continuous work involved. I thank you, our members, for giving us support, keeping in mind that we all belong to the finest and oldest walking group in Malta. We will be starting another year with a new Committee, hoping to keep the momentum that we have been working through in the last exceedingly difficult two years.
I commend this, my chairman’s report for 2023, to the AGM.
Chairman, Malta Geographical Society