A last minute decision holiday was booked for half term. We arrived at the airport and were met by the Mayor of Marsa Francis Debono and his wife Carmen and Marsa Councillor Dominic Spencer and his wife Claudette. It was so lovely to see them all again. Dominic took us to our hotel and we planned to meet on Saturday for the feast (see other report)
The following morning we hired a car and went to see the aparthotel that the group Joseph Abela is taking in July will be staying. We met the manager who showed us around and photos were taken to show our members. In the evening and on Sunday we spent with our friends in Marsa at the feast.
We did have a few days when we were able to go to the beach and to visit an Indian restaurant to meet up with a friend of Joseph and tell him of his visit with the group. Wednesday was a busy day as we drove to Marsa and visited the Theresa Nuzzo School with letters from Wembdon School in Bridgwater, we met with Marise Bugerja the Deputy Head who introduce us to the new head teacher and staff over coffee. We then proceeded to Marsacala to the home of Moira and Mark Catania the Assistant Group Scout Leader of Marsa Scout Group. Mark is working in Libya but we were able to talk to him using Skype so were able to “catch up” Moira treated us to a Maltese lunch and afternoon tea and lots of conversation about their girls and the feast we had all attended as Mark comes from Marsa and their eldest daughter had played in one of the bands.
We then drove back to Marsa where we met with Francis Debono who took us to meet Mr Michael Saliba and the members of the Marsa Historical and Cultural Society. We were entertained with a buffet and we were asked many questions about our town and we learnt a little about Marsa and the people present. We presented books about the history of Bridgwater to Mr Saliba and Mr Debono. We were given a newsletter that one of our members will translate. On our return I have been in contact with the secretary of the Bridgwater Civic Society who will collect information to be taken out when our group goes in July as they are planning to meet up in Marsa.
After that we drove the short distance to the Scout Headquarters and met with the cub pack who assured me that they had all enjoyed the feast. We also renewed our friendship with Joe Galea who is the oldest member and quartermaster of the group and met new cub leaders. We were also given the 2 latest Scout newsletters which has an English page written by Mark ( and Moira !) one of which was about their visit to Bridgwater for Carnival last November. We then walked a short distance to gardens when some of the members of the scout band were practising the bagpipes- just using the mouthpiece or a synthesiser.
During this week we met up with other members of families and were entertained with good conversation and great Maltese food. We also handed out our web address so we can raise the profile in Marsa and perhaps more people will be aware when we visit in July. I would like to thank the families of Dominic and Claudette Spencer for their hospitality and for the Mayor Francis Debono for all his help. We were seen off in style at the airport by these good friends.