Knights' Grand Master made honorary citizen of Birgu

Grand Masters used to reign over Malta from Vittoriosa but on Sunday 27th April 2003, the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra Andrew Bertie was granted the honorary citizenship of Birgu (Citta Vittoriosa).

The ceremony took place in Couvre Porte which was gaily decorated with banners for the occassion and was led by the Mayor Mr. John Boxall in the presence of, then President, Mr. Guido De Marco. As flags of the Order flew from all masts in Vittoriosa, the Knights in their robes accompanied Grand Master Fra Andrew Bertie on a visit to the town.

After a short defile which saw the Grand Master payina short visits to band clubs and the Dominician priory, the Grandmaster and the Knights attended High Mass at the Conventual church of St. Lawrence.

Following th mass, the Grand Master opened an exhibition of memorabilia related to the Knights, entitled "Memories of the order conserved in Birgu", which was put up at the Auberge De France. The exhibition was organised n the initiative of Fra John Critien, Knight resident at Fort St. Angelo of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Birgu Local Council in collaboration with Heritage Malta and the Collegiate Chapter of St. Lawrence Parish Church.