Malta: The Land of Saints
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
St. Julian, Malta
July 1, 2006
Mother Moon and Kook Jin Moon flew on July 1 from Amman to Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Malta’s history goes back many millennia. Malta was at various times dominated by Roman, Islamic and Norman conquerors. In the 16th century, the Pope and the King of Spain gave Malta to the [Crusade-related] Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. An independent nation, Malta was for many years a colony of Great Britain and is a member of the British Commonwealth. The primary languages are English and Maltese; Maltese is a blend of Arabic, Italian and English. The population of 400,000 is largely Roman Catholic. Malta joined the European Union in 2004.
At the airport, they were received by the core Universal Peace Federation leaders, including Dr. and Mrs. Yong Cheol Song, regional chair, UPF-Europe; Rev. Yong Tae Choi; Mr. Guiseppi Cali of Italy; the national leader Mr. Bryan Corlett; Mr. Francis Cassar; and Ambassador for Peace and Member of Parliament, Dr. Stefan Bountempo.
The main event was held at the Westin Dragonara Hotel in St. Julian’s Malta. About 300 people were in attendance, including a number of people who had come from Italy and England.
Wonderful pre-program entertainment was provided by George Curmi and Yuri Charyguine, who performed several lively classical pieces on violin and the accordion. Chevalier Pier Giorgio Buttigieg was designated to give the invocation. H.E. Professor Guido de Marco, former President of Malta and former President of the UN General Assembly, gave the welcoming remarks. Drawing on his career experience both in Malta and at the United Nations, he spoke about the importance of NGOs such as UPF in building a world of peace in regions such as the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. He underscored the need to avoid the “clash of civilizations,” particularly between Islam and the West.
Following his speech he was presented with the UPF’s “Leadership and Good Governance” Award, in honor of his distinguished career and commitment to governance based on moral principles. Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Dr. Song, Dr. Emmanuel Bezzina, and H.E. de Marco’s daughter made the presentation of the award.
Rev. Kwak gave the Chairman’s Address, followed by Kook Jin giving the Founder’s Address and Mother Moon the Keynote Address.
Following the blessing and conclusion, there was a reception for all the guests.
Later in the evening Mother Moon and those traveling with her watched France defeat defending World Cup champions, Brazil, 1-0, completing the all-European field of four teams for the semi-finals: France vs. Portugal and Germany vs. Italy. Mother Moon was pulling for Brazil.
The following morning, Mother Moon commented, "When I arrived in Malta, I learned that this country produced many holy people and saints. So many saints and holy people sacrificed over so many years. You should determine that you will work harder than the great saints of this nation, and they will mobilize spirit world for you. Malta is a small country, but it has been included in our tour for the first time."
She commented on the barriers of culture, religion and ethnicity. "You can learn how to overcome barriers through this speech," she explained. "When the world starts to see the standard of the true olive tree, they will want to follow that standard. Be like rain in a country of drought. Be proud of yourself and True Parents."
People from Malta, England and Italy sang songs. Mother Moon mentioned the Sun Hak children's choir in Seattle that sang Korean songs on the American part of the tour. She recalled the excellent pronunciation of the young people of different races and observed that learning songs in another language is a shortcut to learning the language. She encouraged the formation of a similar choir in Europe.
Kook Jin spoke: "I want to thank all you for all your great efforts for yesterday’s event. There are so few members based here in Malta, and to bring so many people was a good result." He then sang "Danny Boy."