Anton Tabone made Companion of The National Order of Merit

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Anton Tabone receiving the K.O.M from the President of MaltaAt this year’s Investiture Ceremony which took place at The Palace, Valletta, yesterday, Anton Tabone was appointed Companion of The National Order of Merit by the President of Malta, Dr Eddie Fenech Adami.

Anton Tabone was appointed the first Minister for Gozo Affairs in 1987 he was re-appointed in the same portfolio in 1992, a post he held up to 1996. Between 1998 and 2008 he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He was elected in the interests of the Nationalist Party in 1996 and sat in Parliament for over forty-two years, initially as a backbencher and successively as Shadow Minister, Minister and eventually as a Speaker. He was also member of the Nationalist Party Executive Committee and a member of the now defunct Gozo Civic Council where he chaired several committees of the Council.

Whilst Minister for Gozo he promoted the regional aspect of the island in the national context and within the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR) where Gozo became a Member. As Speaker he promoted Malta’s initiative to establish a Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean and the setting up of its Secretariat in Malta. He undertook with success the difficult transition of Malta’s Parliament from that of a non-member state to one of a member state when Malta became a Member of the European Union in 2004.

Anton Tabone helped put Gozo and the Gozitans’ interest to the fore with the result that nowadays the island’s dimension is being considered at the forefront of both national policy as well as the EU territorial dimension.

On Republic Day each year, the President, on behalf of the Government and people of Malta, pays 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 gieh ir-Repubblika, or by awarding them the Midalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika.

Nationals of other countries may be conferred with honorary membership of the Order or of the Xirka or awarded the Midalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika on an honorary basis. In rarer cases the Midalja ghall-Qlubija can be awarded, even posthumously, to a Maltese citizen for an act of exceptional bravery.

Photo above courtesy of the DOI, Lorne Cremona

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