Paul Camilleri Cauchi and Salvu Vella receive the MOM and MQR
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President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, on the occasion of Republic Day, has paid public tribute to a number of Maltese citizens who distinguish themselves in different fields of endeavour.
During the ceremony held at The Palace in Valletta, 17 members were appointed to The National Order of Merit, three of whom received the award on an honorary basis while another was awarded posthumously. One individual was awarded the Midalja ghall-Qlubija posthumously. Ten other individuals were awarded the Midalja ghall-Qadi tar-Repubblika, two of which were awarded the medal posthumously.
Paul Camilleri Cauchi of Gozo was appointed the MOM and Salvu Vella of Comino was appointed the MQR
Paul Camilleri Cauchi was born in 1940 in Victoria, Gozo. His father Agostino instilled in his son artistic ideals and tenets which made Paul prepared to become a consummate painter. He was further coached in Art by Artists Prof. Conti, Briffa, Caruana and Busuttil.
At a very young age Camilleri Cauchi obtained the Diploma from the Press Art School in London. He further deepened his studies in Rome, Florence and Perugia under the guidance of accomplished tutors. There he participated in different exhibitions and his works won popular acclaim.
Back in Malta he was appointed as Art teacher, however in 1973 he submitted his resignation due to various commissions for the pictorial decoration of church vaults by ecclesiastical authorities which propelled Paul to become an established artist in the genre of sacred paintings.
His works of art decorate parishes and filial churches in Malta and Gozo and also in many foreign countries. Camilleri Cauchi’s connection with church paintings did not divert him from profane and contemporary art.
He applied first hand impressions of local people from their way of life onto the canvas by catching the “local colours” which made him stand out in this genre of painting. Paul was knighted in 1968 in ORCB and in SOSJ of Jerusalem in 1979.
In September 2014 Camilleri Cauchi was awarded the “Premio Internazionale di Pittur Giuseppe Sciuti” in its first edition at Zafferana Etnea in Sicily.Salvu Vella is considered to be the custodian of the island of Comino. He is an organic farmer, a fisherman, beekeeper and a self-taught inventor, always creating new projects to ameliorate the life of his family and visitors on the Island.
He is considered as one of the key people who can maintain the captivating beauty of this pristine island with the increasing pressure of tourism and environmental threats.
Salvu Vella has been living on the island for the past 66 years with two other remaining residents.
The full list of Republic Day honours and awards is available for download here.