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The birth of a new era… What a year! Celebrations, controversy, betrayal, beautiful Glosters, Record Breakers and more….

January 2009 - Best Gloster 2009 - Bird Breeders Assosiation Annual Show

What a kick start to 2009!! My Three Parts Dark Consort Hen breaks the record in the Gloster Section (BBA) with 94 points. A Hen that I bred from a Variegated Buff Consort Cock and a Yellow Corona Hen last year. Since it was bred late in the season it was not possible to show this bird until today. This is my first show winner. The bloodline of this hen comes from Nick & Annalain Barrett stud.

January 2009 - Still waiting for an extraordinary General Meeting to take place at MGBS

It’s been over six weeks since the President's resignation and we are still waiting for what's left of MGBS committee to call an Extraordinary General Meeting. From what we heard so far it’s looking like they will still go to the AGM!!! Unbelievable.

January 2009 - I recieved a circular that an AGM is being held...

Today I received a circular from Zaffarese (Secretary) mentioning the date of the AGM. This cannot be true!!! Now we are being treated like ignorant members who can't even read the club statute. This is not going to happen!!!

Today I drafted a letter to the remainder of the committee to ask them to reconsider their actions which go against the club statute. I also asked them to call an extraordinary general meeting. They are not going to like this, because I have 11 signatures from the 17 paid up members. Anyway we have to do this, more than half the club are unhappy, we can't be all wrong!!!

In the letter we are asking to amend the Statute to reduce the committee from 9 to 5 seats, because it is ridiculous to have more than half of the club Members running the show.

The second change that we want is for officials not be contested directly by a new member but instead, when the five new committee members are elected it is between them that has to be decided who the officials of the new committee would be.

February 2009 - Letter to the committee turned down

The letter that I sent to what is called a "committee" was turned down. Today I received a phone call from Lawrence Caruana and he told me that I am two signatures short!!! What a way to hang on to your seat!!!! Lawrence told me that MGBS has new members that I am not aware of… Thank God I predicted this, in fact the letter I sent to the committee was only a copy and the original is still at me which means I don't have to start collecting signatures all over again.

February 2009 - The saga continues "More Signatures"

This was easy, way too easy with so many unhappy faces… Instead of two I have another four signatures. Good luck Mr. to all that is coming!
Now I have two very prestigious signatures, one of the Auditor of the club Horace Vella and the other of Joe Portelli. What more do I need? But hang on I found a new member who is already unhappy with the administration and he signed it too. The fourth was from a present member of committee Ranier Fsadni. Ranier called me to sign the letter and I explained to him that he can't sign because its calling the resignation of the committee and he is still on it. But Ranier told me that he had just resigned as well. What a catastrophe!!!

February 2009 - Extraordinary General Meeting "Forced"

Finally what's left of the MGBS committee realized that things have to be done right, no more breaking the rules and no more illegal action. Secretary sent all members a date for the Extraordinary General Meeting. Let’s hope that everybody will bring out the best to reconstruct MGBS and give it back the dignity it deserves. Today we had the Extraordinary General Meeting - Sadly once again the blame was pointed at me!! I was told that since I showed up in the club problems started arising one after the other..

Thank you dear Secretary!! But hold on three quarters of the room think that the committee is not administering as it should and only four think that Mario Zahra is causing all the havoc. So the committee decided to resign and the Secretary announced that he is an official no more. Alleluia!! I asked the floor to approve the appointment of a Chairperson and everybody accepted. So I asked Miss Edwige Ghio if she will accept to be appointed Chairperson and she said yes.

The two amendments that were put forward to the statute are both ON!! The voting was a big yes to change!!! Now we can start planning ahead.

After a whole morning of mudslinging it was decided that the nominees for the new committee all have a chance to write to Mario Zahra or Edwige Ghio to run for an election so that we can form a new committee. Date of the next meeting is 6th March.

March 2009 - None of the old committe put their names forward

As expected none of the four that were hanging on to their seat put their name in to run for the new committee. I must admit I really wished that Peter Falzon stayed! I know for sure that Peter has the club at heart and his personal interests never took over him in any decision. The other one is Manuel Cassar, but he wouldn't know the truth about what happened in the last meetings because he was missing for a while.

Anyway we are down to four nominees as we didn't even manage 5!! That's Me, Louis Grech, Edwige Ghio and Ranier Fsadni. As for the rest!! They are thinking that we will not make it because the new committee is far too weak to continue. Guess what, there were even plans by the old committee to which philanthropic organization we will donate the club funds!!! What a way to run the club…

March 2009 - First committee meeting "Mario Zahra is MGBS Secretary for 2009-2011

The new MGBS committee is formed! Edwige Ghio is President, Mario Zahra is Secretary, Louis Grech is Treasurer and Ranier Fsadni is a Member. We are still left with an empty seat. We could always co-opt someone later but now we have to focus on giving MGBS the dignity it deserves.

We start straight away with the invention of a monthly newsletter. This tool will keep all members in touch with the birth of a new era. We will keep the members on tiptoes while we show the old timers that change is good. Fresh ideas that were turned down day in day out while I was in the old committee can now be implemented without screaming!!! Socks Up – let’s score some GOALS!!!

March 2009 - MGBS spears ahead

The first edition of the clubs news letter is launched and it’s called "The voice of the Society". Along with the newsletter a questionnaire is sent. We are asking all members to give us all their personal information because we were given a very rough handover from Alfred Zaffarese. The handover was so disorganized that I had to call Joe Portelli to help me figure out which paper goes where!! We found out that we only had six sets of minutes for 2008 as well as two years of Show results jumbled up with some classes and points missing.

Back to the questionnaire, we are also asking our members to write to us what they wish for so that the club will be turned into a home.

March 2009 - MGBS new website

Today we launched a totally new website. The result section is back and updated, we also have the newsletter online. I am very happy to sponsor the whole project after all this is my second home.

April 2009 - New Sponsors start popping out

The second edition of the club’s newsletter is sent. In it we have some new sponsors and guess what? Members are starting to send in their support, we are not on our own!!! We have six club members pledging full support whenever they are called with some of them also offering financial help.

April 2009 - Breeding season

The breeding season is in full swing! I have 28 paired up and expecting between 70 to 90 hatchlings. I am very eager to continue the improvement that I had in 2008. In fact, I think I will get a second helping from Kings Lynn again.

April 2009 - Dave Tomas to judge the MGBS annual Show

Finally we can choose the best judges in the UK without the luck of the draw from the hat. Today
I wrote an invitation letter to Mr. Dave Thomas (Wales) to judge our All Gloster Show.
Dave wrote back with a positive answer and he is really looking forward to visit Malta again after so many years.

April 2009 - 2 new members for MGBS

Today I'm over the moon! The fruit is already looming, I received two new applications from the website. The online form was downloaded, filled and sent to me by post. The two new members are very young and they like our Society.

May 2009 - Joe Portelli is Back...

Joe is very happy with the current situation of the Club. We felt that we cannot leave Joe out after all MGBS is his ‘baby’. Today we asked Joe if he will accept the post of show manager and he said yes. Who can do a better job the Joe? 30 years of experience in bird keeping and 13 years in the committee. Thank you ever so much Joe. You are a dear friend.

June - MGBS sponsors continue to grow

What an amazing year this is going to be!! Today I managed to sign Excelsior Hotel as one of our sponsors. This is a five star hotel which will host our Judge next November. Now we have Coca Cola, Hotel Excelsior, Versele-Laga, RMF Publishing (My Company) and CeDe. Let’s go for it dude!!!

July - Nick Barrett to publish the second edition of his book.

What a whale of a time I'm having this year. Today Nick Barrett called me and he said that he is accepting my offer to publish the second edition of "The Gloster Fancy Canary" This could be the beginning of an everlasting friendship with the world's best Gloster Fancy Exhibitor!!! I'm honoured...

July - New stock of items for the club

Today we have in stock 40 new show cages, 50 cans of paint and some black d-cups. Any new member now should have it easy!!! This is what I wished for - to give a professional service to our members, which is the only way to see our hobby grow.

August - Meeting with other Societies

This month we had a meeting with the two All bird Societies in Malta. The objective of this meeting was to introduce the new committee, start afresh and negotiations to rebuild solidarity between our clubs. Mistakes have been done and now we wish to forget what the others did and said in the past. We are new!! Hello MCBA & Hello BBA we want to work with you both.

September - Nick & Annalain Barrett launch their book in Malta

The Gloster Canary Book is ready and it will be launched in Malta - History is made! Nick & Annalain accept to launch their second edition of the book in Malta. I organized everything at the Hotel Excelsior, and the press together with the local National TV station are going to be there. All the members of MGBS are invited and they can get their hands on a copy of the book before the rest of the world. Am I happy? You must be joking. Everybody at the club is baffled how this is happening and my only answer to them "It’s done all out love towards the hobby"

The book is launched. What an evening! A total success. Along with Nick and Annalain came Peter Warfield and Dave Thomas. Down by the main pool at the Hotel excelsior lays the Tiki Bar. This is a bamboo decorated area and the sun is setting beautifully opposite the venue. The air is warm and a light breeze blew in our faces. The TV station came, as well as the Times of Malta just as they promised me.

All the members came as well as the new ones; everybody got a copy of the book signed on the spot by the author. What more can you want as a Gloster Member at MGBS?

Now for anybody who wants information about the Gloster, the book is available again…


October - A brand new set of trophies for MGBS "All Sponsored"

Now we have a brand new set of silver trophies and the good news that comes with it is that they are all sponsored by our members. From the biggest trophy to the smallest. All expenses covered and the message from our members is very clear "We are happy with what we are seeing in our club" The best statement that fills my friend and I with courage for the future.

October - New Cage Labelling System

The club continues to modernise the system by introducing a new show cage labelling system. This is purely a new idea, one label on the left hand side of the cage that is divided in two boxes. 1 box for the class number and the other for the unique number assigned to the exhibit. On the right hand side of the cage, name tag with the exhibitor's name and his locality.

November - 393 entries for the show!!!

The show entry has shot up by 99 exhibits and the exhibitors are 12 more than last year. Ok last year was a disaster, but the last time MGBS saw 400 exhibits was in 1997. We can now say that we are on the right track and looking forward to what might be one of the best All Gloster Show for a long time. Good Luck to all… Let’s all celebrate and enjoy this moment together.

November - Its Show Time - My second win in the same year "Best Gloster" but somebody does not like the huge progress….

This is my second win in a year. Dave Thomas who was accompanied by a Brian Skeffington (UK Judge) liked my unlighted buff corona hen. But somebody is not happy and steals two Glosters from the show hall… This was definitely planned because in thirteen years no one Malta ever stole any bird!!! But this year after all the hard work and the big achievements that our club had we have two stolen exhibits and guess what? They both belong to Alfred Zaffarese!!!

It did not sound right when the news broke out!! Both birds were stolen from deep inside the hall (away from the exit), they were lifted from opposite sides of the hall, they were no winners and both belonged to the ex secretary. This incident did not spoil my day, although I have to admit that I could not understand why someone so stupid would take such action. As everyone left the hall, it was discovered that both birds were lifted on Sunday during the day. In the morning Louis Grech confirmed that all birds were in place when he was doing the watering with Joe Portelli.

December - Witness about stolen birds comes forward

Finally somebody has spoken! We knew before where the birds were but the evidence was not strong enough. Now we have an eye witness who will only talk to us in the presence of police.

The equation is simple now; If Zaffarese wants to know where his birds are we can fix a meeting with the witness and a policeman. Easy!

Today we had a committee meeting and called in Zaffarese. We offered him two choices:

A) put this to bed and call the witness and the police

B) forget it and continue as if it never happened

Zaffarese goes for option B. A choice that benefits everyone!!!

Congrats Alfred - Back to work everyone :)

December - Off to Kings Lynn All Gloster Show

This is my second time here and I really like it. Today I made some new friends, Fabrizio Ioppolo, Pino Trovato all from Italy. Then I met George Storie, Richard Lumley, Ian Wright & Barrie Alexander. This was a great show and the quality of birds is something special. Today I asked Nick & Annalain to help me out by sending more Glosters to Malta. Nick was surprised that I wanted to help everyone and he told that usually everybody comes to get Glosters off him to go home and beat the rest!! "What's the matter with you", he asked me? Well now that I saw with my own eyes what the Glenariff stud is made of, I want all the Maltese to enjoy a share of it too. So Nick said yes, he promised to help!

2009 FACTS

  • Best Gloster - TPD Consort Hen breaks the record (BBA Annual Show)
  • MGBS Extraordinary General Meeting is held
  • MGBS Committee resign en block and decide not to contest again
  • New committee for MGBS - Mario Zahra is Secretary
  • MGBS All Gloster Show has 393 entries (increase of 100 birds)
  • Best Gloster - I won it for the first time with an Unflighted Buff up to TPD Corona hen
  • Judge was Dave Thomas (Wales)
  • Novice competed against Champion
  • 2 Glosters are "stolen" from the show hall
  • Witness about stolen Birds comes forward
  • My Second visit to Kings Lynn All Gloster Show
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