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Women Leaders, Sara Grech & Michelle Muscat meet in Breast Cancer Awareness

This week we had the opportunity to step into the busy schedule of Ms Sara Grech and experience what it is like to be her.


Let us know what you think of the two great Maltese Personalities contributing towards a just cause – Breast Cancer Awareness.

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The month of October is Pink and it’s a special month for many because it is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. It is an opportunity for us all to combine our efforts and raise awareness about the importance of early detection. Breast Cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women.


E&V Sara Grech organized a social event at our Market Centre in Mriehel on the 20th of October. All donations went towards Pink October Malta.


Ms Rita Brincat joined the event as a breast cancer survivor. She shared her experiences and also gave us tips on how to prevent complications. As Ms Rita Brincat is one of the most well known Maltese personalities and whilst undergoing therapy had to build on her strength because she remained in the public eye due to her TV program and her shows. To keep her spirits high and her motivation going, she kept notes in her personal diary each time she underwent therapy. Today she looks back and is grateful for that hindsight because that helped her appreciate and build from strength to strength.

She said that each time she went in for the therapy she would make an effort to dress up to help keep up her motivation. She would also make it a point to be joyful and joke around with the nurses and other people in the ward. In Rita’s case, she is a two time survivor and this has encouraged her to take out her time to help motivate others who are passing through the same process.


Although the precise causes of breast cancer are still unclear, the main risk factors are known. Most women considered at high risk for breast cancer do not get it, while many with no known risk factors do develop breast cancer. Among the most significant factors are advancing age and a family history.


Let us all express our moral support for women with breast cancer.

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This week Ms Sara Grech was invited to attend at the Marigold Foundation event at the Unique & Historical Villa Francia in Lija.

When Sara Grech told us about this event, obviously we couldn't say NO, primarily because the Prime Minister's wife, Mrs Michelle Muscat was going to be present as a representative of Marigold Foundation and secondly because we've heard lots of stories and saw some incredible photos of this wonderful property Villa Francia and the only steps that we had taken until now were the 3 steps to the front gate. We never had the opportunity of going inside but today we would.

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We arrived at the Majestic property, where we were welcomed by two soldiers who opened the gates for us and it absolutely felt like we were VIP’s. The staff welcomed us in and we were greeted with a choice of mulled wine, cakes and minces pies followed by tea and coffee. You can guess what our choice was!! We thought the mulled wine would release a little bit of the tension and excitement that we had at the time waiting for the event to take off.


We were also lucky enough to have the perfect weather, sunny and fresh that helped make the garden look like something out of an old movie, taking us back to the late 1700’s where they hosted grand, majestic parties between the rich, sipping tea in the gardens and enjoying fresh oranges. These orange trees are present today in the beautiful gardens of Villa Francia.

With our imagination running wild, a tour leader of the property gave us more insight into the property and this is what we learnt: 


The palace was built circa 1757, by Mr Francesco Preziosi with baroque architecture that gave a sense of pride and power to noble people at the time. The first ambitious owner became bankrupt with the expenses of the palace, to make it an outstanding building & incomparable with others, because of this he was pressured to sell his possession by the Order of St. John to pay his accumulated debts.

 

The street where the palace is found is named after the initial name of the palace, as Preziosi Street. The palace was bought by the Francia family and later passed to the Government of Malta. It is currently the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malta. The building should not be confused with formerly named Palazzo Francia, today Palazzo Ferreria.

 

The palace was named as Villa Francia by the Francia family, namely for Mr William Nathaniel Fenton Francia. Former Prime Minister of Malta Sir Ugo Pasquale Mifsud and his wife (Francia) lived at the palace between September 1924 - August 1927 and between June 1932 and November 1933. Some documents of Ugo Pasquale Mifsud are displayed at the palace. Which we took some shots of them, these can't be missed when visiting the Villa.

 

The building was initially a one-storey building used as a hunting lodge when most of Lija was undeveloped. People living in the countryside feared attacks from the Ottoman Empire. When these attacks stopped Lija became a village on the demand for noble people and later for modern buildings. The place may no longer be used as a hunting site.

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As we were discovering more about the History of the property, a spokesperson of Mrs Michelle Muscat, informed us that Mrs Muscat was entering the building and making way to the garden. Tension started to rise again and Mrs Muscat came to us and we introduced ourselves, to our surprise within just a few minutes of speaking to her we immediately felt we've been talking for hours. Mrs Muscat made us feel very comfortable with no barriers between us.


Few things that we can say...hopefully, Mrs Muscat is reading this: Her hands were cold and she has a gentle handshake and a beautiful smile. Her glow of happiness is noticeable. What we observed about Mrs Muscat is that she has an astute memory, because she immediately pointed out to Sara Grech that she remembered seeing her at a restaurant in Dingli. This happened a few years back not days or weeks, but years! 


Mrs Muscat is a down to earth person and is very easy to talk to. She is ready to help anyone in any situation. The media sometimes can portray a person to be very different to who that person really is. I, for one can say that after a few minutes of seeing Mrs Muscat talking to Sara Grech, I now have my own opinion and that is, she is a remarkable and inspiring woman.


Mrs Muscat invited Ms Grech to the front area of the property where there were backdrops of Pink October and the Marigold Foundation, we set aside taking photos and videos of the conversation between two great women. Ms Sara Grech presented the funds collected during the E&V Sara Grech event. With a grin on our faces, we really enjoyed the moment, two great and powerful women who talked about EVERYTHING with no need for us to intervene. Their comfort around one another was remarkable to watch. 

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As we were leaving we signed the guestbook and took a few more photos of the property and left to get back to our bus. During this event, we also had the opportunity to get to know more about Sara Grech. From humble beginnings Sara is extremely comfortable around any type of person. She is also very easy to talk to and shows excitement in all that she does. She starts her day early and accomplishes a lot. She says time is the most valuable aspect of all. That is why she challenges herself each day to make the best of “time! Should we all? Let us know what you think.

 

A tip to our readers, ... lookout for these two powerful personalities in the coming years!


Written by:

Matthew Cutajar


Photography:

Jodeon Azzopardi

Celine Debono


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