Josette Catania about Robin’s visit to her island, Malta

Friday 4th December 2009: –
In the mid-afternoon, Robin arrived at Malta International Airport, from the UK, together with his wife Dwina and an entourage that included, amongst others, Mike Read, the celebrated British broadcaster/deejay. During a short press conference, Robin expressed how it had been his wish for the past years to visit Malta, and was surprised by the short flight from London, and that would probably mean that he’ll be back. He also said that he was looking forward to the Malta Music Awards (MMA’s) taking place the following evening. From the airport, Robin and entourage were driven to XFM Radio Station in Fleur-de-Lys, where he was on air for a segment of around 30 minutes on The Big Drive Home, hosted by deejays Jay & Lee. In this short time, Robin again said how he’s been meaning to visit the island, and that he hoped he’d get some free time to visit historical sites and places of interest.

Robin arriving at the Malta airport, copyright Mark Zammit Cordina

He also mentioned his campaign to raise funds for the Bomber Command Memorial, and his intent to visit the War Memorial in Floriana, before leaving, to pay his respects to the wartime soldiers. Of course, he also mentioned how he was looking forward to the MMA’s being held the next day, Saturday. During his radio appearance, there was the chance for a lucky fan to call in and speak to Robin ‘live’ during the show. I happened to be the lucky one! First of all, I welcomed him to my country and forwarded my wishes for his upcoming birthday. He cheekily thanked me for reminding him of it:) In my question, I did ask what actually are his and Barry’s plans at this point and are they ready to give the fans some new Bee Gees project. As usual, Rob was quite evasive and simply said for me to keep ‘watching this space’; but of course, nothing was mentioned during his short interview with the deejay!

Saturday 5th December 2009: –
During the day, Robin had a sightseeing tour around Mdina (Malta’s medieval capital), and was shown around the city by the Mayor of Mdina. I’m sure Robin (being keen on history) enjoyed his time there since Mdina’s rich with historical sites! In the evening, the Malta Music Awards 2009 took place. Mike Read introduced Robin onto the stage. Robin came out showing the Peace Award he had just been given backstage by Malta’s President, Dr. George Abela. Mike Read explained that Robin, through the Heritage Foundation, has been campaigning to raise funds to build a Memorial for the Bomber Command. Robin praised the soldiers who fought the war and said the Memorial will be built in the center of London and unveiled next year. Before, leaving the stage, Robin announced that next year he’ll be bringing Barry with him to Malta!! To everyone’s disappointment, Robin did not perform at the MMA’s! And he was not presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award as previously announced!!

Robin laid a wreath at the Air Force Memorial

Sunday 6th December 2009: –
In the mid morning, Robin and wife Dwina, and the entourage that accompanied him to Malta, visited the War Memorial in Floriana, to pay their respects to those soldiers that perished during the war. Present was also the British High Commissioner for Malta, Louise Stanton. Robin placed a wreath of poppies at the foot of the Memorial, and spoke with the press present, again praising the war victims. Robin and Dwina left Malta in the early afternoon.

(Josette Catania).