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?My grandparents made a lot of hard decisions and did without, so that my family could have every opportunity in life? said the 2006 Miss Malta Knight, Alena Attard.
Alena Attard paid respect to her family values in an emotion charged speech expressed after she was crowned the 2006 Miss Malta Knight at the Maltese Rugby League Association?s annual fundraiser in Sydney on Saturday night.
The 21-year-old from Hoxton Park in Sydney?s west was one of 14 contestants vying for the Miss Malta Knight pageant title with a red hot field gracing the catwalks in front of an audience of 400 individuals at the Blacktown Reception Lounge.
Following its inaugural success in 2005, the evening was again a tremendous success that hosted prominent members of the Maltese community including the Maltese High Commissioner to Australia- His Excellency Dr Ivan Fsadni, NSW Consul General to Malta- Miss Joanna Pisani as well as Maltese-Australian sporting personalities including Parramatta Eels? rugby league star Michael Vella and ironwoman and model Miss Candice Falzon.
His Excellency Dr Ivan Fsadni extended his four-year term in Australia in order to attend the Miss Malta Knight Pageant before leaving to Malta on Sunday.
In a speech, Fsadni paid admiration to the Maltese Rugby League Association?s efforts in their emergence from oblivion and committed to continuing his support for the efforts of the Maltese governing body for rugby league as he moves on to represent Malta in the Netherlands following the conclusion of his Australian post.
In addition to the overall major honours on offer, this year?s event welcomed the addition of the Miss Charity and Miss Congeniality titles also. These subsequent credits went to Lisa Maree Micallef and Natalie Grima respectively.
Sarah Axisa was runner-up to Alena Attard for the Miss Malta Knight crown and Attard acknowledged all the entrants? participation on the night.
?All of the girls involved were not just beautiful, but sweet and friendly? said Attard.
?It?s such an honour to have bestowed upon you that I?m sure it will take some time before it really sinks in?
?I can?t stop smiling? she said excitedly.
Attard is confident that the Maltese Rugby League Association?s new pageant title holder can assist them in the year ahead, stating ?I also have the organisational and promotional skills to help the MRLA with any function or promotion they maybe holding as well as an abundance of energy and enthusiasm?
Master of Ceremonies Pauly Fenech again proved a return hit with the diverse audience that reflected the integration of the Maltese community within Australia.
Award winning musical artist Steven Anthony and his support band entertained throughout the night and young entertainer Amanda Bonnici grabbed everyone?s hearts with her final rendition of ?Viva Malta?.
Following jibes throughout the night by several on-stage speakers, those on hand made the most of a number of special items to go under the hammer with auctioneer Doug Keen presenting a gripping memorabilia auction.
The pageant itself was given full marks by all that were present and the newly inducted Attard praised the MRLA by saying ?the Miss Malta Knight Pageant has been a wonderful experience; the entire evening was full of excitement and laughter, particularly for all the girls running around the change room?