News about the Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Historic visit to Malta
RFA Wave Ruler, Malta 2009
For a little background into the visit, let us tell you a story that has a very happy ending. During the latter part of 2008, whilst talking to Mr Eugenio Teuma the Secretary and founder of the ex RFA Association of Malta it became quickly apparent that Eugenio and the guys on Malta had not heard of the “HM Forces Veterans Badge” and their entitlement to it. Not long afterwards and with the help of the RFA Historical Society 85 badges were despatched to Malta in the Diplomatic bag.
At a ceremony at the High Commissioners residence, attended by Captain Bill Walworth, the lads from Malta finally got recognition as ‘Veterans’, and they made an unusual request to Captain Walworth, “if an RFA ship was in the area could it please visit Malta”, true to his word and now Commodore Walworth, the RFA called in to say hello in July this year.
Eugenio tells us that 180 members, wives, partners and family members from the ex RFA Association of Malta were entertained by Captain Shaun Jones and his crew to a reception on board Wave Ruler on Saturday evening, and every person who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves, in fact a good number of them even came back the next day when the ship was opened to the public.
One man who attended the reception came over from Gozo, and it is the first time in twenty five years that Louis Grima had been to Valetta, the reason he came was the visit of Wave Ruler, something Louis has talked to his grandson Kenneth about for weeks, and he was not disappointed in what he saw on the ship. He even brought his son and grandson with him. Then there was John Caruana, a Maltese by birth who flew over to Malta from the UK, just to see the ship and some of his old RFA mates.
On Monday the 20th Eugenio and some of his members called on the ship to take 28 members of the crew for a tour around Valetta, one of the places they visited was the Maritime Museum and then it was on to the serious business of eating and drinking at a local restaurant, hosted by the Maltese veterans of the RFA.
It is fair to say that these forgotten men on Malta thoroughly enjoyed the visit of RFA Wave Ruler and will talk about it for many months to come; they made a lot of new friends from amongst the ships company, though their best friends are undoubtedly Commodore Walworth and Captain Jones, without whom this visit would never have happened.
If any of our guests are planning to go to Malta, then please let us know as the guys on Malta would love to welcome you to the islands, show you the sights and amongst these must be the Maritime Museum and the ex RFA Associations brand new HQ, which they are so rightly proud of.
'Photogrpahs by Mr Kenneth Grima, Member of the RFA Historical Society in Malta'