On the 11th of February 1968, exactly fifty years ago today, Mary Hayman, Carmen Giudice and Carmen Farrugia were the three little girls that were welcomed as residents at Villa Mons Gonzi, the first of three such villas at the Home. For Mgr Mikiel Azzopardi, the founder of the Home, this was a memorable day. He himself had stated that that was a day he will never forget. At that time, Dun Mikiel said: “I still feel a great excitement when, together with the first group of Sisters (of Charity) and those collaborators whom I used to refer to as my wings, we were waiting at the main door of Villa Mons Gonzi expecting the arrival of the first angels. It was a heavenly joy that continued throughout the whole day that climaxed during the first Mass and when, through the windows of the balcony that gives on to the playground, we looked at the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes to say the prayer on her first apparition.”
Mary Hayman, one of three girls, was also one of the first group of persons with disability that started living in ‘Dar Żerniq’, the first community home that was opened in Siġġiewi. Mary, who was seven years old when she became a resident of Id-Dar tal-Providenza, said this: “When I entered Id-Dar tal-Providenza, I could neither talk nor walk. I had a physiotherapist and a speech therapist who used to come specifically for me at the Home. Dun Mikiel also bought a tricycle for me so that I could start exercising my legs. I don’t recollect exactly for how long I was neither walking nor talking, but I do remember that at thirteen years of age (six years after she became a resident of the Home) I used to attend the Guardian Angel school and a year later I used to go to the Siġġiewi Primary school. I do remember myself walking and talking at the school.”
Carmen Giudice died at Id-Dar tal-Providenza on March 29th 1969 whilst Mary Hayman died on the 21st of December 2006. Carmen Farrugia eventually went back to her family home.
This post is also available in: Maltese