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Obituaries

MaltaMedia remembers these persons who passed away during 2002. Their lives made a significant impact on the Maltese way of life.



SPIRIDIONE SANT
(Died: 2 January 2002)

Spiridione Sant contested several general elections as an independent candidate. Though he never won a large number of votes, his participation in certain tense elections in the 1980s surely helped in calming down the red-hot situation.


NICKY DOUBLET
(Died: 5 January 2002)

Nicky DoubletNicky Doublet was a young jazz percussionist.

He was born to Theresa nee Aquilina and Carmel Doublet in Pieta' on the 9th of October 1968, the youngest of three brothers after Rupert and Kevin.

Nicky attended elementary school in San Gwann and later the Junior Lyceum at Tal-Handaq. His first employment was as a postman, but he later joined the Department of Social Services.

His musical talent was evident from his childhood. In his teens he bought his first drum kit: a second-hand Premier set. He also played the xylophone. His first musical taste was for hard rock, with Deep Purple as his favourite band. Later he attending the Johann Strauss School of Music and was introduced to jazz by his tutor, Charles "City' Gatt.

He furthered his studies in jazz at Umbria during a two-month course in 1985. He was also honoured in The Hague with a North Sea Jazz Festival Award and soon enrolled for a diploma in music at the University of Malta, writing an honours thesis on North African and Turkish percussion.

Many people remember him fondly after seeing him play either at his studio in Marsa, or at various parties and events around Malta. He played percussion for Claudette Pace on various occasions, and was also a member of the Voices band.

His prefered line-up was a simple trio with his friends keyboardist Joe Debono and guitarist Sandro Zerafa, and with them in 1997 Nicky formed the Zugrumbun Combo with 12 other jazz musicians, including bassist Bernard Scerri (see obituary below), Jason "Chubby" Fabri (who later dedicated a track on his own 2002 CD to Nicky), Angela Sultana, Pascal Leroy, among others.

The following year he appeared with some of these musicians as Nox and the King. He was also the founder of Miles Co-op specializing in music and entertainment. He appeared as the resident percussionist on the popular TV programme Xarabank, which was also where he appeared last in public.

On the 30th of August 2001 he married Joanne Scolaro, who lovingly cared for him during his last months of suffering at their home in Senglea.


GEORGE BORG
(Died: 18 January 2002)

George Borg was Prime Minister Gorg Borg Olivier's private secretary between 1965 and 1971.

He was born in Valletta on the 3rd of December 1929, and had his first education at the Montessori School of Valletta and the Lyceum. He also attended at the Royal University of Malta as a student of economics.

Borg joined the civil service in 1951 as an Executive Officer and in 1963 he was appointed Assistant Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Borg served as Malta's Postmaster General between 1975 and 1980, Secretary in the Ministry of Parastatal & People's Investiments in 1986, the following year he acted as secretary to the cabinet. In 1988 he became Head of the Civil Service.

Although he officially retitred from the civil service in 1991, the last public office he held was that of Chairman at the Water Services Corporation between 1992 and 1995.

In December 1992 he was named chancellor of the Xirka Gieh ir-Repubblika and the National Order of Merit.

George Borg married Moya Camilleri in 1955 and had together they raised two daughters.


CHARLES B. GRECH
(Died: 19 January 2002)

Charles B. Grech was a professional photo-journalist and one of Malta's first television cameramen.


JOE ATTARD KINGSWELL
(Died: 21 January 2002)

Joe Attard KingswellJoe Attard Kingswell was Secretary General of the General Worker's Union between 1958 and 1976.

He was born in Senglea on the 29th of July 1925 and was educated at the Lyceum and the Dockyard School.

Attard Kingswell join the Dockyard in 1940 as Shipfitter Apprentice and worked as a shipfitter between 1946 and 1952.

He was elected shop steward and GWU delegate in 1944, and in 1951 he was employed by the GWU as its Assistant Secretary General a position he held for seven years.

Attard Kingswell was accredited as Representative and Ambassador to various countries, including the United Nations (1971-1976). Between 1987 and 1996 he served as advisor to Prime Minister Fenech Adami, with special responsibilities for Malta Drydocks and Marsa Shipbuilding.

In 1992 he was awarded membership of Gieh ir-Repubblika.

Joe Attard Kingswell married Rita Sammut in April 1952. Their children are John, Victoria and Patricia.


AGATHA BARBARA
(Died: 4 February 2002)

Agatha BarbaraAgatha Barbara was the third President of the Republic of Malta between the 16th of February 1982 and the 15th of February 1987.

Born in Zabbar on the 11th of March 1923, she worked with the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) and as a supervisor in the victory kitchen during World War II. She later joined the Education Department as a teacher (1942-1947).

Barbara entered the political scene in 1946 and the following year she successfully contested the general elections with the Labour Party to become the first female member of the Legislative Assembly. She supported Dom Mintoff during the Labour Party split in 1949 and elected in all general elections between 1950 and 1981, enjoying a parliamentary seat from November 1947 up to February 1982. In 1955 she was the first female to be given a cabinet portfolio (Minister for Education) and so far she is the only Maltese woman to be elected in ten consecutive elections. She also acted as Deputy Prime Minister on various occasions.

In April 1958 she was sentenced to 43 days imprisonment with hard labour for picketing during the one-day national strike in protest against the suspension of the constitution by the British government. In 1961 she was the founder and first president of the women's section of the MLP.

In 1983 she was honoured with the Stara Planina by the state council of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, and later decorated with a Ph.D. in Pedagogy (Honoris Causa) by the University of Beijing, China. In 1990, she was made Companion of Honour of the National Order of Merit (KUOM) of Malta.


ELISABETH MANN BORGESE
(Died: 9 February 2002)

Elisabeth Mann BorgheseElisabeth Mann Borgese, one of the most fervent fighters for the preservation of the oceans and the founder of the International Ocean Institute (IOI) in Malta.

She was born in 1919 to Nobel Prize winning writer Thomas Mann.

Dubbed "ambassador of the oceans" because of numerous papers and books she wrote on maritime issues, she was a University Professor in Halifax, Canada. Besides founding the IOI in Malta she was also one of the founders of the Club of Rome, a group of scientists focusing on worldwide environmental problems.

Reuters reported that Mann Borgese was a keen skier and had been at St. Moritz in the southeastern Grisons on a winter sports holiday and died during the night after suffering a lung infection. She is buried in the Mann family grave in Kilchberg near Zurich.


GUZI ALAMANGO
(Died: 22 May 2002)

Guzi Alamango was a footballer in the 1940s and 1950s

Born in Floriana on the 19th of January 1927, he was the right half-back for the Ajax B Team and later with the second XI of Floriana and Zabbar F.C.

In 1949 he was transferred to Floriana F.C. and took the position of goalkeeper.

Guzi Alamango also played several matches with the National MFA football team.


LADY MAGARET MAMO
(Died: 25 June.2002)

Former First Lady Margaret Mamo nee' Aguis, was married to Sir Anthony Mamo, first president of the Republic of Malta.


ANTHONY MICELI FARRUGIA
(Died: 29 September 2002)

Anthony Miceli Farrugia was managing director and later chairman of the Simonds Farsons Cisk Ltd.

He was was born in Hamrun on the 2nd of July 1914 and received his education in Messina, first at the Jesuits College of St Ignatius and then at the Istituto Tecnico ed Economico, where he obtained his diploma in accountancy.

On his return to malta Miceli Farrugia commenced an apprenticeship in the firm of Simonds Farsons and rose steadily through various administrative positions. In 1937 he received further training, at the brewery of H & G Simonds in Reading (UK) and at the Pitman College, London. After the amalgamation of the malta Export Brewary with Simonds Farsons Ltd. He was appointed assistant secretary and advertising manager with the new company Simonds Farsons Cisk Ltd.

Anthony Miceli Farrugia - a few weeks before his deathIn 1956, following the demise of Mr. L.V. Farrugia, Micli Farrugia became managing director of the company. Better known as "Is-Sur Nin" he was responsible for the creation of the bitter-sweet new drink Kinnie. He retired in 1995 but went on to serve aspresident of the newly set-up Farsons Foundation.

Miceli Farrugia was conferred with a knighthood of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and of the Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem for his many public and philanthropic contribuitions. In 1992 he was appointed Member of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Malta (MOM). He was also been awarded the Commenda al Merito della Republica Italiana and promoted Grande Ufficiale al Merito della Republica Italiana by the Italian president for fostering closer commercial relations between Malta and Italy.

In 1946 Anthony Miceli Farrugia married Lilian Bartolo who, like him, was also a very active philantropist, rendering particular service to the Little Sisters of the Poor Home in Hamrun, and many projects for the poor in Albania. They had two sons Mark Anthony who also later joined the Farsons Group and Alberto, an Architect, and four daughters Erminia (Mimici), Helen, Marina and Francesca.


BERNARD SCERRI
(Died: 3 October 2002)

Bernard ScerriBernard Scerri was a bass player who spanned both the rock and jazz scene in Malta.

He was born in Floriana on the 19th of July 1966, the youngest of four children for John Scerri and his wife Theresa Azzopardi. He was educated at St. Paul's Missionary College and the New Lyceum. During most of his adult life he worked at Mid-Med Bank and later H.S.B.C.

Music was Scerri's true profession and passion. He started playing the guitar in his early teens and by 1982 he had started playing bass guitar with various groups including Sphynx and Man & White. In 1990 he met jazz musician Paul Giordimaina at the BJ's Night Club in Paceville who encouraged him to try playing jazz music. From then on jazz become his musical style of preference and he played along with other established Maltese jazz musicians like Charles City Gatt, Antoine Bonnici Soler, and Walter Vella among others.

Scerri appeared in four editions of the presitgious Malta Jazz Festival. At one of these events he also played with the the Diane Nalini Quartett from Canada.

His last public appearance was during a concert by Etika in Valletta, however, he played again at a private event with his friends Walter Vella, Joe Micallef and Paul Giordimaina.

Bernard Scerri was married to Jacqueline Micallef. His only son's name is Julian.


Alicia JoyALICIA JOY
(Died: 15 October 2002)

Alicia Joy was a popular dancer and choreographer who led her own dance company, the Alicia Joy Dancers.


GUZE DIACONO
(Died: 17 November 2002)

Guze DiaconoGuze Diacono was one of Malta's most prolific writers during the twentieth century.

He was born in Valletta on the 24th of November 1912, was educated at St Paul's School and at the Royal University of Malta, graduating as Legal Procurator in 1938. In the same year he joined the Allied Malta Newspapers Ltd. Where he occupied several editorial posts on The Times of Malta and Il-Berqa. until he resigned in 1966. He went on to found and edit the weekly paper Il-Hajja and served as part-time leacturer in Maltese literature at the University of Malta.

Diacono's literary contributions include drama, short-story writing, translations and literary criticism as in Wara Ibsen (1972) and Il-Fidwa tal-Bdiewa ta' Ninu Cremona: Studju Kritiku. His plays include Salib Haddiehor, L-Gharusa, Ir-Ragel li Kienet Thobb (published together in 1960), L-Ewwel Jien! (1963), Erwieh Marbuta (1965), Ugiegh (1966), Ghaliex? (1966), and a number of other one-act plays. His most famous dramatic work is, however, the television serial Il-Madonna ta/-Coqqa (1979), which was produced by Albert Marshall for TVM in 1980 and also adapted for the stage by Joe Quattromani in the late 1980s. John Suda adapted this television serial again in 2001 and it won the Broadcasting Authority TV Drama Award in 2002.

In the field of language Diacono wrote Gheltijiet u Barbarizmi fil-Malti (1977) and compiled the Dizzjunarju Ingliz-Malti. Vols. 1-5 (1991-1993), which is an adapted and revised expansion of Dun Karm Psaila's dictionary. In 1993 he collected some of his short stories in one volume entitled Dik is-Sigra Mhattba.

Guze Diacono was married to Mary Pace in 1950.


TONY COLEIRO
(Died: 13 December 2002)

Tony ColeiroTony Coleiro will be remembered as one of Malta's most active tradeunionists.

He was born on the 27th of November 1950.

Coleiro lead GWU's Metal Workers' Section, being responsible for the thousands of workers employed at Malta's two shipyards.

He joined the 'yards workforce when he was 16 years old, back in August 1967. By 1971 he was already active in the GWU.

In the later years of his life, he had started contemplating a political career in the Malta Labour Party and was set to contest as a candidate in the next general election with the Malta Labour Party.

 


Nicky Doublet and Bernard Scerri photos appear courtesy of Joe Smith.
Mario Axiaq and Toni Sant contributed to this page.

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