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Authority record

George Borg Olivier

  • Person
  • 1911-07-05/1980-10-29

Dr G. Borg Olivier, was born in Valletta on the 5th July, 1911. He was educated at the Lyceum, Malta, and the Royal university of Malta where he graduated Doctor of Laws in 1937. He obtained his notarial warrant a year later.
He joined the nationalist Party in 1939 and till 1945 he was one of the three PN representatives elected to the Council Government. With the return of responsible Government in 1947 Dr Borg Olivier was elected to the Legislative Assembly and was later Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
In 1950 he held the post of Minister of Works and Reconstruction and the post of Minister of Education in the Nationalist Minority Government led by Dr Enrico Mizzi. He succeeded Dr Mizzi as leader of the Nationalist Party, Prime Minster and Minister of Justice in a Minority Government on the latter's death in December 1950.
He was Prime Minister of Malta on two occasions: from 1950–1955 and from 1962–1971 (he also assumed, during the second mandate, the portfolio of Minister of Economic Planning and Finance).
Borg Olivier believed in the economic and social development of Malta as a viable independent state and in the necessity of a mixed economy. His administrations had pursued corporatist policies to develop the tourism industry and construction as the engine of growth. Under his leadership, average living standards rose steadily as Malta began to decouple from a fortress economy purely dependent on the British military establishment.
During his second administration he had proceeded to London to ask for a financial agreement and demand Independence with full membership within the Commonwealth. After having had a series of talks with the British Government and after preparing a Constitution for an independent Malta, which was endorsed by Parliament and approved by the people in a referendum held in February 1964, Dr George Borg Olivier set 21st September as Malta's Independence Day.
In March 1965, he became Minister of commonwealth and Foreign Affairs in addition to his duties as Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Planning and Finance.
In the General Elections held in March 1966, the Nationalist Party was again returned to power with Dr Borg Olivier as Prime Minister and Minister of Commonwealth and Foreign Affairs.
Malta joined the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth and in 1970 he associated Malta with the European Economic Community.
After two electoral defeats in 1971 and 1976, Borg Olivier resigned as Leader of the Nationalist Party in 1977. He retained his parliamentary seat until his death in 1980.

On the 14th June, 1968, Dr Borg Olivier was decorated with the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Malta by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitallier Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.
On Independence Day, the degree of Doctor of literature (Honoris Causa) was conferred upon him by the Royal University of Malta.
On 25th January, 1964, Dr Borg Olivier was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Sylvester, Pope, by His Holiness Pope Paul VI.

Laing, Francis, 1773-1861

  • Person
  • 1773-1861

Francis Laing was born at Edinburgh on 1 May 1773, son of Alexander, an architect. Laing studied at the University of Edinburgh 1789-90 and 1792-93, and the University of Glasgow in 1794, taking a Physics class under John Anderson. He was Snell Exhibitioner in 1796, and went on to graduate BA from Oxford in 1799 and MA in 1801. He took Holy Orders, becoming Reverend Francis Laing. In 1803 Laing served as Private Secretary to the Governor of Malta, and was shortly afterwards appointed Secretary to the Government of the Island, a post which he held till 1814. Returning to the UK, Laing was Rector of Llanmaes, Glamorgan from 1814 to 1824, and Rector of Humshaugh, Northumberland, from 1820 to 1832. He died at the Mythe, Tewkesbury, on 24 November 1861.

Sciortino, Emanuele, 1882-1957

  • Person
  • 1882-1957

Emanuele Sciortino, born in 1882 and died in 1957, was raised at St. Dominic Street, Valletta. He lived there together with his father, Alfonso, his mother, Grazia nee Bezzina, and his siblings. As a young man, he started working at Mr Richard Ellis’ photo studio in Valletta as an assitant where he learned the craft of photo development. It is believed that one afternoon Mr. Ellis had left the shop to rest. Mr. Sciortino then proceeded to develop his first ever photographs. The photographs in question turned out so great that Mr Ellis praised his work. From then on, Mr Sciortino’s interest in photography grew.
In 1905 he married Maria Cutajar from Hamrun, where they settled in 125, St. Joseph High Road, Hamrun opposite St. Paul’s Square. There, Sciortino set up his first photo studio, thus becoming the first photographer in Hamrun. After some years he engaged Mr Cassar and Mr Blackman as his assistants who eventually, set up their own shops in St Joseph High Road, Hamrun as well.
After a while Emanuele and Maria moved to 195, St. Joseph High Road, Hamrun, where they lived with their fifteen children (of whom only nine survived) for the rest of their lives. Sciortino then set up a day studio at this address. It is interesting to note that Sciortino never used artificial light for his work. The studio’s roof was made entirely out of glass, allowing him to capture photos in ample natural light.
Being one of the few photographers working in Malta at the time, Emanuele Sciortino was quite busy. It is interesting to note that in World War II, Sciortino’s workload, like that of other photographers, increased substantially. Troops and sailors awaiting transportation to other countries would go to Sciortino to have their photos taken so that they could send these to their families, relatives and loved ones.
Sciortino also specialised in the memoriam cards. The portrait of the deceased was printed on the side of the memoriam card before being sent to the institute of St. Joseph in Santa Venera where the text was printed. The memoriam cards were then folded and ready to be distributed. Sciortino was also commissioned by several parishes to take photographs of the statues of patron saints, religious processions, and feasts in general. Sometimes, he was asked to take miniature photographs of statues of saints. These were then sold at a very low price so that people could attach them to their garments with a head pin during the evening procession. Among Sciortino’s famous photographs are photographs of the Maltese saint, St George Preca. At times he was also hired by the Political Parties of the time to take photographs of political meetings or events and at times, even of the politicians themselves. He used to also set up his camera at the Upper Barrakka Gardens where people would approach him to have their picture taken. It was common for photographers to set up their cameras there.
It is to be noted also that the famous sculptor Antonio Sciortino was the cousin of Emanuele Sciortino.
Emanuele Sciortino continued to work until his death on the 27th of December 1957. His children kept working in his studio on a part-time basis (since they all had other full-time jobs) until they closed the day studio altogether in the early 1970s.

Sir Anthony Joseph Mamo

  • Person
  • 1909-01-08/2008-05-01

Anthony J. Mamo was born in Birkirkara on the 8 January 1909 from Joseph Mamo and Carla Brincat. Educated at the Archibishop’s Seminary and later at the Royal University of Malta where, in 1931, he graduated as Bachelor of Arts (B.A) and in 1934, as Doctor of Laws (LL.D). As the first student in the course he was awarded the Government "Travelling Scholarship" and the "Bugeja Scholarship". He had short courses at London University and University of Perugia.
In October 1936 he was appointed member of the Commission which, under the chairmanship of Judge Harding, was entrusted with the task of preparing a Revised Edition of all the Laws of Malta.
During the Second World War he gave his services for refugee work and general service.
In 1942 Dr Mamo entered the Attorney-General's Office as one of the Crown Counsel. Here he occupied in succession all the grades (1950-52 – Senior Crow Counsel), until he himself became Attorney-General in 1955.
In the same period, from 1943 to 1957 he became Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Malta where for many here he was member of the Senate and President of the University Council.
Anthony Mamo served as chief legal adviser under 4 Prime Ministers: Sir Paul Boffa, Dr Enrico Mizzi, Dr Gorg Borg Olivier, Dominic Mintoff. and he accompanied all Ministerial delegations for discussions and negotiations with the British Government.
From 1957 to 1971 he was appointed as Chief Justice and president of the Court Appeal.
Towards the end of June 1962, Acting Governor pending the arrival of the new British governor, Sir Maurice Dorman.
In 1964 he was the First President of the Constitutional Court and in 1967 the First President of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
From 1971 to 1974, he was appointed as the first Maltese Governor-General.
When Malta was proclaim a Republic in 1974, he was elected by the Parliament, President of Malta (13th December1974 - 26th December 1976).

1955 – Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Commonwealth Honours).
1957 – Honorary Queen’s Counsel (Commonwealth Honours).
1960 - Knight Bachelor
1962 – Knight of Grace of the Venerable Order of St John.
06 April 1990 – Companion of Honour of the National Order of Merit by right as a former President of Malta.

Sir Paul Boffa

  • Person
  • 1890-06-30/1962-07-06

Born in Vittoriosa on the 30 June 1890, Paul Boffa was educated at the Lyceum and at the University of Malta from where he graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1912. During World War I he served with the Royal Medical Corps in Malta, Thessaloniki, and on hospital ships. After the war he set up in private practice in Paola.
Paul Boffa entered politics when Malta was granted self government in 1921 and joined the Labour Party in 1923. He was returned to Parliament under the Amery-Milner Constitution in 1924, 1927 and 1932.
He was elected Leader of the Labour Party in 1927 and immediately began to instil in the workers the need of rightfully equal representation in government in order to have a say in their own affairs. He was in coalition with Lord Strickland's party in government (1927-32). In 1932 Paul Boffa was the only Labour Party candidate elected to the Legislative Assembly until it was dissolved in 1933. He was nominated as a member of the Executive Council from 1936-1939.
During World War II Paul Boffa served with distinction as district Commissioner and ARP Medical Officer in the Cottonera, Paola, Tarxien and Luqa areas.
In the 1945 elections, Dr Boffa was again elected in the Labour Party. Boffa reached the acme of his political career in November 1947 when, he became the first Labour Prime Minister. His administration was instrumental in obtaining recognition of the Maltese language in the law courts and the introduction of compulsory primary education and old-age pensions as well as the granting of the vote to women.
In 1949, following the Labour Party's ultimatum to Britain concerning financial help, the Labour Party split up but Dr. Boffa continued as Prime Minister and later founded and led the Malta Workers' Party (MWP), that lost the 1950 Elections.
Boffa was re-elected in 1951 and in 1953 and joined a coalition government with the Nationalist Party led by George Borg Olivier, assuming the portfolio of Minister of Health and Social Services. The MWP did not contest the 1955 elections and in 1955 he resigned for health reasons.
1956 - Knight Bachelor - New Year's Honours List in recognition of distinguished public services.
1914-18 - He was also awarded the 1914-18 Star, the General Service Medal, the Victory Medal, the Coronation Medal and the Defence Medal.

Zammit, André, 1930-2020

  • Person
  • 1930-2020

Perit André Zammit was born in 1930 in Gozo, where his father was a senior civil servant. André experienced the war years in Victoria, where he received his secondary education at the Seminary, transferring to St Aloysius College in Birkirkara in 1943. He sat for his matriculation examinations and entered the Royal University of Malta to follow the course of Architect and Civil Engineer. He was the youngest of his fellow students, graduating in 1952 and then winning a government scholarship to further his studies in London in road building. Further specialisation followed in Milan.
On his return to Malta, he joined the Public Works Department and was detailed to the roads section. He was responsible for the design and execution of the first fly-over project at Blata l-Bajda in the late 1950s and several other major road construction projects.
André lectured at the Royal University of Malta and in later years, he was chairman of the Planning Area Permits Board.
He authored a number of books starting with his memoires and then the history of his family architects and a biography of his maternal uncle, Chief Justice Sir Luigi Camilleri and Our Architects – A Private Archive Unveiled, based on the Collection
He died on 14 May 2020.