Anton Buttigieg

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Dr.Anton Buttigieg – 2 nd President of The Republic of Malta from (1976 – 1981)

Dr.Anton Buttigieg was born in Qala, Gozo, on the 19th February, 1912, the third child of Salvatore and Concetta (nee' Falzon). He was educated at the Government Primary School, Qala (1916 - 1922), the Gozo Seminary (1923 - 1927), St. Aloysius College Malta (1928 - 1930) and the University of Malta, where he graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1934 and Doctor of Laws in 1940.

In 1944 he married the late Carmen Bezzina and had three children - Dr.John Buttigieg B.A., LL.D., M.P) - Rose (now wife of Dr. Joe Brincat, B.A. (Lond.), B.Sc. (Econ.) (Lond.), LL.D., M.P.) and Emanuel (now Dr. E. Buttigieg LL.D., a practising lawyer. In 1953 he married the late Connie Scicluna. The death of his two wives seem to have been the major tragedies of his life and they have been reflected in his poetry. In 1975 he married Margery Patterson.

During the Second World War II (1942 - 1944) he served in the Police Force as Inspector and thereafter he practised Law. In 1955 he also served as an acting Magistrate. He was the Law reporter and leader writer of the Times of Malta from 1946 to 1948 and the Editor of "The Voice of Malta" from 1959 to 1970.

He embarked on a political career and was first elected to the House of Representatives in the Labour Party interest in 1955. He was re-elected in all subsequent elections and held his seat in Parliament up to the time of his resignation in October 1976. From 1959 to 1961 he was President of the Malta Labour Party and from 1962 to 1976 its Deputy Leader. When the present administration took office in 1971, he served his country as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

He was a delegate to the Malta Constitutional Conferences held in London in 1958 and in 1964. He was also a representative to the Consultative Assembly in the Council of Europe (1967 - 1971), where he was elected Vice-President (1967 - 1968).

In October 1976 he resigned from the House of Representatives and on 27th December, 1976 he was elected as the second President of the Republic of Malta.

Dr. Anton Buttigieg also distinguished himself in the field of literature. During his undergraduate days he was one of the founder members of the University Students "Society for the Maltese Language" (26-1-1931). He was a Member of the "Academy of the Maltese Language" (20-3-1938).

  • In 1971 he won First Prize for Poetry - "Malta Government".
  • In 1972 he won the "Guze' Muscat Azzopardi" prize for poetry.
  • In 1975 the "Circolo Culturale Rhegium Julii" of Reggio Calabria awarded him with a silver plaque for his poetry.
  • In 1977 he won the "International Prize of Mediterranean Culture for Poetry" awarded by the "Centro di Cultura Mediterranea" of Palermo.
  • In 1979 he was awarded First Prize and a Special Diploma for Poetry in the First Category by the Centro Culturale Artistico Letterario - Citta' di Brindisi.
  • In 1979 he won "First Prize" for the first volume of his auto-biography "Toni tal-Bahri" (Toni the Seaman's Son) in the "Malta Literary Award".

His various publications include:-

LYRICAL POETRY:

  • "Mill-Gallarija ta' Zghoziti" - From the Balcony of my Youth - 1949
  • "Fanali bil-Lejl". - Lamps in the Night – 1949
  • Haikus and Tankas: Il-Muza bil-Kimono (The Muse in Kimono) (also in Japanese and English) 1968
  • "Fl-Arena". - In the Arena - 1970
  • "Ballati Maltin". - Maltese Ballads - 1973
  • "Il Mare di Malta". - The Sea of Malta-A selection of poems translated into Italian - 1974
  • "Il-Għanja tas-Sittin" - The Song of the Sixty Year Old - 1975
  • "The Lamplighter". A selection of poems translated into English by Francis Ebejer - 1977. They are also being translated into the Slovenian Language, which is one of the Yugoslav Languages and into German.
  • "Qabs el Mosbah". A selection of poems translated into Arabic - 1978
  • "Poeziji Miġbura - L-ewwel Volum" - The first two books.
  • "From the Balcony of my Youth" and "Lamps in the Night" have been published in one volume under the title "Collected Poems" - 1978.

HUMOROUS POETRY

  • "Ejjew nidhku ftit" - Let us laugh a little - 1963
  • "Ejjew nidhku ftit iehor" - Let us laugh a little more - 1966

HAIKUS AND TANKAS

  • "Il-Muza bil-Kimono" - The Muse in Kimono. This book was translated both into Japanese and into English - 1968.

His books in preparation include:-

A collection of speeches and short stories. "Zibeġ u Boċċi" - (Beads and Marbles). A collection of Haikus and Tankas. The first volume "Toni tal-Baħri" - Toni the Seaman's Son was published in 1978. His leisure interests were horse racing and gardening. Dr. Anton Buttigieg was also President of the St. Gaetano Band Club of Ħamrun.


Dr. Anton Buttigieg died on May 5, 1983