Lewis Portelli

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Lewis Portelli Born at Ħamrun on 21st, June, 1930.

He started his education at St Edwards College in 1940. He was a boarder there only going home during the school holidays. He stayed at St Edwards for eight years. He began to take an interest in sports writing as a schoolboy.

"At St Edwards we had an hour of sport everyday and we also had a football competition. I used to write a report on the match and this used to be hung on the school's notice board." In 1948 he entered St Michael's teacher training college and he became a teacher in 1949. He taught for two years and in 1951 he went to the School Broadcasting Unit, Department of Education. He stayed there until 1955 when he went to work at the Department of Information where he was involved in various duties, the last three years as Head of Government Publications.

He then moved on to the private sector as a General Manager, Public Relations at the Sheraton (Dragonara) Palace Hotel and Casino together with the Grand Hotel Verdala. In 1980 he was promoted to Marketing Manager and then Executive General Manager.

In 1989 he was given the assignment together with Chev.Paul Naudi to take the overall charge of all the foreign and local media, around 2,300 of them for the Bush and Gorbachev summit. It was a very large task. All went very well.

In 1990 Mr Portelli went back to his old office, this time as a Director of Information. During his three year tenure many important dignitaries visited Malta, including the Pope, the Queen and Italian Prime Minister Cossiga.

Although he served the country in the civil service, Mr Portelli's greatest passion has always been the sports arena. He had started sports broadcasting and his journalistic career included various programmes and contributions to the press.

Started on the radio and in November of 1956 he was in Melbourne to transmit the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This was a first for the Maltese radio and obviously something that has been written as part of Malta's sports history.

Back in the inland,start a programme on sport and this was called Sport Magazine. I presented it with the late Carmelo Costa on Saturday's and Sunday's." Television started in Malta on the 29 September 1962 and a day later he started off a sports programme which was an interview with Lolly Borg, a football player who had won the Footballer of the Year Award.

After started presenting and producing "Sports Panorama" and Riżultati Sportivi. In 1966 he was attached for one month with the BBC covering the World Cup finals. He has been the PRO of the Dar tal-Providenza since it opened its doors to accept the first residents in 1965.

Won the BPC Press Club Award as the "Sportswriter of the Year".

During over then 5046-year career he met, broadcast and published a great number of interviews with world-renowned sportsmen/women and officials including the Presidents of FIFA, UEFA and the IOC. He is the author of various publications in English and Maltese such as L-Istorja tat-Tażża tad-Dinja, Minn Ateni għal Seoul in 1988 and subsequently Barcelona (1982), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000) with special reference to Maltese participation at the Olympic Games. "From San Marino to Malta" a history of the Games of the Small States of Europe (1993), a fully illustrated book covering the first centenary of the Malta FA (2000) and a contributing editor of 'The Football Year Book - Malta" now in its 16 year.

Involved in various fields. He is a member of the Central Committee of the "Commission for the Sick and Persons with Disabilities of the Malta Catholic Action". Since 1988 he has been the editor of the quarterly magazine Faraġ issued by the same Commission and is also the presenter during the Opening and Closing ceremonies of all 17 editions of The Malta Volleyball Marathon since its inception in 1986. During his little free time Mr Portelli involves himself in gardening and also likes to travel once or twice a year.

In 1993, Lewis Portelli was decorated with the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika for his contribution to sport. In 2005, he was included in the MOC Hall of Fame.

He won the Malta Press Club sports journalist Award in 2001. Portelli was a volunteer at the Dar Tal-Providenza and in 1997, he was given the "Premju Mons. Azzopardi" for his voluntary work

Lives in Balzan with his wife Ġuża, Lewis Portelli is still proud of the fact that he was the first sports commentator on the national radio station and that he still leads an active life at the age of 72. His workaholic style in many different aspects of life makes him a more relaxed man. He likes to be a perfectionist and although it is not easy to deliver when life is full of activities, He finds no problem with that. Perhaps his only weakness is that he never says no to anyone.

He was a legend in his lifetime. His career spanned over 50 years and covered different sport, including horse racing from Marsa. interviewed most of the top sports personalities in the world of his era. He was the author of 11 books, all about sport, including the special commemorative publication on the first 100 years of football under the cap of the Malta FA.pioneering journalist is gone but Lewis Portelli will be remembered by all of us as a top class and legendary journalist.