Sir Anthony Mamo

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Sir Anthony Mamo – 1 st President of The Republic of Malta (1974 – 1976)

Sir Anthony Mamo was born at Birkirkara on 9 January 1909. He was Chief Justice, Governor-General and first President of the Republic of Malta.

He was educated at the Archbishop'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" which enabled him to take short courses at London University and the University of Perugia.

Sir Anthony had been in private practice as an advocate for just over a year when he made the Public Service his career. In October 1936, he was appointed member of the Commission which, under the chairmanship of JudgeWilliam Harding, was entrusted with the task of preparing a Revised Edition of all the Laws of Malta. This task took six years to complete.

In the meantime the Second World War II broke out and, although the Commission's work was carried on, Sir Anthony like so many others, gave his services for refugee work and the welfare of those hit by war.

In 1942 Dr. Mamo entered the Attorney-General's Office as one of the Crown Counsel. Here he occupied in succession all the grades, until he himself became Attorney-General in 1955.

In 1947 Malta was once again granted a Constitution with a Maltese Government responsible for internal affairs and Sir Anthony served under four Prime Ministers - Sir Paul Boffa, Dr. Enrico Mizzi, Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier and Mr. Dom Mintoff - as chief legal adviser to them personally and their Cabinets. In this capacity he accompanied all Ministerial delegations for discussions and negotiations with the British Government.

From 1943 Sir Anthony was Professor of Criminal Law at the Malta University up to 1957 when he was appointed Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal. In 1964 Sir Anthony became the first President of the New Constitutional Court, For his contribution to higher education, the University conferred on him the degree of D. Litt (honoris causa) in 1966 and in 1967 he became also the first President of the new Court of Criminal Appeals.

During this period of his illustrious career, Mamo was awarded various high ranking honours: the OBE (1955), the appointment as Honorary Queen’s Councel (1957), the nomination of knight of grace of the Venerabel Order of St John (1962) and knight bachelor (1960).

In 1957 Mamo was appointed Chief Justice and president of the court of appeal. In 1964 be became the first president of the constitutional court. Mamo was appointed the first president of the court of criminal appeals in 1967.

Towards the end of June, 1962, when Admiral Sir Guy Grantham ended his term as governor, the Queen, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, G. Borg Olivier, appointed Sir Anthony, Acting Governor pending the arrival of the new Governor, Sir Maurice Dorman. Since then, Sir Anthony acted on several occasions, first, as Governor's Deputy, and later, under the Malta Independence Constitution, as Acting Governor-General. On 3rd July, 1971 Sir Anthony was appointed first Maltese Governor-General. He held office as the first President of Malta between 13th December, 1974 and 26th December, 1976.

Sir Anthony was for many years President of the Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University and in recognition of his services, he was awarded the Honary Degree of Doctor of Literature (D.Litt). During his career, Sir Anthony has represented Malta at various international congresses and conferences.

Both he and Lady Mamo have sat on many committees and participated in various activities concerned with social welfare and in recognition of their services, Sir Anthony was appointed Knight of the Venerable Order of St. John and Lady Mamo was appointed Commander of the same Order.

In 1993 Sir Anthony was awarded the honour of ‘Sieħeb il-Ġieħ’, the highest honour in the Order of Ġieħ ir-Repubblika. Sir Anthony Mamo passed away at the age of 99 on 1 May, 2008. He was married to Margaret Agius (popularly known as 'Lady Mamo') and they had two daughters, Josephine and Monica, and a son, John.