Walter R. Zahra

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Walter R. Zahra was active as a trade unionist and literary circles.

Walter Zahra was born in Zejtun on 15 December 1915. He studied at the Lyceum until 1931, moving on to join the Dockyard as a leading man of masons, but transferred to the expense account department as a clerk.

During World War II he rendered services at Alexandra in Egypt along with several hundred other Dockyard emplyees. He was one of the promoters of the Anglo Maltese League in 1935 and while in Egypt he edited the Maltese literary journal Il-Qawmien Malti.

He countributed articles in English and Maltese and helped the Għaqda għat-Tixrid ta’ Qari Tajjeb. He returned to Malta at the end of the war and the Lotus Printing Press. At this time he was also involved in dramatic activated and the Boy Scouts Movement.

He was elected member of the Għaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti. His other interests included trade unionism and architecture. He was appointed committee member and later President of the Civil Service Clerical Association, Admiralty Branch committee, and president of the central council of the Civil Service Clerical Association.

At the foundation of the CMTU in 1959, Zahra was elected secretary general. In 1954 he participated in a study course in trade unionism and on social studies by the Catholic Socila Guild of Great Britain.

In 1946 he organized the unsuccessful People’s Party. He persisted in politics with the Labour Party and the Malta Workers Party and contested the election of 1950 with the MWP. He was the editor of Leħen il-Ħaddiem Malti.

He also edited the Christian Worker’s Party paper It-Tarka.

His many publications about Zejtun include the books A Guide to the Parish Church of St. Caterine, Zejtun (1969), The Old Parish Church of St Catherine at Zejtun (1973), and The Good Friday Procession at Zejtun (1980).

He married Ġiuseppina Caruana on 1st of June 1937 and they had four children. Caruana died in 1969 and on the 19th of September 1975 Zahra married Beatrice Chetcuti.

He died on 19 July 2003 at the age of 87