The Malta Independent 21 September 2018, Friday

John L. Peel – An Appreciation

Sunday, 26 August 2018, 08:09 Last update: about 27 days ago

Throughout my whole life and to this very day, the Lord gave me the grace to meet and also work with many people who were and still are a great inspiration to me. One of these persons is John L. Peel whom the Lord has recently called to His side.

John was an exemplary man who, in his own simplicity, lived his life of faith. Surely, he was not perfect but saints are also those who live the Gospel in the simplicity of their daily lives.

John was also a family man. He dedicated all his time and energy to his family and lived his marriage with great love. John loved unconditionally. He lived for his family. He loved his wife Antoinette dearly, loved his daughter Christine and dedicated his life to her 24 hours a day and at the same time giving the same love and attention to his son John, his wife Angela and his grandchildren Stephanie Anne and John Mark. We can safely say his life was a hymn of love. But this hymn of love was not only dedicated to his family but also to a lot of other people whom he met. John was a man who was prepared to forget himself so that he could think of others. His generosity and dedication were limitless and this was manifested in his wide network of voluntary work done on the quiet. You would always find him ready to help.

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We can also safely say that he was one of the veterans who worked incessantly in the sector for persons with disability in Malta. His work in this field started with the birth of his dear daughter Christine. From that day onwards, he never looked back and remained active and interested until the end in everything that was related to this sector. For 18 years, he was the chairman of the Down Syndrome Association during which time he was also its representative on the Maltese Federation of Organisations for Persons with Disability (MFOPD). For some time he was also the president of the same Federation. John represented the Down Syndrome Association various times in international fora and represented the Federation on committees in the National Commission for Persons with Disability (now known as the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability). John was the Honorary President of the Down Syndrome Association. For various years, he was also a committee member of the National Organisation for Parents with Disability. Apart from all this, until a few days ago John was a volunteer at id-Dar tal-Providenza. And, as if this was not enough, we cannot fail to mention his voluntary involvement in the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) where he helped in a special way, families of ex-servicemen to get the pensions and other monies owed to them.

Pope Francis says that love is not just talk, but deeds and service; humble service done quietly and without publicity, as Jesus himself said: "Your left hand must not know what your right is doing" (Mt 6:3). That is what John was like and that is why he remains an inspiration to me.

 

Fr Martin Micallef

Director

Dar tal-Providenza


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