The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

Parliament: Parliament Commemorates former minister Joe Fenech

Malta Independent Tuesday, 12 April 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

The House of Representatives yesterday commemorated former minister Joe Fenech, who died during Holy Week when the House was in Easter Recess.

Deputy Prime Minister Tonio Borg said Dr Fenech was the son of is-Sur Tumas, who had been a Nationalist MP twice, in 1927 and 1932.

Dr Fenech had been an MP for 20 years and was elected in four successive elections – from 1976 to 1992. Before that, he had been a candidate twice.

He twice held government office: once as a Parliamentary Secretary for Maritime Affairs and later as Justice Minister.

He was the first president of the Commission for the Consideration of Bills, and also held positions at the Broadcasting Authority and on the University Council.

In the party, he was secretary of the parliamentary group, and worked within the party structures, especially during the building of the party headquarters.

On the social side, for 30 years he was president of the Duke of Connnaught Band in Birkirkara (also known as Tal-Ghami), just as his father had been before him.

He was a man full of energy, who was always active, said Dr Borg, and he spoke with conviction and enthusiasm. He could be described as a forceful speaker, and also as being headstrong, but one always knew where one stood with him.

He cared very much for his constituents, even after he was no longer an MP.

He was also an able lawyer and a fighter as was evidenced when he defended the PN’s interests in the court cases regarding broadcasting.

The leader of the opposition said he and Dr Fenech had clashed many times because Dr Fenech was a tough person, a fighter.

After Dr Fenech’s death, said Dr Sant, he read what people of all opinions, such as Dr Joe Brincat, Dr Francis Zammit Dimech and Tony Mangion, had written about him. They ascribed to Dr Fenech qualities that he, not knowing Dr Fenech so personally, did not know.

Dr Sant said that fellow Birkirkara MP Joe Debono Grech had been to visit Dr Fenech and that he (Dr Sant) had talked with Mr Debono Grech about going to visit him when he was terminally ill, but they had never managed to go.

Birkirkara Basilica was packed for his funeral, Dr Sant concluded, and the sadness of people at losing Dr Fenech was quite genuine.

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