The Malta Independent 9 August 2020, Sunday

A truly heavenly punch

Sunday, 5 July 2020, 09:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

Victor Calleja remembers Charles Azzopardi.

Sean Mallia took this photograph at the Hotel Phoenicia during a magazine interview I had conducted with Charles back in 2014.
Sean Mallia took this photograph at the Hotel Phoenicia during a magazine interview I had conducted with Charles back in 2014.

A part of you dies when someone you know departs this life, this sometimes vale of tears. A flood of thoughts flows out. Tears flow, literally and not, while you restrain yourself to, as they say, act like the man you are and fight back such flows.

Then you remember that Charles loved life and smiling and left all of us who knew him sweet memories and intuitive words and actions.

Charles had the special gift of giving his all, of always projecting a cheerful attitude and a can-do spirit that galvanised those around him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Charles has left behind a legacy which forms part of the success of Malta's hospitality business.

Let's all, as his own daughter aptly said in a Facebook post just after he died, raise a glass and cheer ourselves up, as he always did, even when faced with impossible, or tough, times.

Every time I met Charles - even if it included work and slogging - it was always a special experience, always an exercise in friendliness and fun together with a high level of proper business sense. He was a leader who led by example not by imposition; a man who listened and a man who took the right and proper action. Yet to him life and work were never a slog or a serious bore.

I knew him mainly as the top man at the Hotel Phoenicia, undoubtedly Malta's most iconic hotel, a beautiful piece of our history, symbolising an independent spirit while respecting a belief in quality. Like the Phoenicia, Charles was a man who could adapt, move on, transform while remaining upbeat.

Cheers Charles. I'm sure that wherever you are in the heavenly skies up above you have added a few laughs. 


  • don't miss