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Former President of Malta Dr Censu Tabone passed away this morning at the age of 99.
Dr. Censu Tabone, M.D., D.O. (Oxon), D.O.M.S. (Lond), D.M.J., F.R.C.S. (Edin), F.I.C.S., K.U.O.M., LL.D. (Hon Causa); was born in Victoria, Gozo on 30th March 1913 and was educated at St. Aloysius College and the University of Malta where he graduated as a Pharmacist in 1933 and as a Doctor of Medicine in 1937. On the 23rd November 1943 he married Maria Wirth and has three sons and five daughters.
During World War II he joined the Royal Malta Artillery and served as a regimental Medical Officer, as a general duty officer and later as a trainee ophthalmic specialist at the Military Hospital, Mtarfa. In 1946 he proceeded to the United Kingdom for further training in ophthalmology and in the same year obtained a Diploma in Ophthalmology of the University of Oxford. Later he obtained a Diploma in Ophthalmic Medicine and Surgery of the Conjoint Board of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
He returned to Malta in 1947 and since then has been engaged in ophthalmic practice and has held senior posts in various hospitals. In 1945 he was entrusted with the anti-trachoma campaign in Gozo, with the result that in due course the disease was practically eliminated from the Island. This campaign was in many ways a pioneer project as were those of the World Health Organisation which he helped launch in many countries, notably in Taiwan, Indonesia and Iraq. He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1949. From 1956 he served as a member of the International Panel of Trachoma Experts of WHO and was a consultant with this Organisation for many years.
In 1954 he founded the Medical Officers Union, now the Medical Association (M.A.M.) and for many years was its president. In 1953 he obtained a Diploma in medical Jurisprudence of the Society of Apothecaries of London. Dr. Tabone has also been a member of the Council of the University of Malta, a member of the Faculty Board of Medicine from 1957 to 1960 and lecturer in Clinical Ophthalmology in the Department of Surgery.
Dr. Tabone has been active in politics since the early sixties and in 1961 became a member of the Nationalist Party’s (NP) Executive Committee. For ten years, from 1962 to 1972, he was Secretary General and from 1972 to 1977 the First Deputy Leader of the NP. In 1978 he was elected President of the Executive Committee. He held this post up to August 1985.