Remembering Anthony Farrugia, the philanthropist – By Charles Spiteri
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“Anthony Farrugia, 88, the philanthropist – In the thick of the Rigoletto opera preparations and the rehearsals of the ‘Leone Goes Pop’ currently both underway at the Aurora theatre in Victoria, the Gozo community fell into deep mourning.
The demise of the Gozo veteran, Anthony Farrugia, a retired teacher and philanthropic stalwart took everyone by surprise. Tuesday, the 19th of May 2015 marked the loss of a humble and yet great man. Anthony’s life encapsulates an inexhaustive list of initiatives towards the common good.
He was a man of enormous integrity who took great pleasures in giving a helping hand, working out problems and making people achieve satisfaction and success. His teaching profession served as a beacon towards a number of initiatives.
He was the co-founder and a long time mentor of the huge Gozo Cathedral parish library. The library bookshelves acknowledge the extensive involvement of Anthony especially in the academic research carried out on behalf of students particularly before the arrival of the computer age.
Apart from his great benevolence and understanding towards his students his teaching profession till his retirement from the Victoria technical school in mid 1970s, he was a catalyst in the social and cultural activity of the Leone Philharmonic Society of Victoria.
There he founded the ‘Aurora Youth Movement’ and a number of various short courses to help youths in achieving success at the beginning of their working lives. He also set up the ‘Aurora Folk Group,’ the first ever folkloristic group in the Maltese islands.
Anthony was a visionary and a dedicated altruistic man. In homage towards this commitment, the Leone Philharmonic Society bestowed on him the title of Honorary President notwithstanding that he had never occupied such an office in his life.
Anthony’s numerous literary contributions in the local magazines and journals including the hailed ballad of the Santa Marija Convoy as well as other writings are testament to his unflinching and patriotic character towards his love to his native islands.
His presence will be deeply cherished in the memory of his wife, Ursola nee’ Abela, children and their spouses, grandchildren, great grandchildren as well as nephews, nieces and friends.
May God grant him eternal life.”
The funeral cortege leaves lower Republic Street, Victoria, today at 3.45pm, to the Cathedral, accompanied by the Leone Philharmonic Society Band. Mass praesente cadavere will be celebrated at 4.30pm, followed by interment at Santa Marija Cemetery.
Photograph by Charles Spiteri