DR. ANTON BUTTIGIEG: PRESIDENT OF MALTA (1976 - 1981)
Anton Buttigieg, B.A., LL.D.; Maltese
Lawyer and politician; born on 19th February, 1912, Gozo, son
of Saviour and Concetta (nee' Falzon) Buttigieg; married
Carmen Bezzina in 1944; married Connie Scicluna in 1953;
married Margery Patterson in 1975; two sons, one daughter;
educated at the Royal Malta University.
Notary Public 1939; Advocate 1941; Police Inspector during
Second World War; Law reporter and leader writer Times of
Malta 1944 - 48; Acting Magistrate 1955; Editor, the Voice of
Malta 1959; Member of Parliament 1955 - 76; President of the
Malta Labour Party 1959 - 61; Deputy Leader 1962 - 76;
Delegate to Malta Constitutional Conferences, London 1958 -
64; Representative to Consultative Assembly, Council of Europe
1967; Vice-President 1967 - 68; Deputy Prime Minister 1971 -
76; Minister of justice and Parliamentary Affairs June 1977;
President of the Republic of Malta 27th December, 1976; Member
of the Academy of the Maltese Language; first prize for
Poetry, Government of Malta 1971; Guze' Muscat Azzopardi prize
for poetry 1972; silver plaque for poetry Circolo Culturale
Rhegium Julii of Reggio Calbria 1975.
He held office as the second President of Malta between
27th December 1976 and 26th December 1981.
Leisure interests: horse racing, gardening.
Lyric Poetry: Mill-Gallerija ta' Zghoziti (From the
Balcony of my Youth) 1945, Fanali bil-Lejl (Lamps in the
Night) 1949, Qasba mar-Rih (A Reed in the Wind) 1968, Fl-Arena
(In the Arena) 1970;
Humorous poetry: Ejjew Nidhku Ftit (Let us Laugh a
Bit) 1963, Ejjew nidhku ftit iehor (Let us Laugh a Bit More)
Haikus and Tankas: Il-Muza bil-Kimono (The Muse in
Kimono) (also in Japanese and English) 1968; Ballati Maltin
(Maltese Ballads) 1973, Il Mare di Malta (Editors, de Lucca,
Rome) 1974, il-Ghanja tas-Sittin (The Song of the Sixty Year
Old) 1975. Other works - The Lamplighter - an anthology of
Maltese poems translated into English by Francis Ebejer.
Dr. Buttigieg died on May 5, 1983.
Anton Buttigieg was born in Qala, Gozo, on the 19th
February, 1912, the third child of Salvatore and Concetta
(nee' Falzon). He was educated at the Government Primary
School, Qala (1916 - 1922), the Gozo Seminary (1923 - 1927),
St. Aloysius College Malta (1928 - 1930) and the University of
Malta, where he graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1934 and Doctor
of Laws in 1940.
In 1944 he married the late Carmen Bezzina and had three
children - John (now Dr. J. Buttigieg B.A., LL.D., M.P) - Rose
(now wife of Dr. J. Brincat, B.A. (Lond.), B.Sc. (Econ.) (Lond.),
LL.D., M.P.) and Emanuel (now Dr. E. Buttigieg LL.D., a
In 1953 he married the late Connie Scicluna. The death of
his two wives seem to have been the major tragedies of his
life and they have been reflected in his poetry. In 1975 he
married Margery Patterson.
During the Second World War (1942 - 1944) he served in the
Police Force as Inspector and thereafter he practised Law. In
1955 he also served as an acting Magistrate. He was the Law
reporter and leader writer of the "Times of Malta"
from 1946 to 1948 and the Editor of "The Voice of
Malta" from 1959 to 1970.
He embarked on a political career and was first elected to
the House of Representatives in the Labour Party interest in
1955. He was re-elected in all subsequent elections and held
his seat in Parliament up to the time of his resignation in
October 1976. From 1959 to 1961 he was President of the Malta
Labour Party and from 1962 to 1976 its Deputy Leader. When the
present administration took office in 1971, he served his
country as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and
He was a delegate to the Malta Constitutional Conferences
held in London in 1958 and in 1964. He was also a
representative to the Consultative Assembly in the Council of
Europe (1967 - 1971), where he was elected Vice-President
(1967 - 1968).
In October 1976 he resigned from the House of
Representatives and on 27th December, 1976 he was elected as
the second President of the Republic of Malta.
Dr. Anton Buttigieg also distinguished himself in the field
of literature. During his undergraduate days he was one of the
founder members of the University Students "Society for
the Maltese Language" (26-1-1931). He was a Member of the
"Academy of the Maltese Language" (20-3-1938).
In 1971 he won First Prize for Poetry - "Malta
In 1972 he won the "Guze' Muscat Azzopardi"
prize for poetry.
In 1975 the "Circolo Culturale Rhegium Julii"
of Reggio Calabria awarded him with a silver plaque for
In 1977 he won the "International Prize of
Mediterranean Culture for Poetry" awarded by the
"Centro di Cultura Mediterranea" of Palermo.
In 1979 he was awarded First Prize and a Special Diploma
for Poetry in the First Category by the Centro Culturale
Artistico Letterario - Citta' di Brindisi.
In 1979 he won "First Prize" for the first
volume of his auto-biography "Toni tal-Bahri"
(Toni the Seaman's Son) in the "Malta Literary
His various publications include:-
"Mill-Gallarija ta' Zghoziti" - From the
Balcony of my Youth - 1949
"Fanali bil-Lejl". - Lamps in the Night - 1949
"Fl-Arena". - In the Arena - 1970
"Ballati Maltin". - Maltese Ballads - 1973
"Il Mare di Malta". - The Sea of Malta-A
selection of poems translated into Italian - 1974
"Il-Ghanja tas-Sittin" - The Song of the Sixty
Year Old - 1975
"The Lamplighter". A selection of poems
translated into English - 1977. They are also being
translated into the Slovenian Language, which is one of the
Yugoslav Languages and into German.
"Qabs el Mosbah". A selection of poems
translated into Arabic - 1978
"Poeziji Migbura - L-ewwel Volum" - The first
"From the Balcony of my Youth" and "Lamps
in the Night" have been published in one volume under
the title "Collected Poems" - 1978.
"Ejjew nidhku ftit" - Let us laugh a little -
"Ejjew nidhku ftit iehor" - Let us laugh a
little more - 1966
HAIKUS AND TANKAS
"Il-Muza bil-Kimono" - The Muse in Kimono. This
book was translated both into Japanese and into English -
His books in preparation include:-
A collection of speeches and short stories.
"Zibeg u Bocci" - (Beads and Marbles). A
collection of Haikus and Tankas.
The first volume "Toni tal-Bahri" - Toni the
Seaman's Son was published in 1978.
His leisure interests were horse racing and gardening.
Dr. Anton Buttigieg was also President of the St. Gaetano
Band Club of Hamrun.