Dr Anton Buttigieg

President of Malta (1976 – 1981)


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 practising lawyer.
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 Parliamentary Affairs.
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 Government". 

   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 his poetry.
   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 Award".