Fr Geoffrey G. Attard writes:

Mario Vella is a name that rings familiar to hundreds if not thousands of Gozitan students throughout the years.  Hailing from Victoria, Vella taught chemistry at the Ninu Cremona Lyceum Complex for many years. He taught with such passion that his students have only words of praise and appreciation for him. 

Although he did not teach me, I remember him coming into the class to stand in as a substitute when one of the teachers was sick, and he would talk about one of the many subjects he was interested in for the entire lesson.  Being an avid reader and a meticulous observer of what happens around in our world, especially when it comes to chemistry, astronomy and other related sciences, it was a pleasure to just keep quiet and listen to him. No wonder that throughout his teaching career, he managed to win the respect and gratitude of one and all.

Some months ago, I had an interesting chat with him and his dear wife over a coffee without realising that he was perhaps already facing challenges related to his health. 

When I heard the news of his passing, I found myself brushing tears from my eyes.

Mario is survived by his wife Maria, his children David and Ruth and his mother Vincenza.  I would like to end my appreciation by quoting Rev. Dr Maximillian Grech, attaché at the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Dakar, Senegal, and one of his former pupils, who had this to say about him: “The best teachers teach from the heart not from the book.  Thank you, Sir, for all your hard work and dedication. Extremely thankful for having a brilliant A-Level chemistry teacher like you.”

Condolences to his family. May God grant him eternal rest.

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