Chris Delicata writes:

The death of someone always brings a sombre and sad feeling to all those who knew the departed person. It seals and brings closure to one’s life here on earth. However, as Christians, we believe in a better and eternal life after death; Alexander Cachia Zammit is embarking on this new journey.

Sandy, as he was affectionately known by many, lived a full and active life till a few weeks ago when, unfortunately, his health started to deteriorate. He was a huge personality and will be remembered by many as a highly-respected politician, diplomat, philanthropist and family doctor.

Sandy was a devout Catholic with a strong devotion to Our Lady. When I last visited him two weeks ago, it was evident that he sensed that death was near, however, he felt reassured that he was prepared to start his new journey to eternal life.

His long life, spanning nearly 90 years, saw him through various important roles: he had a successful career as a medical doctor, particularly in his hometown, Żejtun. He then embarked on a long political career, from 1955 until 1987, serving as a Nationalist member of Parliament and a government minister in George Borg Olivier’s Cabinet responsible for labour, social services and health.

Sandy was a Cabinet minister when Malta obtained its independence in 1964.

He also gave a strong contribution to society as long-serving president of the Beland Band Club in Żejtun for over 50 years.

In 1987, when he retired from politics, he was appointed as Malta’s Ambassador to the Holy See at a crucial time when it was important for Malta to enhance relations with the Vatican. His appointment at the time was very appropriate and timely.

Sandy’s altruism and generosity was truly remarkable. He once told me that when he was in pain he prayed so that others would not endure the same suffering. His altruism was also manifested in the noble deeds he made throughout his long life. He was a benefactor to several young priests studying for the priesthood, to many charitable institutions and to several people in need who approached him for help.

His satisfaction was in giving rather than receiving and this was a genuine characteristic of Sandy.

In all the roles he occupied, Sandy’s principles were never compromised. He served in every role with dignity, integrity and with a sense of loyalty to the institution he was representing.

Sandy felt a huge sense of satisfaction when, last November, he launched his biography – It-Tabib Sandy – which gave adetailed account of his life. At this event, he spoke with pride of what he had achieved in life and felt that his mission here on earth was accomplished.

His love for his wife, Doris, and two children, John and Kathryn, and their family was manifested in the way he spoke so fondly about them.

Society has indeed lost a true gentleman who was an inspiration to many. It was an honour and privilege to have known Sandy for over 20 years.

May the gentle Lord grant him eternal rest.