Henry Frendo writes:
Godfrey Grima was a rare independent-minded Maltese journalist, a free spirit with a perfect command of idiomatic English.
I first knew him as a columnist in Il-Ħaddiem, then published at Veritas Press in Żabbar, but when I became editor of Il-Ħajja, my office at the Catholic Institute was next to his in Development House where I remember introducing him to one of my own columnists Oliver Friggieri, who became a dear friend and neighbour of his.
Godfrey and I frequently lunched together at the British. The last time I spoke to him was on the day of Oliver’s funeral, which he had watched from the balcony of his house. Godfrey was a dear friend of us both, as were his wife Mary Rose and Oliver’s wife Eileen.
One of his favourite country haunts was ‘il-ġnien’, which belonged to the family and where I remember his father-in-law Oliver Agius painting.
When my contract with Il-Ħajja was terminated in 1971 by the Curia, Godfrey had organised a protest march in which hundreds took part with banners such as ‘Frendo, McKinsey, Dimech’.
McKinsey was the consulting firm which had reported on the Curia’s secretive and mismanaged finances.
On Easter Monday 1971 my paper was the only one to reproduce their critiques in the Sunday Times and the Observer of London. Gonzi and Gerada had not liked it one bit.
Godfrey was deeply offended when Mintoff tried to destroy him because of an objective news item he had written in the Financial Times during the Anglo-Maltese dispute.
Closer to our times, Godfrey, a member of the University Council, keenly supported the Institute of Maltese Studies which I ran and on one of the boards of which he dutifully served.
To his dear wife Mary Rose and their only daughter Julienne, of whom he thought so highly and loved so much, my profound and very heartfelt condolences. There are no words to express this loss.
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