Former Nationalist MP Michael Bonnici died on Wednesday, aged 75.
A pharmacist by profession, Mr Bonnici, who was from Żebbuġ, a locality he was very committed to, was first elected to Parliament in 1987.
He served as an MP until 2003, including some years as deputy speaker. He was always moderate and correct in his actions, and was never spiteful in his criticism.
As a young journalist reporting Parliamentary sittings, I always used to find former @PNmalta Deputy Speaker Michael Bonnici a unifying figure who could reach across the aisle. His work in Zebbug community has touched many families. I pay him tribute -JM— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) May 29, 2019
In 2011, he returned an honorary decoration he received in protest at the change of a street name that he said was disrespectful to one of the village’s “most respected ancestors”.
Mr Bonnici also kept records of the oldest people in Malta. His father, also a pharmacist, lived to be 100, as did his grandmother and great grandmother.
The Nationalist Party expressed its condolences, describing Mr Bonnici as a kind-hearted man who was ready to help anyone, independently of his political beliefs. Mr Bonnici worked hard for his country and especially for his hometown Żebbuġ, the party said.