Guido Saliba, 81, who died on Tuesday is best remembered for his deep love of drama and his great ability as an organiser.
A lawyer by profession, Dr Saliba was born in Floriana on August 31, 1923. He graduated doctor of law with diplomas in public administration and in library and information studies from the University of Malta in 1966.
During World War II he was a lieutenant in the Royal Malta Artillery. After the war he was appointed a master of history in the Sixth Form and at the Lyceum. Later he became head of the department of history and social studies and assistant headmaster at the Upper Secondary School.
His connection with the Lyceum was cemented when in 1994 he set up the Association of Lyceum Past Students of which he was president until this year when he tendered his resignation. His close connection with ALPS, however, continued as he was made honorary president for life and was acting deputy president.
President Emeritus Guido de Marco described Dr Saliba as "a man of particular intelligence whose family ties with the de Marcos were especially strong".
Prof. de Marco expressed deep sentiments at the great loss of Dr Saliba saying his death was a great blow to the de Marco family particularly to Prof. de Marco's wife, Violet, the deceased's sister.
Prof. de Marco said he had known Dr Saliba since their student days at the university and he used to take part in plays produced by the deceased where he reached levels in the theatre that few have achieved since.
"He was extremely creative and had a great capacity of being totally dedicated to the job at hand," Prof. de Marco added.
Dr Saliba was an actor, playwright and drama producer; founder of the Fergha Drammatika Ghaqda tal-Malti (Università); co-author with his first wife Inez Soler of Mistenni mill-Gnus, a nativity radio serial and Bin il-Bniedem - a Passion play broadcast and produced at the Radio City Opera House in Hamrun.
Together with Ms Soler, he was drama and art critic for The Times of Malta between the 1950s and 1960s and used to write drama reviews under the pen-name Our Drama Critic.
With his great love for drama he was chairman of the Malta Drama League and secretary of Socjetà ta' l-Awturi Maltin.
He held the post of judicial assistant at the law courts and was a Director of Studies at the Police Academy where he was one of the founders.
He was chairman of the Commission for the Investigation of Injustices; a member of the Permanent Commission Against Corruption; publisher of Il-Mara Matul Iz-Zminijiet; editor of A Council for All Seasons and of A Presidency with a Purpose by Prof. de Marco and the columnist of Once Upon a Dream in The Sunday Times for the past 12 years.
Dr Saliba served on several government boards including the Board of Film Censors and the Board of the Film and Stage Censors, the Board of Education, the Advisory Council of Education and the committee on recruitment policy at the Ministry of Education.
George Stagno Navarra, ALPS acting president, described Dr Saliba as "a great cultured and erudite gentleman who one day dreamt a sweet dream of setting up the ALPS".
"He was a wise man and to us more than a father figure. When he was rushed to the hospital on Saturday, in spite of wearing an oxygen mask, he asked me to contact an association member in Australia to write something for the association's magazine.
"His love for the ALPS was that great," Mr Stagno Navarra said.
Dr Saliba was awarded the honour Il-Furjaniz tas-Sena 2003 by the Floriana local council and the Croce al Merito Melitense by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Dr Saliba married Irene née Camilleri in 1978. They have two children Pierguido and Yelenia.
He resigned the post of ALPS president during his official speech at dinner marking ALPS's 10th anniversary last March.
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