Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 4(1967)4(290)


Joseph Cassar Pullicino

            The sickle of death has claimed two stalwart members of the Malta Historical Society, namely, Chevalier Edoardo Romeo Leopardi and Mr. Robert Mifsud Bonnici.


            Born in 1903, Chev. Leopardi entered the Civil Service in 1928, and after 18 years was promoted junior Assistant Librarian at the Royal Malta Library. He retired on pension from the Civil Service in 1960.

            At the Library, he found his metier. He delved deeply in the many and various manuscripts and from his masterly pen, a flow of learned contributions were published in the local Press. (See “Sunday Times of Malta,” December 17, 1967, page 14).

            From 1949 till his death in December 11th, these contributions appeared regularly in the “Scientia,” “Times of Malta,” “Sunday Times of Malta,” “Leħen Is-Sewwa,” “Melita Historica,” “Malta Year Book” and “Annales,” published by the Order of Malta. Many of these contributions are on the Order of St. John. In June 1962, he was created Donat First Class of the Sovereign Order of Malta, and afterwards promoted Knight of the Order.

            Chev. Leopardi married the Noble Francoise de Piro D’Amico Inguanez, and from 1950 he was a founder member of the Malta Historical Society, Hon. Secretary (1953-1957) local Secretary of the Unesco National Commission, member and Hon. Treasurer (1958-1966).


            If there are only a handful of citizens who have left their mark on Maltese Literature and public life, Mr. Robert Mifsud Bonnici is one of them. As an author, contributor to the local Press on controversial subjects, as a lecturer and as a literary and music critic, he was a formidable writer. His social activities were also prominent including those as a member of the many and various organizations too numerous to mention. Suffice to state here that through his monumental work “Dizzjunarju Bijo-Bibljografiku Nazzjonali,” published by the Government Department of Information, he will always be remembered in the land of his birth which he had loved so much.

            Rob. Mifsud Bonnici was born in 1884, educated at the Lyceum and Flores College, and entered Government Service in 1906. He held various appointments in Government, charitable institutions and retired on pension in March 1945. The remaining years of his life, he dedicated more than ever to wielding his pen. It was during this period that in addition to his other prolific contributions, he produced two other notable works, namely, “Ġrajja ta’ Baned f’Malta u Għawdex” and “La Divina Commedia” paraphrased.