Man who chronicled Malta under aerial siege, passes away

Veteran journalist John A. Mizzi dies aged 86 after distinguished career in reporting

John A. Mizzi (1925-2012)
John A. Mizzi (1925-2012)

Veteran journalist and war historian John A. Mizzi passed away on Monday 4 February at the age of 87.

Mizzi's distinguished career as a journalist started at the mere age of 15 in 1940 during WWII, writing reports from Malta under aerial siege, for British publications - perhaps the youngest to do so from any frontline of battle at the time.

He was for many years news editor of the Times of Malta and frequently acting editor of both the Times of Malta and the Sunday Times of Malta. He was also correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, Independent Television News, British United Press, Religious News Services and a contributor to various media in the United Kingdom, the United States and Malta.

Even after retirement, he was a much sought after interviewer, especially on television, particularly on the war years. He dedicated his later years to the editing of Malta at War, a definitive, illustrated six-volume record of the island's struggle during the Second World War.

He compiled various television documentaries on the United States and several European countries, notably the Soviet Union, and collaborated in documentaries shown on the BBC and Granada.

He authored a number of meticulously researched books, notably Gallipoli - The Malta Connection, of the Anglo-French expedition in Turkey during the First World War; Scouting in Malta, a history of the Scout Movement; and Massacre in Malta, an account of the hijacking of an
Egyptian airliner in 1985.

Active in the Scout Movement since boyhood, both in Malta and abroad, he was given the highest decoration by the Russian Scout Association for his help in the re-establishing of Scouting in that country in the 1990s.

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John rest in peace. Oh! How I still cherish the days when I was a boy scout at St. Aloysius College and you used to teach us and train us to be young men.