George Hyzler | The gentleman in politics

Last Saturday, Qormi bid farewell to former acting President and Nationalist George Hyzler.

During the funeral service in Qormi last Saturday, George Hyzler was hailed as a person “who formed part of a different generation of politicians, where  service and political mission always came first. George was always close to the people.”

Parliamentary Secretary Clyde Puli, also from Qormi, remembers Hyzler as one of his family’s doctors. “I mostly worked with his son, Karl, but I always regarded him as my father in politics,” Puli told MaltaToday. “He was a people’s person and just by a simple word he always knew how to alleviate your problems.”

Former Speaker of the House Daniel Micallef remembers when he had been offered to consider the position of Acting President as a representative of the Labour Party, at the same time when Hyzler was offered this position.

“I will always remember George and I awarding prizes together at the Nazzarenu Vassallo Awards,” Micallef said, adding that there had always been mutual respect between the two, even though they hailed from two opposing parties.

European Commissioner John Dalli and former PN heavyweight in Qormi, remembers George Hyzler as the MP elected from the Qormi district at the time he entered politics.

“I remember him as a hard-worker, with his own opinions but always loyal to his friends,” Dalli said, while recalling the several times they used to meet up in Hyzler’s garage when setting up the Nationalist Party’s youth section.

Former Labour Minister Lino Spiteri remembers Hyzler and him starting politics at the same time. “Even though Hyzler was a rival, he was a gentleman. I don’t remember him ever insulting or attacking anyone personally, neither in Parliament nor during mass meetings.”

Former Speaker Louis Galea also remembers George Hyzler as a gentleman. “He always impressed me with his energy and dynamism. He used to give the wrong impression that he acted without thinking. In reality, it was simply because he had a fast brain, he was a fast-thinker and a doer.”

Biography

Hyzler was born in Zejtun in 1926. He graduated as a medical doctor from the Royal University of Malta and in 1954 he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in Aldershot, UK.

In 1954 he married Elvira Bonnici and they went on to have three sons, George Mario, Karl and Mario.

He started his 33-year political career in 1962, and was successful in all subsequent elections, until 1992.

Between 1974 and 1987 he was the Nationalist Party spokesman for health and in 1987 he was appointed Health Parliamentary Secretary.

In February 1992 he was appointed Minister for Social Security and was responsible for family affairs and housing. He was instrumental in the setting up of the Red Cross Malta in 1993.

In April 1995 Hyzler resigned from Parliament.

Between June 1995 and 1998 he was Director of the International Institute on Ageing by the United Nation and the Government of Malta. Hyzler was also Ambassador of Malta to Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 1998 he was appointed officer of the National Order of Merit (UOM).

He held the post of Acting President of Malta between 1999 and 2009.

Dr George Hyzler passed away last Thursday 22 January at the age of 85.

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