[WATCH] Society says farewell to untiring anti-poverty activist Charles Miceli

Charles Miceli was laid to rest this morning as many people who worked with him or were helped by him joined Malta's dignitaries to pay their last respects in a packed church at Naxxar

Charles Miceli's wife, Pauline (2nd from right) and daughter Vanessa (4th from right), were joined by many more people in paying their last respects
Charles Miceli's wife, Pauline (2nd from right) and daughter Vanessa (4th from right), were joined by many more people in paying their last respects
Charles Miceli funeral mass

Anti-poverty campaigner Charles Miceli was given an emotional send-off at a packed church in Naxxar on Monday morning.

Miceli, 68, died suddenly last Friday, leaving many in shock. Described by friends and people who worked with him as an altruist, Miceli spent a career helping people on the margins of society.

The mass at the Naxxar parish church was attended by a mixed crowd and included many people who Miceli had helped in some way or another.

At the back of the church a man recounted how Miceli would give him a call whenever he failed to attend a meeting of Emotions Anonymous, a group Miceli set up within Caritas to help people suffering from emotional and mental health issues. "He used to ring me up and ask me how I am... he was one of a kind," the man said.

Another ex-prisoner recounted the golden words Miceli had taught him: "Learn how to be patient." And yet another, was telling his friends how he used to accompany Miceli on his trips to distribute food packages to poor families.

Graffitti activist Andre Callus said he only got to know Miceli over the last three years in the campaign for a higher minimum wage. "He taught us a lot about what social justice meant and I only realised the impact he had on me when his sudden departure left a big void inside me... he cannot be replaced," Callus said.

The country's highest dignitaries paid their last respects to Charles Miceli
The country's highest dignitaries paid their last respects to Charles Miceli

During the mass reference was made to the last book Miceli had been reading on liberation theology and the celebration ended with applause after the words of Miceli's favourite song  - Let it Be, by the Beatles - were recited. Mgr Charles Cordina, in his homily, described Miceli as someone who could not turn a blind eye to the suffering of others.

The mass was also attended by the country's highest dignitaries, including President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia and Opposition leader Adrian Delia. Former Opposition leader Simon Busuttil was also there as were numerous MPs from both sides of the House.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who is away on government business, sent in a note that was read out by the Naxxar parish priest.

Miceli was married to Pauline Miceli, the Child Commissioner, and had a daughter.

Read also:

On reputation and the death of a gentle friend

Who will speak up for the poor now?

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