[WATCH] Maltese man gunned down by Somali terrorists is laid to rest

Paul Formosa was a ‘gentleman’, priest says as he urges his daughters to persist in their voluntary work with the downtrodden 

Paul Formosa’s daughter, Maria, paying her last respects outside the Marsaskala parish church. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Paul Formosa’s daughter, Maria, paying her last respects outside the Marsaskala parish church. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Paul Formosa, the Maltese port manager who was killed in Somalia, was  laid to rest on Monday.

Formosa, 52, was gunned down by Al Shabab militants in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia on 4 February.

In Somalia he worked for Dubai-based company P&O, which managed the port of Bossasso. The company was awarded the controversial concession in 2017 by the regional government.

Formosa’s body was flown back to Malta last week. The funeral mass was held in Formosa’s hometown, Marsaskala.

(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

The priest, Fr Marcellino Micallef, delivered a very strong social message in the homily. “Paul was a gentleman with a jovial character that was infectious,” the priest said. It was Paul’s mission to offer dignity to the people he worked with, he added.

Turning to Paul’s two daughters, Micallef applauded their vocation to help others. “You have to remain protagonists in being of service to others... Do not switch off the love for voluntary work,” he told them.

Shortly after Paul’s murder, his daughter Sarah had taken to task the “keyboard warriors who used her father’s death as an excuse to justify their racism”.

(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
(Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

“My father was a good man... the people escaping Somalia are doing so to escape the people who did this to him,” she had said.

Micallef reflected this spirit of goodwill in his homily.

“There are questions I have no answer to. We struggle to find God in circumstances like these. But I invite you to turn to Christ... God is in the suffering of people around us and this morning he is challenging us to keep working with the poor, the refugees, the sick children, the people who are abused,” Micallef said.

The mass was attended by family and friends, including former colleagues of Formosa at Malta Freeport.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia and Nationalist MP Mario Galea also paid their respects.

Paul Formosa leaves behind his wife Marica and daughters, Sarah and Maria.

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