Klabb Kotba Maltin founder Pawlu Mizzi passes away

Tributes pour in for pioneer publisher

Veteran publisher Pawlu Mizzi has passed away. (Photo: Facebook/Joseph Mizzi)
Veteran publisher Pawlu Mizzi has passed away. (Photo: Facebook/Joseph Mizzi)

The founder of Klabb Kotba Maltin, Pawlu Mizzi, has passed away aged 89.

Born in Victoria, Gozo, Mizzi is considered to be a pioneer in the publication of Maltese books when he started KKM in the 1970s and later Midsea Publications.

Mizzi’s long career took him from being a teacher to a scriptwriter and presenter of TV programmes on Gozo, to becoming managing director of Il-Ħajja.

Mizzi also founded and was general editor of Heritage, an encyclopaedia of Maltese heritage, culture and civilisation.

Mizzi was awarded the medal for service to the Republic in 1992.

It was Pawlu’s son, Joseph, who confirmed the death. “The last squeeze. Now all that is left is a broken heart,” Joseph wrote on Facebook beneath a photo of his father’s hand squeezing his.

In a moving tribute on Facebook, academic and cartoonist Ġorġ Mallia described Mizzi as “a mentor”, who not only taught him all about publishing but also about perseverance.

“He taught me about perseverance… about creating a dream and following it to its fruition. About getting there in spite of the mountains that lie in your way. That there is no problem in the world that cannot be solved, unless you don’t want to solve it. That there is no future that cannot be changed to fit the dream and the vision,” Mallia wrote.

Other tributes followed. Writer Immanuel Mifsud recounted an anecdote of his first encounter with Is-Sur Pawl, as he was affectionately known, at Klabb Kotba Maltin.

Mifsud wrote: “There are some, though, who leave behind their mark. And is-Sur Pawl is one of these people, who not only left a mark but a literary heritage, which this country should recognise for ever.”

Writer Sergio Grech described Mizzi as "an important person for the history of the Maltese book".

In another tribute, the Akkademja tal-Malti celebrated Pawlu Mizzi for "building the home of Maltese books". The academy said Malta is indebted to Pawlu Mizzi for having the courage to publish books in Maltese and striving to reach higher standards.

Mizzi was married to Maria Scicluna and had two daughters, Annamaria and Ginette, and a son, Joseph.

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