Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott writes:
The passing away of Patrick Calleja shocked many, as although we all knew that he was fighting cancer with all fortitude, he kept himself enthusiastic and with a positive attitude.
One hardly noticed he was not in the best of health. It was only a few days before he died that he called me offering any help he could give me and asking me how I was doing. Alas, this was Patrick’s character.
He always thought what he could do for anyone else and hardly about himself. So much strong and altruistic was Patrick that when he told me about his diagnosis, he never mentioned what he would need to face. His only worry was that he may be a problem for his dear wife Betty, who was at all times on his mind.
Patrick was a humble person. In his quiet manner he has given a significant contribution to the development of our country. His many contributions included a number of industrial developments in Malta such as insurance companies, Mepa, boards and chairmanships of pharmaceutical companies.
Just to mention one particular contribution, Patrick avoided a very embarrassing and difficult situation for our country. The Maltese justice system was nearly at a standstill because the courts decided that the forensic laboratories had to be independent from the police and therefore the findings of the forensic laboratories run by the police became inadmissible.
Patrick, through the Malta National Laboratory, within a short period, with his usual silent and diligent manner using his managing abilities without much pomp or publicity, transferred a police state forensic laboratory into an independent forensic laboratory run within the Malta National Laboratory. The criminal courts became functional again within a short time frame.
In this same manner, he applied honesty, above all, in his contribution to Mepa boards. The Maltese public has certainly gained by having a person like Patrick on the boards because of his efficiency, intelligence and ability to deal with difficult and demanding situations in a swift and fair manner that is hard to match.
Patrick’s contribution to the industry, through his chairmanship of the Malta National Laboratory and through contributions to the pharmaceutical industry, went beyond the running of board meetings. He took an active interest in the well-being of each and every individual, from the bench worker to the managing director.
Patrick’s kindness and humanitarian attitude in all his dealings will surely be never forgotten. Society will continue benefitting for many years to come from his active contributions to the development of new processes in Malta.
When the then Minister of Economic Development, Professor Josef Bonnici, now the Governor of the Central Bank, introduced me to Patrick Calleja as the newly appointed executive director of the Malta National Laboratory, he told me that Patrick was “a great gentleman”.
Never did I realise at the time how true these words were and that I was to experience this attitude for so many years. Throughout these years, Patrick was not only a great gentleman but a true and honest friend to all those who had the opportunity to come to know him.
To his wife Betty and his family, deep condolences. You should be proud and happy that you had a great husband and father who always had his family foremost in his mind and care. He is now smiling at us from heaven.