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Appreciation: Joseph Troisi

Louis Cilia writes:

My friend, Joe Troisi, who died aged 74 on August 12, was a many of many parts.

I came to know Joe the first time in my teenage years when, as mere 15-year-olds, we attended a few days’ retreat at Manresa House, in Gozo in the late 1950s. From then on, our paths diverged considerably. His unusual surname, nevertheless, stuck in my memory although we did not interact at the time.

For the last 25 years, however, we have been very close. His dear spouse, Pauline, and their lovely children, Christopher, Monique and Marcelle (now all abroad), became part of the family. For several years, when the children were still young, we made it a point to visit each other’s homes during the festive season. These are lovely memories that still stick in mind despite the passage of so many years.

Joe was a determined personality. He passed his later formative years in India where, besides missionary work, he studied and qualified in sociology, which he later taught at the universities of Delhi, Madras and Puné.

Back in Malta, he specialised in sociological theory and social change as well as social gerontology. He joined the Department of Sociology at the University in Malta in 1993 (at which time I came to know him closely for the first time) and became its head in December 2000. Joe was visiting professor at various universities abroad including in Australia, China, Egypt, Finland, Ghana, Panama, Singapore and Turkey.

He was the author of several highly-researched publications and articles in scholarly journals, besides conducting extensive research in areas of sociology and social gerontology.

Joe was also a founder member of the Maltese National Council of Older Persons and directed the University of the Third Age at the University of Malta. The University of the Third Age (U3A) was very close to his heart. He believed it was never too late to learn something new. The initial experiment in this regard turned out into a great success and the U3A now operates from three centres in Malta and Gozo with hundreds of old age people attending lectures by well-known academics on various subjects as well as participating in its many social activities.

Joe lived a full active life committed to the welfare of others, especially elderly people. He died peacefully surrounded by his family after a long period of suffering that consumed him in his last years.

A good and dedicated man, whose friendship will be long cherished by all those who were close to him, Joe will be sorely missed by his family and many friends.

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