Appreciation: Carmel Vassallo

Appreciation: Carmel Vassallo

Mark Said writes:

We often say that the hour of death cannot be forecast. When we say this we imagine this hour would be in a distant future. Yet, Carm’s sad demise was expected sooner or later.

He did his best to prepare us for his passing, however it still came as a shock and still feels a bit unreal. Many lawyers will have different memories of Carm, but one thing we will definitely agree on is the way he loved and lived for his wife, Stella, and family.

He had the most amazing courageous strength and tenacity that every single lawyer who ever came into contact with him could feel while in his presence. He went through so much throughout his professional career, things that would have broken a lot of people but never Carm.

He carried on gracefully because he knew he had to be strong for the people who put their trust in him.

He was a seasoned and leading lawyer, mentor, friend and like a counsellor to most of his colleagues, not least myself. He had a way of making each one of us colleagues feel like we were his favourite. We are so privileged to have worked with such an amazing strong man, who had such a deep care about his clients.

Carm taught us strong values and the importance of working together tightly as a legal team, tolerance towards one another, generosity and tolerance towards one another’s weaknesses.

I will always remember him as a leader, a fighter, a lover, a nurturer and a very resilient man with strong ethics. His courage, determination and sense of humour is something I will always carry with me and hope that I can display those same characteristics especially in trying times.

I vividly recall those days when every morning on entering the Chamber of Advocates he used to meet me with his unique smile and jovial face while relating to me one of his anecdotes from his unending inventory of anecdotes.

I remember once on inquiring with him whether I had given proper legal advice he retorted that the advice I gave, by his standards, was not worth more than five Liri whereas had he been requested the same type of advice his would have been worth 50 Liri and that no other lawyer could surpass that! Obviously he was pulling my leg, the point being that a lawyer should never give advice unless fully convinced of that advice.

By so saying I bid you farewell and good night to your physical body as I know that you will forever be in spirit.

Till we meet again, may you rest in peace.

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