Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 October, 2022 at 11:19 am by Andre Camilleri
Long-time Nationalist Party member of parliament and a titan of the Sliema community Robert Arrigo has passed away.
He was 67 years old.
A prominent businessman and a pioneer in the travel and tourism industry, Arrigo served first as the mayor of Sliema and then as a member of parliament from 2003 until the present day.
He was elected as the first mayor of Sliema in 1994 and continued to be elected until he ran for the national parliament in a general election in 2003.
Arrigo was a prominent and much-respected figure in the Nationalist Party, and he served as the party’s deputy leader between 2017 and earlier this year. He was also a well-known member of the country’s footballing community, having served as the President of Sliema Wanderers for a number of years, with the storied club winning numerous honours under his leadership.
He was diagnosed with cancer during summer this year, but continued to serve as an MP.
Two months ago he shared that he had been discharged from his fourth chemotherapy session and said that he could now see “a small spot of light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.”
He remained active in public life despite his diagnosis, and addressed a Malta Chamber of Commerce event on the tourism sector just two weeks ago.
That was after completing his sixth chemotherapy session, and he continually expressed thanks to the team at Mater Dei’s Oncology department who were caring for him.
PN leader Bernard Grech led the tributes on social media, saying that “we have lost one of us.”
He thanked Arrigo for his sacrifices and work within the Nationalist Party over the years.
“You will be remembered for your great work, for your loyalty to the party, but above all else for the love you had for this nation,” Grech said.
“Some days ago, despite your difficulties, you can to Dar Centrali and with passion you spoke about the sector which you represented,” he added.
Grech also dedicated a speech he gave at the EY Future Realised conference on Tuesday morning to Arrigo, as did Prime Minister Robert Abela.
Arrigo is survived by his wife Marina and two children.