In Memoriam - The Most Reverend Monsignor Anton Gauci, Past Grand Chaplain of the Supreme Grand Priory and Grand Prior Emeritus (November 2013)
The Supreme Grand Priory of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem is sad to announce the passing away of the Most Reverend Monsignor Anton Gauci, past Grand Officer of the Supreme Grand Priory and Grand Prior Emeritus of the Grand Priory of Malta. Monsignor Anton Gauci was not only a very active Roman Catholic ecclesiastic and Dean of the Gozo Cathedral Chapter with decades of wealthy experiences in the Vatican and in the dioceses of Malta and Gozo but also a highly vocal and active Hospitaller who was instrumental in the growth of the United Grand Priories of the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.
It was early on Tuesday morning, liturgical commemoration of St Martin Bishop of Tours, when Mgr Anton Gauci of Victoria passed away at the venerable age of 88 years. All of us were in constant prayer due to his ill health in these last months.
Mgr Gauci was there at the right place at the right time for the growth and spiritual nourishment of the Order. Under his watchful eyes, the Order grew and expanded extensively in the islands of Malta and Gozo, with a long term team operation with the Malta Chancellor Massimo Ellul. After the most solid foundations for the Order were built in Malta and Gozo, Mons Gauci gave his utmost to ensure the expansion of the Order throughout so many different jurisdictions.
Mgr Gauci's name is synonymous with education and, particularly, education in Gozo. Since 1960, he had taught English, Italian and religious education at the Lyceum and it was in 1975 that he became assistant head of the school and, later on, headmaster. In 1985, he was made assistant director of education and then Permanent Delegate of Malta for Unesco. In addition, he was given many more prestigious appointments.
His publications are numerous because he was a prolific writer, possibly the most productive writer on Gozo after the late Bishop Nikol Cauchi. Among his many publications, his Pajjizi Taht l-Inglizi is a favourite. His last published work in book form was the foreword he wrote to the book published by the Grand Priory of Malta when celebrating its tenth anniversary of operations in Malta and Gozo.
There is no doubt that Mgr Gauci loved his native island of Gozo wholeheartedly and he was, in fact, the author of one of the earliest - if not the first - guidebook on Gozo. Mgr Gauci was of a strong character; he was renowned for his friendship with ex-Maltese Premier Dom Mintoff and he was definitely an outspoken person on all that he held dear or believed in.
With his death, Gozo or, rather, the Maltese islands have lost one of their most erudite sons and a fine intellectual. The United Grand Priories lost one of their most eminent personalities and leaders.May God grant him eternal rest.