Paul (Pawlu) Boffa
|5th Prime Minister of Malta|
4 November 1947 – 26 September 1950
|Preceded by||Position re-established|
|Succeeded by||Enrico Mizzi|
|Born||30 June 1890|
|Died||6 July 1962 (aged 72)|
|Political party||Labour Party|
Sir Paul Boffa, OBE (30 June 1890 – 6 July 1962) was a Maltese prime minister (1947–50) who took office after self-rule was reinstated by the British colonial authority following the end of World War II.
Born in Vittoriosa on 30 June 1890, Paul Boffa was educated at the Lyceum and at the University of Malta from where he graduated as a medical doctor in 1912. During World War I, he served with the Royal Medical Corps in Malta, Salonika and on hospital ships. After the war he set up in private practice in Paola. In 1921, he married Genoveffa Cecy and had two sons and two daughters: Salvino (aka Vivi), Hilda, Joseph (aka Profs), Carmelina (aka Melina). He died at his residence in Paola and is buried at the All Souls Cemetery in Tarxien. Former King George V (KGV) Hospital - a memorial to the men of the Merchant Navy who died in World War 1 - was renamed to Sir Paul Boffa Hospital in 1976.
Paul Boffa entered politics when Malta was granted self-government in 1921 and joined the Labour Party in 1923. He was returned to Legislative Assembly under the Amery-Milner Constitution in 1924, 1927 and 1932 and elected Leader of the Labour Party in 1927. The Labour and the Constitutional Parties formed an electoral agreement (known as the "Compact") for the 1927 elections. Thanks to this the Constitutional Party was able to form a government with the support of Labour although this was not a coalition in the true sense of the word as Labour refused to assume any ministerial portfolios. In 1932 Boffa was the only Labour Party candidate elected to the Legislative Assembly until it was dissolved in 1933. He was nominated as a member of the Executive Council from 1936 to 1939 and was elected, again as the sole Labour representative, to the Council of Government in 1939.
In the 1945 elections, Boffa was again elected in the Labour Party's interests. He reached the acme of his political career in November 1947, when he became the first Labour Prime Minister leading a majority government of 24 Labour members. In 1949, following the Labour Party's ultimatum to Britain concerning financial help, the Labour Party split up but Boffa continued as Prime Minister. He later founded and led the Malta Workers' Party (MWP). The MWP lost the 1950 Elections.
Boffa was re-elected in 1951 and in 1953 and joined a coalition government with the Nationalist Party led by Giorgio Borġ Olivier, assuming the portfolio of Minister of Health and Social Services. The MWP did not contest the 1955 elections and in that year, he resigned for health reasons. He retained an interest in politics and was nominated Honorary President of the Christian Workers' Party (CWP).
Boffa was created a Knight Bachelor in the 1956 New Year's Honours List in recognition of distinguished public services. He was also awarded the 1914-18 Star, the General Service Medal, the Victory Medal, the Coronation Medal and the Defence Medal.
Boffa was instrumental in obtaining recognition for the Maltese language in the law courts and the introduction of compulsory primary education and old-age pensions as well as the granting of the vote to women.
- Sir Paul Boffa: The doctor and politician - Times of Malta
- Official biography (Malta Department of Information)