George Vella. He was born in Żejtun at the height of WWII and today he is 76 years old. He studied at De La Salle Collge and graduated from the University of Malta as a doctor of medicine in 1964. He has always continued to live in the town where he was born. He is married to Mariam and they have three children: Claire, Elaine and George… as well as seven grandchildren.
After working for two years at St Luke’s hospital, he became the doctor at the dockyards for the next seven years, until 1973. For the next 40 years, he worked as a family doctor who was greatly sought after by families in Żejtun. For more than ten years he was also the official medic for Air Malta after he specialised in the field of aviation medicine in the UK.
He contested the general election on the Labour Party ticket for the first time in 1976. He made it to Parliament two years later following a casual election. Dr Vella served as an MP in eight legislatures and was a member of various parliamentary delegations which attended international fora. In the four elections which he contested, he was always elected from two districts.
In 1992 he was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party responsible for parliamentary affairs. During the 1996 – 98 legislature, Prime Minister Alfred Sant appointed him Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister. He remained in the role of PL Deputy Leader until 2003. He served in the Cabinet once again during the last legislature when PM Joseph Muscat appointed him Foreign Affairs Minister. That legislature signaled the end of his political career as Dr Vella decided not to contest the general elections in June 2017.
He is known for his interest in foreign politics, especially in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf. He has shown particular interest in following what is happening in Libya. After ending his ministerial role he was nominated and served on a committee of experts who prepared a report about the future of the Commonwealth.
Last November, he was appointed a member of the Order of St Michael and St George by the Grandmaster of the Order – the Duke of Kent. The honour awarded to Dr Vella was given in recognition by the UK for his political work which included the relations between Malta and the UK and in the Commonwealth.
Among the other honours he has received there is the National Order of Merit awarded to Dr George Vella on Republic Day 2017.