Evarist Saliba

Born in Birkirkara on 22 February 1928, he started writing short stories in his teens winning prizes in literary competitions organised by Il-Moviment tal-Malti (Ghat-Tfal), Il-Pronostku Malti and newspapers. He contributed a regular article on current world news in the newspaper Ghawdex. In later years, his short stories appeared in Leħen il-Malti, while he had radio plays as well as short stories broadcast on the local radio station Rediffusion.

His commitments in a teaching career and as a council member of the Malta Union of Teachers, (1946-65) redirected his writings into a different channel, and more so when he joined the newly formed Foreign Service of independent Malta (1965-2003).  His writings remain anonymous in official documents and public statements. Two spells in retirement, (1985-87) and (1996-2000), freed him from the constraints on civil servants and he contributed to the media in particular on foreign affairs.  His main contribution was a fortnightly opinion piece to The Sunday Times (of Malta) under the title As I was Saying…

His final retirement in 2003 gave him the opportunity to collect his memoires under the title No, Honourable Minister. As the title implies, he did not always have a smooth relationship with politicians he had to deal with. However, the book covers a far wider spectrum, depicting his life in Malta before, during and after World War II, a teaching career in post-war years, and independent Malta’s international relations, as experienced in Libya, the United Nations, the Non Aligned Movement, China, North Korea, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, the USA, and the European Union, as well as from senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.