Sir Paul Boffa (1947 - 1950)

​Prime Minister of Malta (1947 - 1950)



Born in Vittoriosa on the 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.
 
Paul Boffa entered politics when Malta was granted self government in 1921 and joined the Labour Party in 1923. He was returned to Parliament under the Amery-Milner Constitution in 1924, 1927 and 1932. He was elected Leader of the Labour Party in 1927 and immediately began to instil in the workers the need of rightfully equal representation in government in order to have a say in their own affairs. He was in coalition with Lord Strickland's party in government (1927-32). In 1932 Paul 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 1936-1939.
 
During World War II Paul Boffa served with distinction as district Commissioner and ARP Medical Officer in the Cottonera, Paola, Tarxien and Luqa areas. He was awarded the O.B.E. in 1941.
In the 1945 elections, Dr Boffa was again elected in the Labour Party's interests. Boffa 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 Dr. Boffa continued as Prime Minister and 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 PN led by George Borg Olivier, assuming the portfolio of Minister of Health and Social Services. The MWP did not contest the 1955 elections and in 1955 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.
 
In 1921, he married Genoveffa Cecy and had two sons and two daughters. He died at his residence in Paola and is buried at the All Souls Cemetery in Tarxien.