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Tributes after Major Frank Dellipiani, former AACR minister, dies

AACR Council meeting with Governor Admiral Sir David Williams. Major Frank Dellipiani nearest to the camera and beside Sir Joshua Hassan. Pic by Johnny Bugeja

Tributes were paid yesterday following news of the death of Major Frank Dellipiani, a former Member of the House of Assembly and Government Minister with the AACR who helped steer Gibraltar dur-ing difficult periods including the closed frontier years.

Maj. Dellipiani, a highly-respected and much-loved member of this community, had strong links too to the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, in which he served.

Maj. Dellipiani was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1976 and served until 1988 as Minister for Education, Housing and Municipal Services.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he and his Cabinet had been saddened to learn of Maj. Dellipiani’s passing.

“He was an affable and larger than life character who personified much of what made Gibraltar great in the 1970s and 1980s,” Mr Picardo said.

“As a Parliamentarian from an early age, he always had kindly advice to share when I saw him, most recently at Bishop Canilla House where he lived out the latter years of his life after he lost his beloved son Mark.”

“Frank’s sad loss will be felt by our Regiment in which he, his son and grandson have all served with distinction and I know that he will be sorely missed by his wife, his surviving daughter and family.”

“I would like to formally express the most sincere condolences of the Government and the people of Gibraltar.”

Together Gibraltar leader Marlene Hassan Nahon, who had a strong personal bond with Maj. Dellip-iani through her father, former Chief Minister and AACR Leader Sir Joshua Hassan, paid a personal tribute to a man who she described as “an example of honesty and virtue.”

“It is a sad day for Gibraltar to have lost one of the pillars that shaped our modern society, a man who worked hand in hand with my own father in the AACR, during very challenging times,” she said.

“I will most remember Frank for his wisdom, his positivity, warmth and charisma.”

“Until the end, and even after the sad loss of his dear son Mark, Frank was available to everyone and anyone who needed an ear.”

“And despite his tribulations throughout his life, his witty sense of humour was very much a part of him till the very end.”

“Today Gibraltar owes him a debt of gratitude for all his years in public service.”

Keith Azopardi, the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the GSD, also expressed sadness on new of Maj. Dellipiani’s death.

“Frank was a well-respected and loved member of this community who gave years of service to poli-tics and the Regiment,” he said.

“He was one of the AACR Ministers who had the unenviable task of helping steer Gibraltar through the very tough times of the frontier closure.”

“It is a testament to that group of politicians in both Government and Opposition at the time that they ensured that Gibraltar weathered that particular siege.”

“Frank had a deep sense of duty, loyalty and commitment to Gibraltar and his family.”

“His sense of civic responsibility is an example to us all at this time.”

“All our thoughts are with his family.”