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Tributes paid in Parliament to Marie Montegriffo

Members of Parliament paid tribute to the late Marie Montegriffo, a former Government minister and the first woman mayor, who died in August.

Ms Montegriffo was an elected member of parliament from 1984 to 2007 with the GSLP.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo shared kind words for Ms Montegriffo, calling her a pioneer who was approachable and respected in equal measure.

He described how she cared for him and nurtured him as a young member of the party whilst the GSLP was in opposition.

He remembered how they sat next to each other for much of his early years in Parliament, from 2003 until her retirement from politics in 2007,

“She was an excellent parliamentarian,” Mr Picardo said.

In moments of tension, he said, she would break the ice.

He highlighted her achievements as a sportswoman, and how she was highly regarded and well loved.

He extended the condolences of Gibraltar and the GSLP to Marie’s partner, and called for a minute’s silence which Parliament held following the tributes.

Leader of Opposition Keith Azopardi extended his condolences, describing how Marie was always very kind to him.

He called her a role model to women in politics, adding that she had a long career and contributions.

“Marie was always an effective parliamentarian,” he said.

Leader of Together Gibraltar, Marlene Hassan Nahon, called her a trailblazer, who showed women they could be political activists.

“She was a kind, generous and supportive woman,” she said.

She highlighted how Ms Montegriffo was the first woman mayor in Gibraltar and engaged with political rivals with “elegance and respect”.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said it was always a pleasure to listen to Ms Montegriffo’s important contributions, adding that she was a fighter with a “wicked sense of humour”.

The Minister for Environment, Dr John Cortes, said he became good friends with Ms Montegriffo, who cared dearly for the health of Gibraltarians.

He said that, under her leadership, St Bernard’s Hospital was refurbished and vital equipment was brought to Gibraltar. He added that she spearheaded Calpe House from the side of the GHA when she was minister.

The Minister for Economic Development, Sir Joe Bossano, spoke of Ms Montegriffo as a trade unionist and shared memories of that time.

He described how he would aid him and was always there whenever needed, and cared for Gibraltar more than she cared for herself.

The Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, said Ms Montegriffo was a “guiding light” when she joined politics.

She added she has “incredibly fond memories” of Marie, underscoring the work she did for women in parliament.

“Marie was not only kind, but protective of me,” she said.

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