Somewhere in February 1986 Lino Spiteri introduced me to Tumas
and George Fenech. He asked me to act as their financial consultant in the deal they were negotiating to buy the Company which owned the real estate where the Malta Hilton then stood in St Julians and to negotiate a managment agreement with Hilton to continue their operations in Malta. Hilton had already decided to pull out and without their agreement to stay, banks would not agree to finance the acquisiton. Representing the seller was the late Dr Mario Felice.
Stay Hilton did, the deal was sealed and in time the old Malta Hilton gave way to the Portomaso project which remains the topmost and best real estate and hotel project in Malta.
Tumas Fenech passed away in February 1999 without having the opportunity to see the opening of Portomaso named after him which was opened a year later. Mario Felice went to the Lord at the dawn of 2011. Lino Spiteri left us last 14th November which also happened to be the 34th anniversy of my father's death. And today George left us too. Can you blame me feeling alone?
George was just 3 weeks younger than me. For 11 years between 1986 and 1996 we were body and soul to each other, so different yet so complimentary. George had the vision and the taste for what makes good business I had the discipline to distinguish between what is financially sound and what is just visuals without economic substance.
Together we produced a lot. But George was walking the talk with his family's fortunes whereas I was just advising. Without George's courage and vision Malta would not have made the quality leap in luxury accommodation and high hotel standards that have benefitted so many so much.
George, you will not be around to execute the projects you were so keen to invest in and execute. But you have done more than what normal people do in ten life times. Till we meet again my friend I cherish the memories.
So long George!! May you rest in peace and continue guarding over your family from high above.