Michael Testa Obituary, Death – Michael Testa, a journalist for the Times of Malta who covered some of the most significant events to take place in Malta in the 20th century, passed away recently. He was 75. After a brief battle with illness, the man who was fondly referred to by his coworkers as “It-Testa” passed away at Mater Dei Hospital early on Thursday morning. The Egyptair hijacking, political unrest in the 1980s, and the murder of Nardu Debono were some of the most significant events that Testa covered during the latter part of the 20th century in Malta.
Infamous for his popularity with both friends and foes, Testa was warned by an anonymous source on October 15, 1979, not to return to the Times of Malta building because “something was cooking.” Shortly after that, on the day that would later be known as “Black Monday,” the structure was set on fire and completely destroyed. Testa began his career at the publication as a member of the il-Berqa team before moving on to The Times after a period of time spent in the United Kingdom. After more than four decades of service at the Times of Malta offices in Valletta, he took early retirement in the year 2008. Before he retired in the night editorial department, he worked as a journalist and also held the position of deputy news editor.
In the last article he wrote for the Times of Malta, he said, “I need no paper weight to retain memories of my career.” They do not leave the interior.” On Wednesday evening, shortly before he passed away, he wrote a message for his daughter on a mug that she had given to him and that he had left by his bedside. The message was shakily written with a marker. “I know” was written in the cryptic message. When times were better for Testa, he would spend the summers camping on Comino; however, in more recent years, he has spent the summers on his boat in the vicinity of the island.
Many people have taken the time to pay their respects to Testa. Michael was a walking encyclopedia who was instrumental in the careers of journalists from two different generations. According to Herman Grech, the editor-in-chief of Times of Malta, “He taught many of us the importance of showing respect towards our subjects while emphasizing the need to grow a thick skin in order to survive in the industry.” Former editor Ray Bugeja said this about Mike: “Despite the fact that life did not treat him fairly, Mike never gave up and he certainly did not declare war on the rest of the world.” In his professional life, he was always willing to lend a hand to his coworkers, and his easygoing personality enabled him to interact with a diverse range of individuals, even when the stakes were extremely high.