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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Goodbye Mario

I found two email messages in my inbox this morning informing me that my old friend Mario Ellul passed away last night. Death is most shocking when it touches the young. It is also shocking when it touches those we know and love.

I first met Mario in the early 1980s when we were both philosophy students at the New Lyceum. At that time I was in awe of Fog, the rock band he sang with. Later we became professional colleagues because we both worked at Xandir Malta. Mario became the youngest producer/director at TVM during the years I worked there. Together we created Mill-Garaxx, Blast, and other TV shows, which became yardsticks for many other youth culture TV programmes in the 1990s. This happened especially because Mario kept on working directly with the new generation of broadcasters and singers in the local entertainment scene.

My fondest memory of Mario was when we both performed in the musical Ulied in-Nanna Venut fl-Amerka. Mario played the parish priest, while I played the village idiot savant. Raymond Mahoney and Dominic Galea wrote a wonderful interlude (praising emigration to America!) as well as a makkjetta for us to sing together in that musical.

Our last collaboration was in 1996 when I was trying to bring the Internet to TV in Malta for the first time. Mario was very supportive, but by that time he was working for a private TV production company and the production eventually moved to a different company for financial reasons. I saw him again a couple of times after that, but it's been more than five years since then. The Maltese entertainment scene will surely miss him, and I will miss him too.

May you rest in peace, old friend! And may Grace and your family find all the solace and sympathy they need and deserve right now.

Blogger AldoandMike said...

The shocking news reached me a couple of days ago. I too have great memories of Mario as he was the producer of my first experience on TV - Arzella.

I have already lost one other dear friend from the 80's TV programme a few years ago - Alfie - who left us in the most tragic of circumstances.

A toast to Mario and his efforts at improving the local TV scene. He shall be remembered fondly by many. 

11:48 PM, August 08, 2004
Anonymous Jenn said...

Mario , i was one of the people who work musicals with you, the last day that i saw you was "hotbi ta notre dame" you're in haven please pray for us.. we pray for you forever!!! love you all 

6:46 PM, February 05, 2006

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