MaltaMedia Click Here!
Toni Sant's Blog
  A blog from the MaltaMedia Online Network | LATEST BLOG | NEWS | WHAT'S ON | FEATURES | WEATHER | CONTACT TONI SANT

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tomorrow's People

This morning I was speaking with my parents on the phone and my father told me that Salvino Tellus passed away on Friday, suddenly and peacefully, aged 87. They found out about his funeral, which took place early on Saturday morning at St Gregory's Parish Church in Sliema, after it happened and regretted not going.

Any Maltese person over 40 who had access to the Rediffusion cable radio service in its heyday remembers Mr Tellus as Iz-Ziju Salv, host and producer of the daily (and eventually weekly) children's programme along with the late Nannu Peppu (Guzi Mallia) and iz-Ziju Frans (Frans Said). This team shaped the psyche of Maltese children significantly in the post-war years, all the way into the development of what we would now call the early post-colonial years: a time before colour television and deregulation in broadcasting.

Younger generations who follow the Malta football leagues may know his grandsons Justin and Shaun Tellus. My family knows most of his family because iz-Ziju Salv was also our neighbour at Depiro Street in Sliema when I was a child. His children often visited the Dhow Bar (my father's establishment between 1954 and 1979) some more frequently than others. Johnny Tellus, (also known as J.J. or Krazy JJ) was like an older brother to me and nurtured my interest in what he called show business. Sadly, Johnny passed away a few years ago and that must have broken his father's heart immensely since this was the second son he had lost during his lifetime.

Luckily I managed to spend some quality time with Iz-Ziju Salv during my years as a radio producer in Malta and came to know the man for the kind, warm-hearted person that he was. In 1989, when the cable radio service was officially discontinued by Xandir Malta, I produced a weekly six-month series about the history of cable broadcasting in Malta; this was also at the dawn of a cable television service in the Maltese Islands. Among the first episodes in my series I prepared two about children's programmes and Iz-Ziju Salv was among my guests, along with his two main collaborators.

I clearly recall going to his house (he had moved from Depiro Street by then) where he very generously helped me do my research in preparation for the two episodes I had designated for his work in the Maltese broadcasting scene between the late 1940s and the 1970s. He even gave me unrestricted access to a rare recording he had from his broadcasts from the 1960s. Thankfully, the patchy archives at Xandir Malta held a small number of good quality recordings from the children's programme too.

His work in establishing awareness for the needs of handicapped persons in Malta was also something that endeared him to many. In this regard he gently urged me to delve into the issue even further than I would have in my radio series if it wasn't for him.

To say that Iz-Ziju Salv was a national treasure would not be an overstatement about a very understated man. Anyone who ever met him in any meaningful way can surely testify to that. May he rest in peace.

Blogger Immanuel Mifsud said...

Qalulek li ltaqgħu miegħi u ma' Jana ħdejn il-Balluta?? 

3:20 PM, October 19, 2005
Blogger nurse pica said...

death is never something easy to deal with.

as a student nurse i bizarrely try to see the bright side and sometimes the funny side of death, though i have come to the grave realisation that...well...there isnt one. 

10:44 PM, October 27, 2005

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Post a Comment

<< Home