Għal ħafna snin, Tony Preca ppubblika l-karikaturi fil-gazzetta tal-Partit Laburista “Il-Ħelsien” meta dan reġa beda joħroġ mis-sena 1988. Fl-1993, iddisinja l-format tal-ġurnal suċċessur tal-PL “Kullhadd”. Preca kien involut aktar qabel fir-rivista ta’ kull xahar “Il-Ħsieb” ippubblikat ukoll mill-Partit Laburista u, matul is-snin, offra l-appoġġ tiegħu lis”Sensiela Kotba Soċjalisti”.Huwa ddisinja l-qoxra għal bosta kotba miktuba minn Alfred Sant bħal “Fid-Dell tal-Katidral”. Huwa ddisinja wkoll ir-rivisti “Tomorrow” u “Society” editjati t-tnejn li huma minn Dr Sant.

Alfred Sant iltaqa ’l-ewwel darba ma’ Preca f’nofs is-snin sittin meta kienu pparteċipaw f’kompetizzjoni tar-radjudrammi flimkien ma’ Mario Azzopardi. F’dak il-perjodu kienu kultant jattendu għal serati ta’ films kontinentali organizzati minn Peter Serracino Inglott u Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici fit-teatru “San Remo” fil-Ħamrun li kien jitmexxa miż-Żagħżagħ Ħaddiema Insara.

Isem Tony Preca kien magħruf minn ħafna anqas nies għax dejjem ipprefera jibqa’ fil-ġenb. Alfred Sant innota  li “kien lest jagħti l-appoġġ tiegħu b’parir, kumment jew fuq kollox ħidma diretta u kostanti imma mhux jidher.”

“Ingħid għalija, l-aktar li niftkar mill-kollaborazzjoni ta’ bejnietna kien meta għall-kampanja elettorali tal-1987, konna ħdimna flimkien fuq “comics” politiċi bi storja “politika” li kienet torbot mal-kampanja elettorali tal-Labour. Jien kont nikteb il-kliem u l-“istorja”, hu kien jagħmel id-disinnji. Bħall-kollaborazzjonijiet kollha ta’ bejnietna, li taħdem miegħu kont inqisu privileġġ.

“Għaddew is-snin u għalkemm inqtajna xi ftit, bqajt ngħożż il-ħbiberija u l-interess tiegħu. Mil-lum ’il quddiem, b’xorti ħażina, se nibqa’ ngħożż biss minn dan kollu, it-tifkira tal-ħbiberija tiegħu u tax-xogħol li wettaq”, qal Alfred Sant.

 


In Memoriam Anthony Preca: An artist and genuine friend

For many years, Tony Preca published cartoons in the Labour Party newspaper “Il-Ħelsien” when it was republished in 1988. In 1993, he designed the format of its successor newspaper “Kullhadd”. Preca was earlier involved in the monthly magazine “Il-Ħsieb” also published by the Labour Party and, over the years, gave his support to the Labour Party’s publishing arm “Sensiela Kotba Soċjalisti”.

He designed the cover for numerous books authored by Alfred Sant such as “Fid-Dell tal-Katidral”. He also designed the magazines “Tomorrow” and “Society” both edited by Dr Sant.

Alfred Sant first met Preca in the mid-sixties when they participated in a radio drama competition together with Mario Azzopardi. During that period they both occasionally attended film screenings organized by Peter Serracino Inglott and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici at the San Remo theatre in Hamrun that was run by the Young Christian Workers.

Tony Preca’s name was known to far fewer people because he always preferred to stay on the sidelines. Alfred Sant noted that Tony Preca was “willing to give his support with advice, comment or above all direct and constant work although he always preferred to stay behind the scenes”

“For me, the most memorable thing about the collaboration between us was when for the 1987 election campaign, we worked together on political “comics” linked to the Labour election campaign. I used to write the words and the “story”, he would make the drawings. Like all collaborations between us, working with him was considered a privilege.”

“Years passed and although we cut back a bit, I continued to cherish his friendship and interest.  From now on, unfortunately, I will only cherish all this, the memory of his friendship and the work he did”, stated Alfred Sant.

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