President Paul Caruana
President Paul Caruana

Paolo Caruana as he was known, was born on the 16th of August 1867. He was the son of Guiseppe and Gabriella née Ellul. Other names given to him where Paolo, Vincenzo and Emanuel. He was baptized by Father Frangisku Vella who was the parish priest during that time.  His parents which had the nickname of “L-Ave Maria” were rich due to their business with livestock.  Guiseppe and Gabriella née Ellul were also benefactors of the Mqabba parish church and in 1993 they paid for the work of marble done to the altar of visitation of the same church.

Paolo Caruana was into politics and often had arguments with  Dun Alfons who was a Franciscan friar who converted into a priest and later on became a councillor for the government after the general election.  Paolo led a fierce campaign against the infrastructural project proposed by Dun Alfons involving “Il-Mentna”. Paolo stated that this project was egoistically done so that Dun Alfons and few other could go in the field and smoke at that time known as the “Pipa”. Good to know that where the work was taken place there was the stone statue of the Immaculate Conception as well as a stone cross marking the founding of the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception in 1772 and the aggregation with its Italian counterpart of San Lorenzo in Damaso in Rome, three years later in 1775.

The call to change this part of Mqabba into a square was an offensive move not only to the residents of Mqabba but also to the people living in Qrendi as Dun Alfons changed Il-Mentna from a place of devotion to a square, but the power Dun Alfons had resulted in these changes to be done and also the place being named ‘Piazza Gubleo Diamante’. The tradition says that Paolo Caruana was the president for both the band club of San Giuseppe and the band club of St. Mary. After he resigned from his Presidency of the st. Mary band club he opened the band club of Circolo Pio X, so that the society begin not only on a good financial start but also on a positive start regarding who will take control as Caruana was well known not only in Malta but also in Tunisia.