Ivan Magri-Overend MOM
On Wednesday 15th November 2006 Ivan Magri-Overend passed away peacefully at the age of 91 three days short of celebrating the A.M.C.O.E. annual reunion Dinner and Dance, which he always attended and for many years has organised.
Born in Cairo, Egypt, on 31st May 1916. His parents were Durante MAGRI-OVEREND and Melita Evelina FRENDO de MANNARINO. His maternal grandfather was Salvatore FRENDO de MANNARINO, author and educator, who was related, three generations down, to Don Gaetano MANNARINO of the Clerics’Revolt fame of 1775. His maternal great grandfather was Giuseppe WOLGESCHAFFEN MALFIGIANI, the first Impressario of the Royal Opera House in Malta.
Ivan was educated at the Khoronfish College, which was run by the De La Salle Brothers in Shoubra, Cairo. He was vice-President of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, at the school. He obtained his Bachelor of Philosophy degree and then studied Law at the “Ecole Francaise de Droit”, Cairo, but discontinued his studies in 1936 after the Egyptian Legislature passed “The Abolition of the Capitulations Bill”.
In 1938 he married Erminia, daughter of Giuseppe BONELLO and Clorinda Maria CHELES, and had two sons, Herbert and Randolph. Erminia died in November 1944, at the early age of 29 years. Randolph is married, with no children, and currently lives in Australia. Herbert is married to Veronica and has a son Mark and two daughters, Michelle and Tania.
In 1945, Ivan married Maria CUCCOVILLO, daughter of Grazia TODISCO, and they had two daughters, Daphne – who is single – and Clelia. Maria died suddenly in November 1982. Clelia is married with two daughters, Francesca and Kay.
Ivan’s energies were spent in journalism and social work. He was the Secretary and Managing Editor of “RAYON” – Catholic magazine in Egypt, a member of the board of “Il-Qawmien Malti”, which was founded by Anthony Said of Port Said, the Editor-in-Chief of “Il-Habbar Malta Fl-Igittu” – a monthly review of the Maltese Community of Cairo and an Honorary General Secretary of the Community Council, as well as the Maltese Benevolent Society of Cairo.
In 1953, Ivan left Egypt and took his family to England and joined the firm of Sassoon and brothers, in London. Following the Suez crisis in 1956, he was one of the founders of the Association of Maltese Communities of Egypt.
In 1965, he conceived the idea of commemorating the Fourth Centenary of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. The “Maltese Migrants Convention” followed a suggestion by him, and was held in Malta in 1969. He was its co-Chairman with Monsignor Philip Calleja, of Dar l’Emigrant.
He has been President of the “Association of Maltese Communities of Egypt” for many years, and still is and, until an accident outside his home, he was the Editor of its Newsletter. For several years, he was also Hon Gen Treasurer of the George Cross Association and brought its finances up to a creditable balance. He assisted in the financial aspects of The Bell outside the Upper Barracca in Valletta, Malta.
He is the author of several papers concerning mainly the migration of Maltese to other Mediterranean countries, and his works have been used by others in their research. In fact, he lectured students at the University of Malta on the subject one year, and presented two papers at the Convention of Leaders of Associations of Maltese Abroad and of Maltese Origin, in Malta, in 2000.
Ivan handed his large collection of books on Malta, and other subjects, to his son, Herbert, who now edits the AMCoE’s Newsletter, and who followed him as the Association’s President in June 2006.
He was awarded the Order of Merit at the level of Member in December 1999, and was invested by the President of Malta in January 2000, at The Palace in Valletta, Malta.
He has five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandsons and one great-great-granddaughter.
Ivan died on 15th November 2006, at Wexham Park Hospital, near Slough. The funeral was held on Friday 1st December.
A Mass was celebrated at the church of Our Lady of Peace in Burnham, followed by cremation at Slough Cemetery. The Parish Priest Fr Michael Turner, celebrated with Fr Alfred Xuereb as concelebrant. The family requested that no flowers be sent, but should anyone wish, they can donate to either Cancer Research UK or to the British Heart Foundation.
Following the Service at Slough Cemetery, everyone was welcomed to Tania (grandaughter) and Roger's residence for refreshments and reminiscing.
Herbert his son, also requested that black not be worn. His thoughts, instead, were that his father's actions throughout his adult life of 90 years be celebrated - so bright clothes, bright ties, and a bright send-off was the order of the day.
1916 - 2006