Any Maltese lover of Carnival will instantly recognise the name Pampalun. One of the country’s biggest Carnival enthusiasts (and a proper Belti at heart), he’s been hailed as Malta’s King of Carnival. Still going strong at 87 years old, he recently took time out of his preparing schedule to speak to media company V Squared to tell his story.
Il-Pampalun has been a very active member of Maltese Carnivals for 66 years now, and his passion for the art is very obvious. Taking viewers around the workshop, he even ends up engaging himself in some more work, no doubt having to finalise some last-minute preparations for this year’s festivities.
“In Carnival, there’s no giving up,” he said. “And you have to keep strong.” Age has started to take its toll on the elderly enthusiast, who even went on to say that he ended up being indisposed for a long period last year due to illness. Eventually, that didn’t really stop il-Pampalun from working away at the workshop for the last seven months.
These last 66 years have been incredibly busy for the local legend, who has often participated with more than one Carnival company.
Over half a century later, il-Pampalun is still going strong, but he might soon end up calling it a day. “My wife is concerned,” he said, going to proudly show a photo of his lifelong companion when she was young.
He followed it up with a youthful photo of himself, telling viewers that he was known as Elvis Presley. So of course, he had to come up with an impromptu cover of It’s now or Never!
The four-minute documentary directed and edited by V Squared’s Nadya Cachia was uploaded yesterday, but has already gathered over 10,000 views and more than 160 shares.
Dozens of people commented with their own memory of il-Pampalun, the Carnival legend who had graced so many of their childhood experiences.
“An exemplary man who even teaches and helps his competitors,” one comment said, with another person going on to call him “the father of Malta’s Carnival.”