George Debono, an environmental activist, founding member of Bicycle Advocacy Group, musician and esteemed medical doctor, has passed away. He was 82-years-old.
Prominent environmentalists, such as former Alternattiva Demokratika leader Arnold Cassola, have expressed their condolences on the passing of the beloved cyclist, with some lamenting the loss of a “real role model”.
“A real and sincere environmentalist.
Spent his life raising awareness on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
He has just left us.
May you be free to cycle freely through the celestial pastures, George,” Dr Cassola said in a Facebook post today.
Dr Debono was known for pushing for more public safety and being an advocate of a healthy lifestyle – he himself still remained an avid cyclist.
“As one of the founding members of BAG George inspired many people to take up cycling. He was an energetic activist, advocating about the health benefits of cycling with the authorities and being one of the main contributors to cycling policy in Malta,” said Michelle Attard Tonna, Bicycle Advocacy Group President.
Many others expressed their sadness over the loss of the pioneering environmentalist
“Above all, George was a gentleman,” one person said. “Never a harsh word, never a duplicitous action, and never a malicious thought. He respected even those who ridiculed his views, choosing the path of perseverance over persecution, and integrity over self-interest. Many were the times when he would cycle to a venue, or call, simply to check whether everything was OK, and whether people needed help. More often than not he did this out of a sense of moral duty, rather than come contractual obligation. In fact, most of the time he was not even involved in the events – he offered because he cared. George was a real role model, and I firmly believe we would be in a far better place if people (myself included) had an ounce of his moral fibre.”
“What a wonderful tribute that so encapsulates the man,” said another, “a man of so many parts, a doctor by profession. I’m so sorry to hear this very sad news. I’m going to miss a familiar face of a man I invariably bumped into at so many concerts that he attended with his dear Marie. My condolences Marie, and dear Kenneth ZT too who has lost his uncle.”
“May you join the angels in an eternal song of the beauty you so much loved,” said a third. “My sincere condolences to Marie and family.”