|Death: ||Sep. 9, 1890|
A businessman by profession, who seems to have made most of his fortune in the gambling rooms of Monte Carlo and elsewhere in Europe, it is said that Vincenzo Bugeja practically bankrupted the bank in Baden. Professional gamblers called him "The Maltese Matador".
Vincenzo Bugeja was, however, very charitable with his money. He donated large sums to charity to help the sick and the poor - a sum of 20,000 sterling was left for this purpose, which needless to say, was a very considerable sum in those days. Particularly charitable towards young orphan girls, for this purpose he built and ensured continued support to the Conservatorio Vincenzo Bugeja in Ħamrun so that these girls could be properly looked after by the Sisters of Charity. This was officially opened in May 1880, and is functional to this day.
He also established the Bugeja Fund for Migrants. He left 500,000 French franks in his will to assist those wishing to emigrate. Conditions for applicants were that they must be Maltese nationals, male between 17 and 26 years of age, unmarried, healthy, of good conduct, able to speak English, Italian or French, with a basic knowledge of arithmetic and calligraphy, and belonging to the middle class.
As in the case of Pappaffy Fund, these were very restrictive conditions, with the curious proviso of restriction to middle class individuals. In spite of this, between 1909 and 1911, there were already 69 applicants who received help from this fund, including a number who went to Winnipe, Canada, which was proving attractive to migrants at the time.
It is said that when the Marquis together with his friend Sir Ferdinand Inglott told Pope Pius IX about his intention of institution a conservatoire for the female orphans of destitute nobles, the Pope replied that "he who for justice's sake seeks to educate the masses is like a star that shines forever". In recognition of his generous donations, he was made a Marquis by Pope Leo XIII, and a Knight of the Garter by Prince Edward of Wales during his stop in Malta on his way back from India.
During the latter half of the nineteenth century he was often in the forefront of local politics. As member of the Council of Government he was often responsible for a number of amendments in the criminal and commercial laws which brought relieving reforms to the various needy sectors of the Maltese society.
Vincenzo Bugeja was married to Anna Darbois but died childless on September 9, 1890. Along with her husband, Marquess Anne devoted all her energy and money to help those less fortunate then them.
A monument in his memory was erected at the Maglio Gardens in Floriana while the Vincenzo Bugeja Secondary School for Boys in Santa Venera was named after him.
Conservatorio Vincenzo Bugeja
Northern Harbour, Malta
Plot: Conservatory Chapel.
Created by: Eman Bonnici
Record added: Aug 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95281638
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"He Who For Justice's Sake Seeks To Educate The Masses Is Like A Star That Shines Forever". -- Pope Pius IX To Marquise Vincenzo Bugeja.|
Added: Aug. 13, 2012