I knew Ivan Fenech for many years, never very well. I knew him mostly through what I heard others say of him. That he was smart, funny, kind, patient, civil and principled. And I knew him as everyone else did, one of the most recognisable pens on Maltese newspapers.

I got to know him more since I started this blog. Ivan Fenech never gave unsolicited advice but whenever I asked, he was there, ready with his time and his experience as if they cost him nothing.

As I read through the posts of his colleagues paying tribute to him, I find that is a common thread. Ivan Fenech was a teacher for those who want to be journalists.

His example will outlive him. But Times of Malta, his newspaper, is much poorer for his loss.

My deep sympathy for his family whose loss is greater than all.