Date: 16 April 2013 at 12:29
Housing Minister, Charles Bruzon, has died following a long battle with illness. He was 74.
Mr Bruzon had been in Parliament since 2003 with the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party, and was elected as Minister at the December 2011 elections.
The Government has expressed great sadness at his passing.
Charles Bruzon was born on 10 June 1938, the son of a City Councillor and former member of the Legislative Assembly. His first vocation was a religious one - studying for six years in the Ushaw Theological College (a Catholic seminary) in Durham. He was ordained priest in 1962.
Father Bruzon became curate to Bishop John Healy for seven years before leaving clerical life, and became an accountant for the Castle Marketing Group, where he worked for three years. However, newly married and pressured by the lack of housing in Gibraltar, he moved to London, where his wife Marilou gave birth to their two sons, Louis and Phillip. The family returned to Gibraltar in 1987.
Mr Bruzon actively entered political life in 1996 when he joined the Voice of Gibraltar Group and he formed part of a sizeable group of Gibraltarians who visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg to lobby on behalf of the people of Gibraltar.
In 2001 Mr Bruzon joined the GSLP. He said at the time that he'd examined his conscience and decided it was the right thing to do. In the 2003 General elections he was elected with the third highest number of votes for the opposition.
Mr Bruzon always said his political calling was to represent the grievances of the less well off, particularly senior citizens who could not make ends meet and who did not know where to go to seek assistance. He made it a point of visiting elderly people with problems at their homes to get to know them and their problems better.
He became Shadow Minister for Housing, a role he retained for two terms until 2011 - with the victory of the GSLP/Liberal alliance in the general elections, he was appointed Minister for Housing and the Elderly.
Since 2003, Mr Bruzon had also been a member of the Christian Socialist Movement, and had established a Gibraltar branch.
Charles Bruzon has been described by his friends and party colleagues as an easy going person, who wasn’t difficult to love; a gentle person who preferred to avoid controversy but would passionately stand his ground to defend his ideas.
He will now never see the fruits of the policies he helped form as a Parliamentarian and Government Minister. However, he would no doubt find comfort from the hope that others will.