David M. Schembri

David Schembri was born on the 15th September 1952 in Qrendi Malta, of an English Mother and Maltese Father. At the age of nine enrolled within the British Army of the Rhine British School in Dortmund. A two term at the BAOR Boarding school in Hamm was also part of his overseas studies.

On return to his island home, David continued his studies both at the Qrendi primary, as well as the St Joseph Secondary Technical School in Paola, Malta, where he completed his studies. After a four-year period working in Industrial water treatment and chemical treatment, he was granted a seven-year commission in the rank of Lieutenant, within the Paramilitary Malta Pioneer Corps, of the Armed Forces of Malta. As a young commissioned officer, he was made responsible for a company of four hundred and fifty Non-Commissioned Officers and men, deployed on numerous civil works and afforestation projects at the northern part of the Island.

On the termination of his military commission, David was absorbed within the Government of Malta Public Works Ministry, for eventual deployment on the Malta Freeport and Marsaxlokk Breakwater Construction. There and through Anglo Maltese financial grants, he went on to graduate as an Underwater Commercial Construction Diver, and a Hyperbaric Compression Treatment supervisor, as certified by Messers Prodive Ltd, one of Britain’s specialist in Underwater Operations and Off Shore diving, following an intensive theoretical and practical on-site training course.

The “then” freshly constructed Docks and tourist terminal within the Malta Grand Harbour in Valletta required an underwater draught of over thirteen meters in order to ensure the safe berthing and passage of cruise ships and heavy tankers, meant its fairway needed immediate dredging. A dispute between the Malta and British governments over such works engulfed over the desired dredging, as it was known that a WW II British Bombed laden ship, the SS Talabot, was recorded as resting on the fairway seabed that needed salvaging and clearance.

When no agreement was reached in this regard, the Malta Prime Minister commissioned an underwater side scan profile and a later video survey of all obstructions and live ordinance located in the harbour. The responsibility fell to the young Maltese, but now fully qualified diver and his diving team, who rose to the occasion and carried out the tasks required from them. A British Government financial package later meant an added responsibility to the Maltese Commercial and Military Diving team led by David Schembri, in the salvage and disposal of the ship’s hull, several live torpedoes, tons of live ordinance, sunken guns, as well as other WW II artefacts and obstructions.

David went on to personally and voluntary recover both a WWI Fairley as well as a WWII Hawker Hurricane aircraft that were salvaged from 42meters off the Qrendi’s coast. The latter now forms part of the Malta Aviation Museum exhibits after years of restoration works. In recognition of his contributions, David Michael Schembri was decorated during Republic Day 2018 commemorations with the “Medalja ghall Qadi tar-Repubblika” by Her Excellency Madame President Marie Louise Collerio, for “His service to the Republic”.

As from March 2013, David Michael Schembri was elected as Qrendi’s fourth Mayor, serving a six-year term of office, throughout which his constituency has benefitted from several European Union financial grants through different Measures. The Qrendi village went on also to receive the European Union “Destination of Excellence” title in March 2018 in recognition of its community contribution to Culture. On 25th May 2019 he has been re-elected for another term.