Cassar Pullicino was council member of the Għaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti (later the Akkademja tal-Malti), (1942-45), and secretary of the Xirka għat-Tixrid ta’ l-Ilsien Malti (1942-46). He was also member of the Paola Literary and Debating Society (1943-45); editor, Melita Historica (1952-61); editor, Maltese Folklore Review(1962-73); and honorary president, Għaqda tal-Folkor since its foundation in 1964.
In 1970 Cassar Pullicino received the silver medal for merit from the Confederation of Civic Councils. Five years later he was awarded the Malta Government Prize for the best book published in 1974, and in 1978 he received the Literary Prize for his research on Guzè Muscat Azzopardi. In 1979 he was awarded the Malta Literary Award, and the Premio Città di Valletta in 1989. In 1993 he was presented with the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika (MQR) while the UM conferred upon him an honorary M. Phil. degree.
Cassar Pullicino was awarded a British Council scholarship in librarianship to Leeds and London (1950-51), and he was the first Maltese to be elected associate of the Library Association, London (ALA) in 1952. Between 1953 and 1958 he was the UM’s librarian on loan from the government. From 1959 to 1965 he was posted with the department of information, often serving as director. He was instrumental in the publication of significant works, like Robert Mifsud Bonnici’s Dizzjunarju Bijo-Bibijografiku Nazzjonali (1960-65) and Erin Serracino lnglott’s translation of the first part of Dante’s La Divina Commedia, namely L-Infern (1964). He also served as assistant director of information (1959-65), assistant secretary, ministry of trade and industry (1965-68), senior assistant secretary, ministry of health (1969-70), director of industry (1971-79), and librarian, faculty of theology (later Foundation for Theological Studies) (since 1980).
Cassar Pullicino’s studies on Maltese, history, and folklore are interrelated and his research in these spheres is the hallmark of his literary career. From 1965 to 1978 he lectured to university students reading for a BA in Maltese literature and folklore and social history.Cassar Pullicino’s literary output includes a collection of essays and short stories, Kelma Wahda Biss (1965), book reviews, papers on historical and linguistic matters as in ‘Unpublished Maltese Dictionaries’ (1947) and ‘Linguistic Analysis of Fr Magri’s Folktales’ (1961), and various studies that encouraged further research in the development of Maltese writing such as ‘Id-Djalogi ta’ De Soldanis’ (1947), Kitba u Kittieba tal-Malti (3 volumes, 1962-64), and Aquilina u l-Malti (1974).
Cassar Pullicino’s main contribution to the academic world is in the sphere of folklore. He collected from living persons texts of baby language, children’s rhymes, lullabies, and material that reflected the popular mentality (such as nicknames, hawkers’ cries, riddles, words of exorcism, and traditional praying forms). All this material was compared with similar material from the different areas of the Mediterranean. All this was published in Studies in Maltese Folklore (1976) and Studi di Tradizioni Popolari Maltesi (1989).
Cassar Pullicino’s scientific studies on folklore were complemented by his contacts with foreign experts. He attended various international congresses in which he presented several papers. He was chosen member of London’s Folklore Society in 1946 and of the Accademia di Studi Superiori Phoenix (Ban) and was a founder member of this International society for Folk Narrative Research (1962). He published several papers in specialized periodicals like Folklore (London), Lares: Organo della Societa di Etnografia Italiana (Rome), Folklore (Naples), Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (London), Orbis: Bulletin International etc Documentation Linguistique (Louvain), International Folklore Review (London), Bulletin de Litterature Orale Arabo-Berbere (Paris), and Acta Ethnographica (Budapest). He also published several articles and studies of a historical and biographical nature.
Cassar Pullicino’s other publications include An Introduction to Maltese Folklore (1947), Haga Mohgaga (1957-1959), Il-Folklor Malti(1960), Il-Bennejja tal-Folklore Malti (1964), Stejjer ta’ Niesna (1962), Femmes de Malte dans les chants Traditionnels (with Micheline Galley,1981), Skungrar u Orazzjoni fil-Poezija Popolari Religjuza f’Malta (1981), Malta fis-Seklu Tmintax: Xi Djarji Maltin ta’ l-Imgħoddi(1981), Dun Karm: Tagħrif Gdid u Noti Kritici (1985), Poeziji ta’ Gorg Zammit: Noti Kritici (1985), L-Imgħoddi tal-Gens Tagħna: Bejn Storja a Folklor (1990),Guzè Muscat Azzopardi (1991), Hzuz Manwel Magri: Ktieb tan-Notamenti dwar il-Folklor Malti (1991), and Kemuzell (The Maltese Practical Joker) - edited with an introduction (1995).
In 1954 he married Celine Bonett and they have one daughter and two sons.
Schiavone, M. J. (1997). Maltese biographies of the twentieth century. Pieta: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza.
Xuereb joined the academic staff of the RUM in 1965 and was appointed the university librarian in 1967.
Xuereb was founder-member and for several times served as chairman of the (Għaqda Bibljotekarji (formerly Malta Library Association). He represented the Malta Library Association at the foundation of the Commonwealth Library Association (COMLA) in 1972, he was president COMLA (1979-83), member of the Malta Book Fair Committee (1979) and chairman (1989-96), chairman of the Printed Matter Appeals Board (since 1988), drama critic for The Sunday Times (since 1963), member of the Manoel Theatre Management Committee (since 1992), and president of the Friends of the Manoel Theatre (since 1993).
Apart from the publication of several books, Xuereb contributed ‘Malta’ articles to the Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science (1976) and to the World Encyclopaedia of Library and Information Science (1993). He also edited Information for Development (1984); Bibliography ‘84 (1985); The Impact of automation on the functions, administration and staffing of libraries (1988); Libraries and research in Malta (1989)
He has also been editor of the journal The Manoel since 1996, and edited Treasures of Malta since 2005.
Xuereb is married to Cecilia née Gouder.Publications:
Mangion was assistant Librarian of the UM and in 1998 was appointed Librarian. He is author of several historical essays, especially those connected with his native town, iz-Zurrieq.
1973: ‘Girolamo Cassar. architetto maltese del cinquecento’, MH v. VII
1978: ‘Preti’s Zurrieq Masterpiece - analysis and appreciation’, T (2.ix); ‘The parish Church at
St Catherine’, Zurrieq. H 12.
1979: ‘Mattia Preti. The Man and His Art’, H 18; ‘Kwadru-Kapulavur ta’ Preti fiz-Zurrieq’,Torca (2.ix);
St Paul’s Voyage to Malta in Acts 27-28’, H 29.
1980: ‘Caravaggio in Malta’, H 36; ‘Melchiorre Gafa (1638-1667)’. H 30;
‘Dun Guzepp Farrugia (1863-1929)’, H 32; ‘Paolino Vassallo (1856- 1923)’, H 33; ‘Fr Diegu Bonanno (1831-1902)’, H 36.
1981: ‘ll-Konsagrazzjoni tal-Knisja taz-Zurrieq’. Programm Festa ta’ Santa Katarina, Zurrieq.
1983: ‘Nigret Grajjiet Storici’, ll-Munqar 24; ‘Maltese Towns and Villages - Wied iz-Zurrieq’, H 49; ‘Santa Katarina ta Mitt Sena ilu’. Programm Festa ta Santa Katarina, Zurrieq.
1986: ‘Paintings for the Parish Church of Zurrieq c.1756’, Francesco Zahra 1770-1773; ‘Iz-Zurrieq isir Parrocca’, Programm Festa Zurrieq Santa Katarina; ‘Linef fil-Knisja taz-Zurrieq jagħlqu ħamsin sena 1936-1986’, Programm Festi Zurrieq Santa Katarina.
1989: ‘Maltese Parish Churches: The Metropolitan Cathedral’, H 67; ‘Bishop Paolo Alpheran de Busan - Portrait Gallery’, H 67; ‘Nazju Falzon -Portrait Gallery’, H 67; Santa Katarina: Il-Festa u s-Socjeta muzikali tagħha fiz-Zurrieq (with K. Zerafa).
1990: ‘Il-Kappillan Dun Carmine Delicata, 1738-1765’, Programm tal-festi soIenni f’gieh Santa Katarina, Zurrieq; ‘Maltese Parish Churches: The Metropolitan Cathedral’, H 68; ‘Bishop Alpheran de Bussan’,
H 73; ‘Biagio de Opertis’ H 76; ‘Wayside Chapels, St Roque Chapel, Balzan’, H 77.
1998: ‘Preti’s Paintings for the Parish Church in Zurrieq’. (with ST. Spike), Treasures of Malta, v. 1/1 (Christmas).
1999: ‘Preti’s Paintings for the Parish Church in Zurrieq’, Treasures of Malta, 5/2; ‘Wayside Chapels: 0.L. of Providence, Siggiewi’, H 82.