ACTING PRESIDENT OF MALTA (1987 - 1989)
Mr. Paul Xuereb was born in Rabat, Malta, on the 21st July, 1923, the son of Adeodate Xuereb, a teacher and playwright, and Maria Dolores Busuttil.
Mr Xuereb first attended elementary school at Mdina, and later had secondary education at St Aloysiuis College Birkirkara, and at the Flores College, Valletta. Between 1946 and 1949, he studied at City Literary Institute and at Regent Street Polytechnic in London, both extra-mural institutes of the University if London, were he read journalism, Political Economy and Political Science.
During the Second World War, between 1942 and 1944 Mr Xuereb served as an anti-aircraft gunner, with the Royal Malta Artillery, and between 1944 and 1946 he worked as a clerk at the engineering Department of the then British Imperial Dockyard. During this period Mr Xuereb distinguished himself and was awarded the Africa Star, the War Medal and the Victory Medal.
In 1946, he emigrated to England and took up work there as Supervisor at the Accounts Department of Peter Robinson Ltd, and later as a clerk with the Department of Inland Revenue. On completion of Further studies in London, in 1950, Mr Xuereb returned to Malta and took up the post of Managing Director of Fardex Trade Development Company (Malta) Ltd. In 1958 he joined the Department of Education as a visiting Master at the Lyceum.
In 1959 Mr Xuereb gave up teaching to join the Freedom Press as Literary Editor and Assistant Editor of the Malta Labour Party organ "The Voice of Malta" until 1964 when he was appointed General Manager of the Party publishing house. Paul Xuereb entered into politics in 1962, and contested the general election of that year when he was elected as Member of Parliament for the first time. He kept his Parliamentary seat contesting the elections in 1966, 1971, 1976 and 1981.
In August, 1971 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister, and in October 1971 was given the Portfolio as Minister of Trade, Industry , Agriculture and Tourism. Mr Xuereb resigned from his seat at the House of Representatives on the 27th April 1983, thus vacating a seat into which was co-opted Dr. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, the then Designate Leader of the Malta Labour Party.
On 15th July, 1986 Mr Xuereb was Chairman of the Mid-Med Bank to take up the Chairmanship of the Investment Finance Bank Limited, and of the Trade Licensing Board. He left this latter position when he was nominated Chairman of the Malta Development Corporation. At one time, Mr Xuereb was Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Investment Bank, Chairman of Medigrain Limited, and of Medival Venture Capital and Leasing Company Ltd, as well as Member of the Board of Directors of Air Malta Company Ltd and of Mdina Weave, and also member of the Disciplinary Board of the Malta Labour Party.
Throughout the past 29 years, Paul Xuereb was appointed by the Prime Minister as the Acting President of the Republic, following the end of term of Office of the third President of the Republic. Mr Xuereb took the Oath of Office on February 16th, 1987.
Mr Xuereb married Edwige Muscat, and had a daughter Maria.
Paul Xuereb was a well-established novelist, and short story writer.
Novels (Maltese) -
Il-Kaz tat-tfajla mahruqa (1966);
Is-Serqa ta' Nicolas Cotoner (1967);
Qtil f'San Pawl il-Bahar (1968);
Meta... (1986), which won him the Malta Literary Award for that year.
Historical Guide Books -
The Roman Villa in History;
Catacombs of Malta;
Gozo, a visit.
Other publications include a number of short stories in English and Maltese amongst which "L-Ewropa tal-Llum". "Zmienna", and "Fi Zmienna".
Publications in preparation - another collection of short stories; two books for children; the first part of an autobiography.
His pastimes were reading and walking. He died on September 6, 1994.