Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 8(1981)2(174)

Obituary Notice: Sir Hannibal P. Scicluna
M.B.E., Hon. M.A. (Oxon.), Hon. LL.D. (Malta), F.S.A., L.P.

On Monday 21st December, 1981, Malta lost one of its foremost historians, Sir Hannibal P Scicluna, who died at the venerable age of 101 years and ten months, at St. Catherine's Home, Attard; until a few days before, he had been residing at Sliema. His most recent participation in the activities of the Historical Society was in 1979, when he inaugurated the Exhibition on Local Confraternities, at the Catholic Institute, and in April 1980, when he was guest of honour at the Annual Dinner of the Society, on the 3Oth Anniversary of its foundation.

He was born at Floriana, Malta, on the 15th February 1880. He married Amalia Lanfranco in 1903, and had three sons and three daughters; his wife died in 1947. In 1959 he married Margaret Helen Jarvia, who died in 1977.

Sir Hannibal was educated at St. Ignatius' College, the Gozo Seminary, and the Royal University of Malta, and entered the civil service in 1902. He held many important posts, among which secretary and registrar of the University, solicitor in the Crown Advocate s Office and Ministry of Justice, secretary to the Legal Secretary of the Malta Imperial Government, representative of the Malta Government Emigration Committee in France, member of the Antiquities Committee, Librarian of the Royal Malta University Library, Malta Representative of the International Committee of Historical Sciences, Director of Museums, besides other important posts during World War II.

The better known of his publications, include the following: The Archives of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1912); The Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1929); The Book of Deliberations of the Venerable Tongue of England (1949); The Church of St. John in Valletta (1955); The Order of St. John of Jerusalem and P aces of Interest in Malta and Gozo (1969); Actes et Documents pour servir à 1'Histoire de 1'Occupation Française de Malte (1923, 1979), etc.

Sir Hannibal Scicluna received numerous decorations: Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Legion of Honour, Order of Malta, Order of St. Michael and St. George, Orders of St. John of Jerusalem and of Malta, Order of the [p.175] House of Lippe, Constantine Order of St. George, Danish Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Hospitaller and Military Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, Order of St. Constantine, Order of St. Andrew of Gaffa, Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, etc., also the King's Jubilee Medal, Coronation Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Volunteer Medical Service Medal. He donated all his decorations and medals to the Malta National Museum

Since 1936, he made continued donations of Melitensia to the Rhodes House Library of Oxford University, a collection of 2300 works, one of the finest in existence.

Even on his 100th birthday, he was working on a publication about the Second World War, and intended to prepare his autobiography.

His versatility and knowledge, his energy and travels, have made him known all over the world, as a constantly active source of knowledge. Malta is proud to be his birthplace.