Civil Servant

Henry Vincenzo, the son of Charles and Flora was born in Valletta. He joined the civil service in 1887 in the emigration department, originally known as the emigration committee, becoming its head in 1919. His command of the English language stood him in good stead because since the 19th century and for a good part of the 20th, most Maltese could not read and write, much less have a knowledge of the language of the colonial power.

Casolani travelled extensively to put forward the idea that the Maltese needed to emigrate. Soon after World War I, as a high official from the office of the lieutenant government, he went to Tunisia to seek help from the Maltese community established there.

The mission to Tunisia was one of the signs of Casolani’s power to convince and achieve concrete results. The Governor was impressed and appointed Casolani as the man in charge of the Food Control Department during the war.

In 1907 General Sir Harry Barron, who was the Acting Governor, had agreed to create an Emigration Committee, and Casolani was appointed secretary and executive officer. In 1921 the Governor Lord Plumer appointed Casolani as the man in charge of the Emigration Department as Superintendent of Emigration.

For his services rendered, Casolani was awarded the Palme d’Officier d’Academie Republique Francaise and the Imperial Service Order, and was made a member of the British Empire (MBE).

Casolani published various books mostly concerned with emigration.

Enrico Vincenzo Casolani married  Concetta Agius in the Archbishop’s chapel, Valletta on 27 October 1921. They lived at Sliema.

Henry Casolani died at the Blue Sisters Hospital, St Julians and was buried at the Addolorata Cemtery.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.

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