ALDA Honorary President, Gianfranco Martini, passed away on 10 October 2012.
“It is a great sorrow not only for ALDA this news” stated ALDA Director, Antonella Valmorbida. “Gianfranco was our friend and our mentor” she wrote in a message of condolence.
Gianfranco Martini was remembered on 18 October during “Passaggio a Sud Est”, a transmission of Radio Radicale, an Italian national radio, and on the Blog of Roberto Spagnoli, Italian journalist.
“As ALDA and LDAs, we all owe him a lot. He was the one who inspired the programme and he supported us from the deep of his heart and with all his strengths. He has always been committed to the cause of Europe as an instrument for peace and common growth. Till the very end, we exchanged views about the future, which seemed to him not so promising because losing the true sense of being together. He always showed us the example of personal commitment to the cause and he never preached us what to do but rather did it! Being both real Europeans, we felt particular close one to each other, since he was from my land, Veneto, and we both shared a lot for common stories, a particular dialect and many common cultural references…
Gianfranco endured the difficulties of the Second World War. He was from Rovigo area, a very poor region of the Veneto Region (Italy). He studied Law in Venice and became a promising Lawyer in his home town, Lendinara. He was elected Mayor of this town for many mandates. He has been a European Activist since after the end of the War and contributed to the development of the Congress (earlier Standing Conference) of the Council of Europe. Making a difficult decision at that time, he moved to Rome with his family (four small children) and he spent all his life at AICCRE and contributed to the strength of the CEMR. In the ’90, he started to work on the project of the LDAs and then with ALDA and was our President till 2008.
Like many us are doing, Gianfranco spent his life traveling around Europe and the globe for the cause of local democracy and human rights. He met and was friends with VIPs and with many “ordinary” citizens. Everybody that met him remembered him. He was able to listen to all of us with attention and care. The communication with him was inspiring and stimulating. I have thousands of images in my head. He was a real gentleman, so elegant and deeply educated.
Gianfranco made the difference for us all and certainly for a part of Europe.
We are just so grateful that we had the chance to be among his friends and those who benefitted from his knowledge and experience. We will all miss him”.