THE HISTORY OF UMBERTIDE AVIS FROM 1959 TO 1995
From the book by Roberto Sciurpa "The blood of Fratta"
curated by Fabio Mariotti
In the summer of 1959 the topic under discussion in the city bars and other meeting places certainly centered on the trial of the year: the Fenaroli crime, committed in September '58, but whose sensational implications were coming to light. in that time.
It was talked about all over Italy, with the usual alignments between innocentists and guilty parties, as always happens in sensational and circumstantial trials. But in Umbertide there was a reason for greater interest. If the killing of his wife is not a usual exercise, and therefore makes news on its own, a witness of Umbertian origin and resident in Rome intervened in decisive support of the accusatory thesis.
So enigmatic was that trial, which ended with the life imprisonment of Fenaroli and Ghiani, that it had after-effects, to say the least disturbing, even in our days if the revelations reported by Antonio Padellaro, in his book "Do not open to murderers", had a reliable foundation.
But there were also those who thought of other things.
Mariano Migliorati , in addition to carrying out his activity as a physician led by the Municipality, worked at the local hospital as a surgeon and gynecologist.
The hospital of Umbertide, already during Fascism, had been downgraded to an infirmary and this status was still in force. Not having, therefore, a staff of its own, it availed itself of the work of doctors conducted on the explicit and formal assignment of the Municipal Administration. Only in 1969 will it be reclassified to hospital status with the consequent preparation of its own staff and with the possibility of planning adjustments and expansions that are still visible today.
Dr. Migliorati was a gruff type in appearance, but good-natured, helpful and generous in substance. He knew how to combine the calm and reflexivity of his character with a decision-making and operational capacity worthy of all respect. He listened patiently, as he peered with a penetrating and understanding gaze that never made one uncomfortable. For these human qualities, as well as for the professional ones of the highest level, he instilled trust and security and was appreciated by all the citizens of Umbria.
Not surprisingly, immediately after the Liberation, he was appointed "Mayor" of the city: the first, after the Fascist era. The official document of the Allied Military Governor, who had jurisdiction over the area, is very hasty. It limits itself to saying that Mariano Migliorati was appointed in the first week following the Liberation of Umbertide, which took place on 5 July 1944. Therefore, his appointment and his installation take place between 6 and 12 July 1944. He was 32 years old; was born on September 9, 1912.
He remained in office for only a few months and resigned on 2 September 1944 to hold the position of chief physician of surgery at the hospital of Umbertide, a function incompatible with that of mayor since, for the reasons already set out, he would have found himself in the position of controller and controlled.
The Allied Military Governor writes verbatim that this task was conferred by the desire of the population. It is an eloquent expression that indicates three things: the choice of the thirty-two year old mayor was prudent, being a very popular and respected character; his resignation was not related to dissent; the young doctor enjoyed such professional appreciation that he was preferred in the irreplaceable role of surgeon, rather than in the alternate role of representative of the community.
Migliorati showed no attachment to the armchair and chose, without hesitation, the professional activity, like all those who have a profession, love it and honor it.
He will remain in the hospital for a long time, until it is reclassified in 1969.
In the summer of 1959, realizing the absolute need for blood, thanks also to his profession, he promoted a committee to set up a first nucleus of donors that could face the emergencies of the Umbertide hospital. The members of the Committee, in addition to him who was its soul, were Raffaele Mancini , Lamberto Beatini , Marta Gandin and Aurelia Nocioni.
At the beginning it was a difficult job, both in terms of proselytism and organization, as always happens in the creation of the new, but the tenacity and wisdom of Doctor Mario and his collaborators overcame every obstacle.
Along the way, the idea of founding a real section whose aims went beyond local borders took on more and more substance. He worked hard on this project, until 29 October 1969, when, during a visit to one of his patients in Niccone, he realized that the sudden illness he felt would be lethal. Any attempt to rescue was in vain. He left quickly, without disturbing anyone, he who in life and in his profession had chosen to be disturbed.
Of Mariano Migliorati, the first mayor of the city after the Liberation, an appreciated and well-liked doctor, a talented gynecologist, a surgeon imposed by the desire of the population, founder of the AVIS section, only the elderly are remembered, even for some of his quick and happy jokes, and among some year will be covered by total oblivion. The younger ones, through no fault of their own, don't know who he was.
In the sudden and voluminous urban expansion of our city and in the wide repertoire of street toponymy that had to be imprinted, not an alleyway, not a flowerbed bears his name. (Ed - After the publication of this volume, a street was dedicated to him in the expansion area of the city towards the Fontanelle).
The naming of the streets does not respond only to administrative and logistical criteria, much less are they used by the dead since they do not appear to make them a reason for pride or ostentation with others. They have a meaning for the living as a testimony of a value, a document of a reality, a message of perennial relevance, gratitude for a remarkable work. Therefore, it becomes difficult to understand the inspiring logic, at least of a part, of the street toponymy of Umbertide and of certain systematic and deliberate silences which, in a small community, are hardly justifiable and very eloquent.
Seven streets are named after Italian regions (Umbria, Tuscany, Piedmont, Marche, Lazio, Lombardy and Calabria) and eleven by cities (Siena, Perugia, Bologna, Rome, Florence, Venice, Novara, Pisa, Genoa, Naples and Turin). Upon immediate reflection, a badly concealed predilection of the Umbertidese community for central and northern Italy would seem to transpire. The flowers (azaleas and geraniums) and the ordinal numbers (3rd - 5th - 23rd - 28th - 33rd - 50th street) have bothered, as in the American metropolises, large yes, but poor in history. I stop here.
Doing so dries up the memory and neglects the dutiful and grateful union with those examples that must link the past to the present. Unless the people in charge of managing public affairs have the modesty and the certainty to believe that history begins with them.
I did not know Bruto Boldrini, but he should have been a balanced and generous man, as well as a present, wise and appreciated administrator for being the only contemporary Umbertide to have a street named after his name. I am delighted, but the exception proves the rule.
In one of the AVIS rooms, hanging on a wall, there is the framed photograph of Doctor Migliorati, with an expression that hints at a thin smile and with the usual serene and penetrating gaze. Every time I look at it, the lines of a poem by Trilussa written in 1942 and full of bitter irony about the society of the time come to mind. It is called Lómo useless and describes the feelings of the poet through the mouth of a fetus, in spirit, which has a hand attached to the nose:
"But instead I am drento ar museum, I look at the people and I make marameo. ...".
Doctor Mariano Migliorati was not useless, even if he is locked up in the museum of oblivion.
The committees have a provisional function, aimed at achieving an objective or establishing stable and definitive bodies that can pursue the established goals and set up the appropriate organizational structure. With this understanding, the Committee, set up by Mariano Migliorati, set to work in that summer of 1959.
Its members were well-known and credible personalities in the city environment, engaged in a professional activity that had forced them to the attention and esteem of the population. Marta Gandin and Aurelia Nocioni were the two Principals, respectively of the "G. Pascoli" Middle School and of the "Mavarelli" Professional Training; Raffaele Mancini and Lamberto Beatini, two elementary teachers. Beatini was secretary of the first Umbertide Didactic Circle; Mancini will become one of the second, a few years later, as soon as it is established.
Aurelia Nocioni, generous and capable, sensitive to social problems and available to the spirit of service, which she already practiced with the boys in her professional activity, lavished energy and passion in this work. Marta Gandin, determined and strong-willed, was no less, and in the rigor rich in humanity, combined with the strong sense of duty, which has always distinguished her, she re-proposed those family values that were already witnessed by her father's brother, that General Antonio Gandin , Gold Medal, Commander of the Acqui Division, who on 24 September 1943 was murdered by the Germans, together with five thousand soldiers, in the massacre of the island of Kefalonia.
Lamberto Beatini, the gentle giant, represents historical continuity. He was present then, in the constitutive phase of AVIS, and is now present in the life of the section, as a member of the Board of Directors, of which he has always been a part since its establishment in various roles, including that of President. The AVIS will not get rid of him easily, fortunately, and we will meet him later.
Raffaele Mancini was not only the secretary of the committee, but also the right hand of Doctor Migliorati, and at that time he held the position of councilor of the municipality and of the hospital. In the initial phase, his work was instrumental.
It should be remembered that the Umbertide hospital had been downgraded to an infirmary and for its redevelopment to a third category hospital, a substantial strengthening of the two nursing departments (medicine and surgery) then existing was necessary, with the creation of auxiliary services, the increase in hospital stays and building extensions. This objective began to be pursued with great tenacity since 1952 with the Benedetto Guardabassi administration and then continued with that of Alessandro Renzini until 1969, when the coveted recognition was formally granted.
The hospital and the citizens of Umbria owe a lot to Renzini, Guardabassi and Mancini because it was precisely to their insistence and their personal sacrifice that our hospital obtained the desired requalification. Naturally, as always happens among humans, once things have been done, everything appears easy, due and taken for granted and to put it in a very significant rural proverb, the cage is made, the bird is dead. Those who most of all had worked to reach the goal and whose docility had been hardened by the obstacles encountered and overcome, did not enjoy the success for long as they were set aside for opportune alternation.
Among the auxiliary services to be activated, that of blood donors was also taken into consideration. Mancini aims at a twofold purpose: that of strengthening the hospital for the reasons set out above and the other of constituting in Umbertide a service of high social and human value that was extremely valuable for any hospital emergencies.
I spoke at length with Mancini, who in addition to having a fresh memory of past events, also has a good personal archive on the administrative events of which he was the protagonist. And he tells:
"Dr. Migliorati, who came from a serious experience in Milan, immediately understood the great importance that a nucleus of local donors could have and, therefore, set to work briskly.
The Board of Directors of the institution (the hospital), in perfect agreement with the initiative, made its administrative secretariat available to Migliorati for the necessary bureaucratic acts and invited me to closely follow the interesting attempt.
The doctor immediately referred me the most urgent problems to be addressed, such as:
- the possibility of visiting the volunteers who wished to register in the hospital outpatient clinic;
- a room where to keep the medical records and the register of visits;
- the purchase of the necessary material for the bureaucratic formalities.
Thus it was that, with the approval of the President and the Council, they too understood the enormous importance of creating a group of donors available to our health facility (not only for the legal recognition of the hospital, but especially for the defense of citizens' health), I flanked, for the bureaucratic part of the work, Dr. Migliorati and his first collaborators: Maestro Lamberto Beatini, 1st Dean of the Middle School, Prof. Marta Gandin and the Dean of Vocational Training, Prof. . Aurelia Nocioni and some other willing people whose name escapes me now.
I placed myself at the doctor's complete disposal to perform the functions of secretary and to draw up the first donor records. I had a small room adapted in the mezzanine of the hospital where the folders and other material relating to the nascent service were kept.
Thus, the first nucleus of Volunteers was born spontaneously, but marked by great seriousness, which was to give life, then, to the AVIS Section of Umbertide, whose importance and availability are still cited today as a model of solidarity and altruism in the time of need, and also as a model of organizational efficiency.
I believe I can affirm that, if in 1969 the Umbertide infirmary could be reclassified as a third category hospital, this is also due to the creation of our AVIS, as a support body of primary importance to the health unit ".
The logistical and bureaucratic support, therefore, for the first years, is ensured by Mancini in the name and on behalf of the hospital administration, while the other members of the Committee carried out proselytizing work for a kind of voluntary service that was not so well known and widespread. as it is today.
In the fatigue of the first moments, there are also some pleasant episodes. I mention one.
During the thorough and meticulous examination, Dr. Migliorati asked an would-be donor if he had ever had mumps. The person concerned, who was unfamiliar with medical terminology because he was a typographer, asked what the mumps were and the doctor made it clear that it was the mumps. The typographer, known for having not really reduced auricles, replied promptly: "Ah, I was born with those!".
The seed was now sown, and in fertile soil. This small group of bourgeois, to use a terminology then more in vogue than now, had created the premises for one of the most urgent and indispensable voluntary associations to help life and nourish hope.
It must be acknowledged that the school world is in the front row. This school, like a karst river, appears only in moments of acute social crisis as accused of omissions and insensitivity, which generally belong to others, but it is always present in a happy and creative way even when, hidden and silent, it runs through its course.
At the end of that year there were seven AVIS members.
The magnificent seven
The Committee began the search for volunteers starting from the known people who resided in Umbertide, following a centrifugal path. Do not forget the demographic and social situation of the city and its surroundings, described above, because the history of AVIS is closely linked to the evolution of that factor.
As the capital of the municipality expands, so does the number of memberships and donations.
The phenomenon recurs even today, in the youth sector, in the sense that the settlements of high schools, factories and services, appropriately reached by the AVIS propaganda, have determined a considerable influx of young and very young donors, more tiring in the fragmented reality of a time.
The first adhesions, therefore, are those of volunteers close to the members of the Committee or their friends.
At the head is Lamberto Beatini who affirmed his Avisian faith not only as an organizer, but also as an active member (he is the only member-donor of the Committee) who periodically underwent regular withdrawals over the following years, until the statutory provisions, relating to age limits, have allowed this.
Followed by Bruschi Fernando, a veterinarian, who for professional reasons has left the city to visit it every now and then.
Gambucci Luigi is the third, among the first to be called and among the most present and active in the daily life of the Section, even today. Gigetto is one of the pillars of AVIS, alongside a few others, and without his presence and his commitment, perhaps I would not be here writing this story. He works a lot, with dedication and competence, not only now that he is retired, but also before, when he was employed and then director of the local Post Office.
Benedetto Guardabassi, the good and combative professor, could not miss it, just as he never missed any appointment in which something had to be built for Umbertide. He too represents a good piece of history, not so much of AVIS because his participatory state, through no fault of his own, did not last long, but of the post-war Umbertide reality.
Rondini Aldo, a calm and taciturn traffic policeman, immediately boarded that Avisian train, making an important contribution as the only representative of the municipal employees in the group of seven. Silvestri Francesco, an elementary teacher, fully honored his choice and the always punctual response to the call for withdrawals demonstrates this abundantly.
The last of the seven is Valdambrini Mario, an elementary teacher, who with generosity and enthusiasm answered the first call.
Also in this case the school world offered strong signals of presence, implementing in practice the values of civic solidarity that in the classrooms it transmitted, in theory, to the pupils.
By now the Committee was facilitated in its work, since these first seven donors became, in turn, the best external persuaders to increase the adhesions to the new initiative. And they were also ready in replying to the call for withdrawal if at the end of that year, according to what the individual files tell us, they managed to make a total of ten donations in just a few months.
Not only that, but their avisian longevity demonstrates that the initial adhesions were not dictated by short-lived outbursts of enthusiasm if three of them were awarded the gold medal for the fifty donations achieved (Beatini, Gambucci and Silvestri).
It is worth mentioning a few other characters who, at this starting point, had an important role, even if they were on the other side of the needle. He was a bleeder and not a donor. I refer to Staccini Mario (Mariolino) and to Lotti Italo. They were the pickers and, very often, also the authors of the donor calls. On the other hand, their work as technicians within the hospital placed them in a privileged observatory in terms of recording emergencies.
They too were, in their own way, spreaders of the AVIS novelty and some good bottles of blood will have come out smiling when hearing Mariolino's jokes, to the benefit of the patient's depression.
Valuable help was also offered by Franco Natali, the first collaborator of AVIS (1960), who worked generously for the affirmation of the Avisian voluntary service. His popular work continues today within the section.
Fervor and industriousness
After the initial impulse, in 1960 there was a situation of worrying stagnation. The adhesions did not rise according to the hoped rhythm and throughout that year there was only one, that of Mario Cerrini.
Donations also suffered a halt: only nine over the entire year, compared to ten in the last part of 1959. It was a physiological phenomenon, typical of the introduction of every novelty and linked to the difficulty in finding information tools for adequate propaganda, to the mental reserves with respect to a form of voluntary work, such as that of the gift of blood, which had not entered the common culture, waiting for the majority, who wanted to realize the following received.
This state of affairs continued into the following years as well. In fact, 1961 did not yet allow the leap in quality. There were only two new members, Alpini Mario and Valdambrini Maria, with an evident drop in donations: seven overall, with an average of less than one for each donor.
The situation did not improve in 1962 with only one new presence, that of Norberto Conti. On the other hand, donations increased slightly and reached the number of twelve.
A sign of recovery occurs in 1963 with four inscriptions (Baldoni Domenico, Foni Raffaele, Sonaglia Luigi and Tognellini Rolando) and 14 samples. With Rolando Tognellini, from Pierantonio, the world of hamlets enters the group.
The initiative was not in decline, but its growth was struggling and it was now clear that the difficulties were inherent in the organizational structure. The Committee had carried out its task very well and could not be asked for more, in addition to the promotional launch already given. The fervor and enthusiasm were not subsided, but alone they were not enough to pass from the avant-garde to the system.
It was a question of asking for inclusion within the National Association of Blood Volunteers, to have an explicit and formal recognition by the provincial AVIS, to acquire the official Statute and to establish the governing collegial bodies.
Among other things, there was to settle all the previous paperwork that went from the regularization of the membership, to the periodic call for withdrawals and the timely registration of the same.
In the Garibaldi phase of the beginning, there was limited to the essential: visits to donors, the preparation of their folders and a provisional registration of donations. It also seems obvious to me that he acted like this. It was important to reach the goal and not get lost in the maze of procedures. But, by now, the time had come to take a reflective pause and from it emerged the not inconsiderable element that an efficient Board of Directors, in terms of external visibility and propaganda, would have been much more valid and appropriate than a spontaneous Committee that had operated with merit, but also exhausted the propulsive charge of the initial moment.
These aspects were carefully evaluated by the members and Dr. Migliorati himself, meanwhile delegate of the provincial president of AVIS, Mr. Vincenzo Innocenti, was indicating the path that should be taken. Which then was only one and consisted in the preparation of all the requirements to have the recognition as a municipal section.
The adhesions reached were not exceptional, just 15 in just over three years, but there was a lot of passion, combined with the desire to go forward in the certainty, not unfounded, of giving life to a Sodality that could reach remarkable levels.
The awareness of the goodness of the purpose and the knowledge of the soul of the people of Umbertide, who never back down in times of need and solidarity, moved the intentions of the first donors, who had clearly seen the path to take.
On the other hand, the experience and prestige of Doctor Mario, the founding doctor, instilled courage and confidence.
Therefore, the time had come to make the qualitative leap, urgent and indispensable.
We are moving towards the foundation of the AVIS Section of Umbertide.
The birth of the section
Foligno has always been at the forefront in the promotion of humanitarian initiatives and the coordination of the provincial AVIS, in 1963, was based in the city of San Feliciano where the President Vincenzo Innocenti resided.
The same thing happened for AIDO (Italian Association of Organ Donors).
In this regard, there is an episode that is worth remembering. In the autumn of 1977, the provincial councilor Hans Schoen, of Foligno, asked me to receive a person in my capacity as councilor for health of the province.
"He is worthy of esteem.", He said to me, "He is a priest. Listen to him, then you will tell me." And he added no more. A few days later a priest showed up, already over the years, but still vigorous in appearance, his face with marked features and hollowed out by deep wrinkles. He told me his name was Don Pietro Arcangeli and to take care of the coordination of AIDO on behalf of the Bergamo headquarters. After having illustrated the aims and characteristics of the Association, he solicited my interest in a more stable organizational structure at the provincial level. And we talked about something else.
The meeting and subsequent contacts with Don Pietro were a reason for reflection and interior enrichment. His generous humanity and willingness to serve suffering did not arise only from the pastoral mission he had chosen or from the reading and practice of the Gospel, but also from the profound knowledge of another book of the New Testament: the Apocalypse of the Mathausen concentration camp, from which he had had the rare privilege of coming out tried, but alive.
Shortly after, the AIDO di Umbertide municipal group was formed and, later, also the provincial AIDO, based in Perugia.
Don Pietro left us, giving us the work he had carried out on his own.
Hans too is gone and his untimely and unexpected death took away from his family an exemplary father and from politics an intelligent and capable, open and honest servant.
But let's get back to our topic.
The Perugins arrived later, with the important contribution of the organization and the greater diffusion of the associative image, also due to their proximity to the buildings that count. The first nucleus of Umbertide donors, therefore, made contact with Foligno and in particular with Vincenzo Innocenti, the provincial president of AVIS.
On June 2, 1963, the General Assembly of Members was convened at 8.30 at the hospital premises. Vincenzo Innocenti was also present, who assumed the presidency of the Assembly, convened to discuss three items on the agenda: the report by the delegate Dr. Mariano Migliorati, the constitution of the AVIS municipal section of Umbertide, the appointment of the Board of Directors and other corporate offices. Raffaele Mancini, appointed secretary, recorded the progress of the work in a detailed and precise manner.
At the opening of the session, the President officially declared the UMBERTIDE MUNICIPAL SECTION AVIS and addressed words of applause to the donor members and thanks to dr. Mariano Migliorati and the members of the promoting committee, who had given life to the Association.
Migliorati took the floor and reported on the activity carried out by the Committee, referred to the posters posted in 1961 and the consents and concrete contributions that followed, so much so that he could allow the opening of a postal current account with 125,850 lire, partly already spent for propaganda, the competition held in schools and insurance for members.
The organizational situation was also described in detail: 44 the applications presented, 27 the diagnostic tests performed and 17 to be performed, the suitable 19, the unsuitable 8.
The balance sheet was somewhat spartan: AVIS only had a refrigerator, donated by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and a wooden cabinet, donated by the Hospital of Umbertide. The report was unanimously approved.
It was necessary to proceed to the election of the statutory bodies and here arose the first obstacle that Innocenti solved with intelligent speed. The statutes are made for the established bodies and not for those to be established and, according to the literal application of the rules, it would have been necessary to appoint an electoral commission to prepare for the holding of regular elections, with the loss of other precious time.
Being a new institution, Innocenti unified the procedures. The commission was appointed (Cerrini Mario, Silvestri Francesco and Silvestrelli Antonio) which, on the spot, started the electoral operations, after having established that the Board of Directors would consist of five members. Silvestri Francesco, chairman of the commission, directed the voting operations.
The Assembly was attended by 17 members, but only 15 voted because Dr. Migliorati and Raffaele Mancini, the only two present on the organizing committee, abstained.
I report the names of the seventeen participants in the Assembly and, in parentheses, the votes obtained. It should be noted that, in addition to the presence of Raffaele Mancini as a collaborator, there are some donors who had already undergone the suitability visit with a positive outcome, but were not yet formally registered. It is the practice of the Section, in fact, to start the registration not from the moment of the presentation of the application, but from that of the acquisition of the active participatory status, which begins with the first donation.
Present were: Migliorati Mariano, Mancini Raffaele (10), Alpini Mario (2), Beatini Lamberto (12), Cappanna Alberto (6), Ceccagnoli Orlando, Cerrini Mario (4), Faloci Serafino (7), Foni Raffaello, Gambucci Luigi (3), Guardabassi Benedetto (8), Pucci Angelo, Rondini Aldo, Silvestri Francesco (4), Silvestrelli Antonio (5), Sonaglia Celestino (2), Tacconi Mario (7).
The five most voted members were elected: Beatini Lamberto, Mancini Raffaele, Guardabassi Benedetto, Faloci Serafino and Tacconi Mario.
Another vote and another ballot for the election of the Auditors, with the following results: standing auditors: Alpini Mario, Cerrini Mario and Gambucci Luigi; Alternate auditors: Baldoni Domenico and Silvestrelli Antonio.
Without proceeding to vote, the board of arbitrators was appointed by acclamation, consisting of the Mayor of Umbertide, Cavalaglio Umberto, the President of the IRB Celestino Filippi and the Director of the Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia, Umbertide branch, Carlo Bufalari.
Again by acclamation, Doctor Mariano Migliorati was given the position of Medical Director.
All the elected bodies would remain in office until the end of the year, since the Statute at the time provided for an annual and not a three-year duration for the corporate offices.
The Board of Directors met immediately after the closing of the Assembly for the distribution of offices within it and agreed, without many dividing preambles, that Beatini Lamberto was the President, Mancini Raffaele the Secretary and Tacconi Mario the Bursar.
From that Sunday of 2 June 1963, the anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic, Umbertide had its AVIS Section, with all the statutory bodies elected and animated by a great operational will, the banner and the Members, who represented the true capital of the newly formed Association.
Beatini and his friends on the Board began to work with great determination, especially in the propaganda sector. The results were seen very quickly because the number of members of the Association, from that year onwards, increased dramatically.
On the more strictly bureaucratic and administrative level, very little could be done because the lack of an adequate location will prevent, for some time yet, the complete deployment of the available energies.
On January 19, 1964, just six months after the first, the Shareholders' Meeting met to proceed with the renewal of the offices. Already the Donors had reached the number of forty and twenty-five of them were present at the meeting.
The statutory provisions on the electoral procedure, even in this circumstance, were opportunely disregarded. There was no need to set in motion secret voting mechanisms for the renewal of a Council that had been installed six months earlier and which needed a longer period of time to carry out the announced programs.
Antonio Silvestrelli, therefore, proposed the reconfirmation of all the positions assigned by acclamation and the Assembly stood up clapping his hands, while the President, Mr. Adriano Pasquarelli, Vice President of the provincial AVIS, twisting his mouth, timidly made a present that the procedure was not quite regular but, since it was a particular situation, an exception could be made.
Even after the constitution of the section, the logistical reference was that of the mezzanine at the hospital. There was no better and more the hospital administrators could not offer. A different, even if not definitive, arrangement was necessary. It was not possible to manage a sodality in evident growth and in defense of vital emergencies, with only a refrigerator and a wardrobe. It needed an easily accessible address, a minimum of furniture, a telephone. Until then, the first partners had also fulfilled the commitment of domestic availability, calling each other in case of need.
From the very first meetings, therefore, the Board raised the problem of the seat.
The situation did not improve when, after leaving the hospital, the section found accommodation in via Leopoldo Grilli, in the building of Mario Codovini, which was used as the headquarters of the ECA.
I say accommodation just to be clear and certainly not why it was so in reality. The space reserved for AVIS consisted of a passage corridor and, given the use of the ECA, one can imagine that the traffic was intense, creating evident operational difficulties.
The urgency of an adequate and definitive solution is gaining momentum. And both the oral history, narrated by the protagonists, and the documentary one, described in the minutes of the meetings of the time, indicate with what commitment and tenacity this objective was pursued.
The problems were twofold: the economic one of finding resources and the functional one, relating to the structural characteristics and location of the headquarters.
In terms of economic resources, Beatini and the other members of the Board worked hard on all fronts, soliciting contributions and making savings.
In the session of 1 July 1965, the Board decided not to make the social trip to set aside an economy to be allocated to the headquarters. The decision was ratified by the Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting of the following 25 July.
The argument was resumed at the Ordinary Assembly of November 4, 1965 and the need was argued to seek every way to increase the capital of the section (subscriptions, parties, limitation of any superfluous expenditure) in order to be able, by the end of next year , put in concrete terms the problem of the purchase of the registered office.
As we can see, following an ancient and healthy popular wisdom, among the sources of income (subscriptions and parties) there is also the limitation of expenses, according to the ineluctable logic that, if the revenues are important, the prudence of the their use.
With these criteria, the section will go ahead in an agreement and without hesitation whatsoever.
On the other hand, the orientation regarding the structure and location of the headquarters was more vague, at least in this first moment. In the aforementioned Assembly there is talk of purchase and the expression clearly indicates that the intention was to buy a building that already exists and is available on the market.
It is no coincidence that in the meeting of the Board of Directors on October 14, 1966, the problem was re-proposed in concrete and more explicit terms. President Beatini, after having communicated that 1,761,940 lire was available, pointed out that in via IV Novembre there was an apartment for sale at the price of 2,500,000 lire negotiable. The building was a little out of the way, but it could have done with us.
The Council took note and undertook to submit the proposal to the Assembly.
The following November 4, the Assembly was confronted with the problem of the apartment of four rooms which, with the demolition of a base, would become three, obtaining, in compensation, a room of m. 4x9 (little more than a dining room) for meetings. Any other solution would have been more expensive.
The Assembly gave a mandate to negotiate, but no one negotiated. Tacconi, the bursar, did not express himself in the circumstance. Obviously, the purchase of the building did not convince anyone for reasons of location and scarcity of surface, much less Tacconi, who was thinking about different solutions.
Mario Tacconi, who entered the first Board of Directors and has always been reconfirmed to date, was the soul and mind of AVIS in all circumstances, dividing himself between the position of head of public works of the Municipality and the activity of Avis volunteer. Even now that he is retired and with some health problems, he does not spare himself and his presence and his contribution are decisive for the life of the section. It is an irreplaceable pillar of AVIS. The organizational and functional explosion of the Umbertian Sodality is due to him and a few other executives. Tacconi, therefore, did not express himself at that meeting, because the solution did not convince him. Instead, he will express himself in that of the Board of Directors of 9 February 1967 in which he proposed the construction of a new headquarters, rather than the purchase of an inadequate structure. It was decided to call the Assembly immediately on the 19th of the same month to discuss the proposal.
On that occasion, Beatini illustrated the hypothesis of choosing an area in the very central area of the old market, the opportunity of a tailor-made venue, and the like. Then Tacconi intervened who, having seen the building land, as a good surveyor, already had the project in mind.
The report says:
Tacconi goes on to illustrate, in its general lines, what would be the construction to be carried out and the possible savings that could be realized during the course of the work (to be carried out in economy), taking into account the current of sympathy among the population and the possibility that building contractors, transporters, skilled workers, unskilled workers, etc. can give free services, thus significantly reducing the costs that will be incurred for the construction, up to the coverage of the building. The building itself, which may have a size of m. 12x14, will consist of a hall on the ground floor, several rooms on the upper floor and, taking into account that the land used forms a certain depression with respect to the street level, carrying out the construction so that the floor of the aforementioned hall rises from the floor. of countryside of about m. 2.50, the lower part can be used as a warehouse, or for the heating system in the event that one day this system becomes necessary.
In his capacity as financial director, he informed the Assembly that the financial situation of the section was as follows: postal current account 521,545 lire, deposit at the Cassa di Risparmio lire 600,000, deposit at Monte dei Paschi lire 631,360, deposit given to the seller of the land 400,000 lire and so for a total of 2,152,000 lire. He also pointed out that during the course of the work it was possible that the public bodies, given the good performance of the same, decided to intervene with extraordinary contributions.
As you can see, the site is meticulously described in its current structure.
The Assembly approved the proposal and gave a broad mandate to the Board to proceed with the utmost promptness.
The subsequent formalities followed one another with enviable speed, considering the bureaucratic slowness of our public apparatuses.
Architect Narciso Mariotti was commissioned to prepare the project, which saw the light in a very short time and, confirming the contributions provided by Tacconi, the professional offered his work completely free of charge.
On 6 June 1967, the notary Mario Donati Guerrieri drew up the deed (Repertoire n.76519) with which the owners of the land, Wanda and Giacomina Rosini and Pierina Guardabassi widow Rosini, donated the building area to the AVIS section of Umbertide, whose value was calculated in 400,000 lire.
On June 8, 1967, the building permit was granted (F. 59 - P 82) by the Municipality.
The excavation work began and on Sunday 23 July 1967, with a solemn ceremony, in the presence of civil authorities (the mayor Cavalaglio) and religious, members and numerous citizens, the first stone was laid.
The solidarity competition was unleashed by transporters, companies, workers to the point that a loan was drawn up with the Cassa di Risparmio of only two million which, together with the accumulated savings, allowed the coverage of construction costs .
The attachment of the people of Umbria to their Avis section, as well as for reasons of solidarity and culture, is linked to the history of participation, involvement and legitimate pride that began here.
The following year there was the official inauguration. It was May 26, 1968. In ten months the work had been completed!
The ceremony was solemn and was celebrated in the presence of national and regional AVIS authorities, civilians, religious, and a large presence of citizens who, after Holy Mass, concluded the rite at the table.
The headquarters were built, central, beautiful and functional. The furnishings were missing. And the solidarity competition continued with two talented artisans from Pierantonio, Giuseppe Ugolini and Rolando Sonaglia, who offered their free work to create the excellent and robust full-wall wooden shelving, which are visible and appreciable in the premises of the section.
A few years later, for the needs of custody of various and voluminous materials, necessary for the planned activities (charity fishing, equipment for stands, etc.), the SEAS company granted the section a large basement of a new building for use, located in via Roma.
In 1994, the section became the owner of it for twenty years with the consent of SEAS, the disinterested contribution of the surveyor Gilberto Pazzi and of the lawyer Vittorio Betti, who promoted and followed the issuance of the sentence of misappropriation by the Judicial Authority , renouncing their fees.
Starting from the initial refrigerator and wardrobe, generously donated, AVIS now has a heritage worthy of respect, which belongs to all the citizens of Umbria.
The verification of the affirmation of a Sodality has two parameters of measurement: the number of members and the consensus enjoyed within the territory.
The latter, in particular, is crucial in not making it appear an elitist phenomenon, entrusted to enlightened avant-gardes.
There is no doubt that the voluntary service of blood donation soon entered the consensus and sympathy of the people of Umbria, who have always supported it in a generous and concrete way.
The initial balls, the bicycle ride, the charity fishing, the donor's dinner, the social outing, have always recorded a massive participation of several hundred people, testifying to an attachment that is not episodic and occasional, but the result of a deep conviction and a widespread culture, which has made its way around the drop of blood.
The economic contributions that the families of Umbertide pay to AVIS, through the bulletin attached to the Christmas newspaper, are not only the confirmation of a consolidated solidarity, but also the vital food that allows the deployment of initiatives and does not make the volunteers who work there every day.
The annual budget of the section, approximately 40,000,000, is made up of three basic items: the proceeds of donations by the ULSS, the voluntary contributions of supporters and benefactors and the proceeds of some initiatives, such as charity fishing. While the former represent, in theory, certain and predictable income, the other two are entrusted to a magnanimity that may not always be certain and predictable.
A real paradox occurs in Umbertide: certain entrances become uncertain, certain uncertainties.
To be more explicit, it is good to remember that the regional contributions to be paid to the AVIS sections, through the territorial ULSS, established by a formal agreement with the Region in
13,100 lire for each bottle of blood and 17,100 of plasma, are far from timely, and considerable arrears accumulate. While understanding the economic difficulties faced by health care in general, this practice speaks volumes about the exaltation of a voluntary service, much acclaimed in words, but little honored in deeds. And to think that the blood drug, obtained free of charge, represents a considerable economic income in the regional and national health budget, so much so that the Region of Umbria has stipulated an agreement with the SCLAVO company of Siena, to which it entrusts, for a fee, the bottles exceeding the requirements or not usable by the expiration date, for the separation of the various blood products.
It is an alarming phenomenon, which does not encourage volunteering, even if it seems consistent with the law of the market economy, which is so fashionable today, and according to which what is free
it is worth little, it is due, and, in any case, it does not claim bills.
If it depended on the expected and coveted contributions, the AVIS sections would be like Christmas lights, they would work intermittently with long and irregular intervals, to turn off definitively, after the party.
It is a bitter observation, but also a solicitation addressed to those in charge, so that the commitments towards the Avisian volunteering, which produces resources, are among the first to be honored.
On the other hand, it is a dutiful recognition to the people of Umbria and to their Municipal Administration, without whose substitute role the life of the Association would be difficult. Thanks to this support, the AVIS headquarters are open every weekday, from 3 to 7 pm to deal with emergencies and daily administrative work. This is a considerable amount of time, considering the voluntary nature of the commitment. In the beginning, when operating at the ECA headquarters, the opening hours were only Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6 to 7 pm.
Since November 18, 1963, the section of Umbertide extended its sphere of propaganda and proselytism to the municipalities of Montone and Pietralunga (which has only recently become autonomous) and informed the respective mayors by letter, based on territorial divisions decided by the Council Provincial of AVIS.
The territory became increasingly vast and the adhesions more numerous. Therefore, the need arose for a systematic contact between the section and the members, which could not be entrusted to the traditional letter, for economic reasons and lack of personnel.
Hence the idea of the bimonthly magazine VITA AVIS which, since 1982, has never failed in appointments, with its 13,000 copies a year, produced in an artisanal way.
The reports on the activities carried out, the proposals on the working hypotheses, the invitations for the many types of initiatives, the meeting calls take place through the columns of this modest information tool which, in its simplicity, has proved useful and appropriate in terms of effectiveness and savings.
In a world that was becoming computerized, AVIS could not remain tied to the uncertain amanuensis exercises. An adjustment was required to make the whole mechanism of internal procedures faster and safer. The donor cards, the calls for collection, their registration, the achievement of the merit quota, the statistics are entrusted to the electronic system of a software that two talented and willing young people, Luca Inghirami and Fabrizio Bagiacchi of STOA, have elaborated and customized, free of charge, for the needs of the section.
Thus the computer has become a precious and faithful collaborator, which anticipates and controls the various work plans.
A very happy idea of the Avisian management was that of setting up the library. It does not appear rich in the field of fiction, but it was not, and is not, the intent of anyone the bibliographic enhancement of this literary genre, easily available elsewhere.
Instead, it collects the entire series of UTET classics, which ranges from literature to science, from religion to economics. It is a valuable heritage in terms of quality and value, open to all those who need to consult.
The TRECCANI Encyclopedia, now increasingly rare, and other encyclopedic works complete the book frame of this pearl of the section.
The new headquarters, the consensus received, the clarification of the organizational structure and the provision of complementary subsidies, went hand in hand with the conspicuous increase in donor members.
I do not dwell on the analysis, however boring and sterile, of this aspect. I prefer to let the following table speak for itself, which I think is more useful and immediate than any other consideration.
The AVIS has an organization and a structure governed by precise statutory rules that derive from the institutive law n. 49 of February 20, 1950 with which the Association was recognized as a juridical body of law with humanitarian and moral purposes.
The regional and provincial, district and section councils refer to the central promotion and coordination body, represented by the National Council and its internal functional divisions.
It is a pyramidal organization, necessary to ensure that the apparatus of the Sodality mirrors the political-institutional structure of the territory.
The need for contacts, planning and collaboration with Local Authorities is vital for the Association whose operational contents cannot disregard, for example, the situation of the hospital structures and, even more precisely, that of the immunotransfusion services, in charge of medical checks and blood samples.
Mirroring, therefore, responds to criteria of functionality and referential parallelism. It is no coincidence that the district councils were born only recently, when, not only in Umbria but also in other regions of the country, the health organization of the territory largely coincided with the size of the districts themselves.
The detailed analysis of the skills and work of all the bodies indicated does not fall within the scope of this work. I will limit myself only to saying that the Umbertide section has expressed its representation in each of them, including the highest level, the National Council of AVIS, of which Mario Tacconi was an alternate member for two three-year periods from 1987 to 1992.
Systematic, on the other hand, is the presence in the regional and provincial councils, while the presence in the district council is very active which, from its birth onwards (1983), saw Mario Tacconi and Rolando Tognellini alternate as presidents.
For our needs it is interesting a review of all the Boards of Directors of the section, which have followed one another from the foundation onwards, not only for a historical reconstruction which, with the passage of time could be more difficult, but also for a dutiful tribute to all those who have lavished energy in a spirit of solidarity and service.
SHAREHOLDERS 'MEETING of 2 June 1963.
PRESENT n. 17, VOTERS n. 15.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (President), Mancini Raffaele (Secretary), Tacconi Mario (Treasurer), Guardabassi Benedetto (Director), Faloci Serafino (Director).
AUDITORS: Alpini Mario (effective), Cerrini Mario (effective), Gambucci Luigi (effective), Baldoni Domenico (alternate), Silvestrelli Antonio (alternate).
PROBIVIRI: Cavalaglio Umberto, Filippi Celestino, Bufalari Carlo.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Migliorati Mariano.
SHAREHOLDERS 'MEETING of January 19, 1964.
PRESENT n. 25, VOTERS n. 25.
By acclamation, all those elected in their respective bodies are reconfirmed in office.
TWO YEARS 1965/1966
SHAREHOLDERS 'MEETING of 4 November 1964.
PRESENT n. 30, VOTERS n. 30.
Following statutory changes, all bodies have a two-year duration.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (President), Mancini Raffaele (Secretary), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Bruni Giancarlo (Director), Alpini Mario (Director).
AUDITORS: Luigi Gambucci, Mario Cerrini, Benedetto Guardabassi.
PROBIVIRI: there is no mention in the relative report. HEALTH DIRECTOR: Migliorati Mariano.
TWO YEARS 1967/1968
SHAREHOLDERS 'MEETING of 4 November 1966.
PRESENT n. 36, VOTERS n. 36.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (President), Bruni Giancarlo (Vice President), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Tosti Mario (Public relations).
AUDITORS: Pistoletti Boris, Chicchioni Giuseppe, Dario Dario.
PROBIVIRI: Cavalaglio Umberto, Renzini Alessandro, Palazzetti Candido.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Migliorati Mariano.
THREE YEARS 1969/1970/1971
SHAREHOLDERS 'MEETING of November 17, 1968.
PRESENT n. 26, VOTERS n. 26.
Following statutory changes, all the bodies have a three-year duration.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (President), Bruni Giancarlo (Vice President), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Gambucci Luigi (Public relations).
AUDITORS: Giuseppe Chicchioni, Boris Pistoletti, Dario Destroyed.
PROBIVIRI: Palazzetti Candido, Cavalaglio Umberto, Renzini Alessandro.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Migliorati Mariano.
THREE YEARS 1972/1973/1974
ELECTIONS of February 20, 1972. VOTERS n. 79.
Considering the high number of members (204), the renewal of corporate offices no longer takes place in the meeting of the ordinary Assembly, but after regular voting, after setting up the polling station which remains open for the whole day. The members of the Board of Directors are raised from five to seven following a regular shareholders' resolution.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (Chairman), Gambucci Luigi (Deputy Chairman), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Tognellini Rolando (Director), Tosti Gualtiero (Director), Mariotti Adriano (Director).
AUDITORS: Lisetti Renato, Chicchioni Giuseppe, Pistoletti Boris.
PROBIVIRI: Palazzetti Candido, Cavalaglio Umberto, Renzini Alessandro.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1975/1976/1977
ELECTIONS of 22 February 1975. VOTERS n. 82.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (Chairman), Luigi Gambucci (Deputy Chairman), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Mariotti Adriano (Director), Bei Alberto (Director), Tognellini Rolando (Director).
AUDITORS: Lisetti Renato, Chicchioni Giuseppe, Pistoletti Boris.
PROBIVIRI: Palazzetti Candido, Cavalaglio Umberto, Renzini Alessandro.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1978/1979/1980
ELECTIONS of 5 February 1978. VOTERS n. 85.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (Chairman), Luigi Gambucci (Deputy Chairman), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Tognellini Rolando (Director), Tosti Mario (Director), Bistoni Renato (Director).
AUDITORS: Lisetti Renato, Chicchioni Giuseppe, Pistoletti Boris.
PROBIVIRI: Palazzetti Candido, Renzini Alessandro, Cavalaglio Umberto.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1981/1982/1983
ELECTIONS of 21 December 1980. Voters n. 275.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (President), Luigi Gambucci (Vice President), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Tacconi Cinzia (Public relations), Tognellini Rolando (Director), Venturi Otello (Director).
AUDITORS: Lisetti Renato, Chicchioni Giuseppe, Pistoletti Boris.
PROBIVIRI: Palazzetti Candido, Renzini Alessandro, Cavalaglio Umberto.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1984/1985/1986
ELECTIONS of January 29, 1984. VOTERS n. 82.
The ordinary Assembly had previously resolved to raise the number of Directors from seven to nine.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Beatini Lamberto (President), Gambucci Luigi (Vice President), Tacconi Mario (Administrative Secretary), Natali Franco (Secretary), Tacconi Cinzia (Public relations), Tognellini Rolando (Director), Lisetti Renato (Director), Venturi Otello (Director), Bistoni Renato (Director).
AUDITORS: Sciurpa Roberto, Rubolini Renato, Pistoletti Boris.
PROBIVIRI: Palazzetti Candido, Cavalaglio Umberto, Montanucci Giuseppe.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1987/1988/1989
ELECTIONS of 8 February 1987. VOTERS n. ninety two
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Tacconi Mario (President), Tognellini Rolando (Vice President), Gambucci Luigi (Administrative Secretary), Beatini Lamberto (Secretary), Tacconi Cinzia (Press and Propaganda), Bendini Giancarlo (Organization and Development), Venturi Otello (Organization and Development), Bistoni Renato (Director), Lisetti Renato (Director).
AUDITORS: Codini Orfeo, Rubolini Renato, Sciurpa Roberto.
PROBIVIRI: Broggi Umberto, Cavalaglio Umberto, Palazzetti Candido.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1990/1991/1992
ELECTIONS of 25 February 1990. VOTERS n. 57.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Tacconi Mario (President), Tognellini Rolando (Vice President), Gambucci Luigi (Administrative Secretary), Beatini Lamberto (Secretary), Venturi Otello (Propaganda), Bendini Giancarlo (Propaganda), Gianfranceschi Graziano (Propaganda), Bistoni Renato ( Director), Lisetti Renato (Director).
AUDITORS: Codini Orfeo, Sciurpa Roberto, Rubolini Renato.
PROBIVIRI: Broggi Umberto, Cavalaglio Umberto, Palazzetti Candido.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
THREE YEARS 1993/1994/1995
ELECTIONS of December 20, 1992. VOTERS n. 288
The Ordinary Shareholders' Meeting had previously resolved to raise the number of Directors from nine to thirteen.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Tacconi Mario (President), Tognellini Rolando (Vice President), Gambucci Luigi (Administrative Secretary), Beatini Lamberto (Secretary), Sciurpa Roberto (Press and Propaganda), Mariotti Walter (Recreational activities), Tognaccini Marco (Recreational activities) , Venturi Otello (Director), Lisetti Renato (Director), Bendini Giancarlo (Director), Gianfranceschi Graziano (Director), Magrini Sergio (Director), Tosti Paolo (Director).
AUDITORS: Codini Orfeo, Bazzarri Luciano, Baldoni Domenico.
PROBIVIRI: Broggi Umberto, Cavalaglio Umberto, Palazzetti Candido.
HEALTH DIRECTOR: Bruni Giancarlo.
Solidarity without a name
Those who, for various reasons, are involved in the AVIS volunteer work hope to represent the moment. pioneer of the Association and hopes that scientific research, applied to the production of a blood substitute, will soon see his efforts crowned. Not because the practice of Avisin solidarity weighs on the choice of donors, but because it is desirable that a laboratory product is available more immediately and eliminates any possible area of risk that may be inherent in the methods, albeit scrupulous, of current sampling.
Unfortunately, the prospect of the production of artificial blood, like any other human organ, is still very far away, the faintest horizons are not seen, and the practice followed today will remain in force for many years.
The voluntary service of the donation therefore takes on very particular characteristics. Unlike any other kind of service based on solidarity and civic commitment, it is characterized by its essentiality and indispensability, aimed at life. It is a choice of life, for life; it is a silent pact whereby part of oneself is offered for the survival of others; it is a hidden bond that binds the donor to an ideal of the highest moral and civil profile and not to the recipient. Indeed, the most absolute anonymity must exist between the two.
The donor knows this and has made his choice for this reason as well. The ostentation of merit and the solicitation of gratitude for the work done are attitudes that belong to other sectors and to other characters, certainly not to those who give blood with total disinterest.
Thus, at the scheduled deadlines and for a lifetime, the generous, heroic volunteer receives the invitation to be taken from the section and fulfills the commitment, honoring a choice made at the time, without disaffection or second thoughts.
The reader will be able to see on the following tables, how the average avisine longevity is very high, a sign of a strong ideal, alive and not weakened by the repetitiveness of the routine that flattens life in every field.
It is difficult to make an identikit of the donor: it has no face, nor a particular physiognomy. It belongs to every possible social class, to every type of ideology and religious conviction; he chose to serve. Stop.
In moments of crisis, such as those that our country is going through, the first values to be overwhelmed are those of support and altruism, the first subjects to suffer are the weak and the marginalized.
In Umbertide, AVIS denies this trend line and reaffirms the meaning of human solidarity as a social cement and a lofty message of civilization, which does justice to any convenient individualistic utilitarianism.
In this path many meet, over a thousand. And it is comforting, and full of hope, the observation that the young and the very young stand out, alongside numerous representatives of the female sex who, following the example of the first woman from Umbertide (Valdambrini Maria, 1961), have strengthened the ranks that wind behind the banner of the drop of blood.
The happy island of Umbertide
The title is neither boastful nor triumphal. The data speaks volumes. Every year in Italy about 2,000,000 units of whole blood are donated with a national per capita ratio of 0.03 (3%).
In Umbertide, as can be seen from the following tables, the ratio is 0.09 (9%), three times higher than the national average.
The more than 25,000 total donations made from the birth of the section to today, based on an average sample quantity of 350 cl, total 9,000 liters of blood. For those who like weight measurements, instead of capacity ones, I point out that it is about 90 quintals.
The donations of the section, in the last decade, have been around 1200 on average every year, with a contribution of about 420 liters of blood.
For our territory these are significant figures, that if they were extended nationally, we would not have problems with blood imports. Our country, poor in raw materials and therefore dependent on foreign countries for many aspects of its economy, is forced to import solidarity as well! It is a bitter and disheartening observation because it refers to a product that should abound in the Center of Christianity.
Blood donations cover only two thirds of the national needs and for about one third it is necessary to resort to foreign support, with the relative fee.
In Umbria, the situation is very comforting: self-sufficiency has been achieved on the blood side (red blood cells) and we are rapidly moving towards self-sufficiency on the plasma side.
The donation index (donor / donation ratio) is also very good and stands at around 2.06, compared to 1.7 for the national figure. In Europe only France, Germany and Holland equal it, while Portugal surpasses it. The Umbertide Avis has lavished his generosity in many neighboring municipalities and also in distant areas of the national territory. He went where help was needed, as can be seen from the second table.
Also in Arabia and Libya there is a trace of Umbertidese blood, following the presence of members who were in those countries for work reasons.
At this point I would like to clarify the meaning of a terminology, already used several times. I have repeatedly used expressions such as "avisini umbertidesi", "donatori umbertidesi" and so on. I would like to clarify that these are synthetic lexical conveniences to indicate all the members who refer to the Umbertide section. I am well aware that some donors belong to other municipalities (Montone, Perugia, Lisciano Niccone) and I apologize to them, but I am sure they will understand the technical reasons of linguistics and synthesis to which the writer is subjected.
The AVIS COURIER n. 3 of April / May 1995, reports the report given by Dr. Anna Lucia Massaro, Director of the AVIS Center in Turin, in a congress held in Rome at the end of April. The report is full of statistics. I use two that are very significant and show the most recent data on donations and donors.
The numbers in the first row indicate the resident population with the relative percentage of the total national population.
The numbers in the second row indicate the donations made and the relative percentages with respect to the total of them.
The data in the third row indicate the ratio of donations for every 1000 units of the resident population. If the same method were applied to the Umbertide section, in 1994 (1385 donations) the index would be higher than 90.
In the following table we can see the increase in the number of donors in the last three years and the tripling of those who have chosen the donation in apheresis. At the same time, a decline in the donation rate of the U.15 is clear.
The increase in volunteers has, in any case, compensated for the slight reduction in the donation index which is very important in itself, but not to the point of preferring an increase in the solidarity of a few, instead of its extension to the greatest possible number of citizens.
There are few moments of pause in the life of the section. As soon as you have finished working for one initiative, you begin to trade for the next one.
Alongside the statutory obligations, which absorb a considerable amount of time, some demanding and consolidated appointments are now recurring.
The donor's dinner, the social outing, the bike ride, the charity fishing and the newspaper are the main ones. Behind each of these deadlines, the purposes of which will be dealt with in another chapter, there is an intense and little-known work, which is well known.
The members of the Board of Directors, or rather some of them, dedicate themselves almost full time and with the utmost self-denial to Avis volunteer work, but in some circumstances even their availability would not be sufficient to meet the needs, if not there was the precious contribution of the collaborators.
Some of them are former donors, now emeritus, others have never been and contribute with the work performed to the needs of the Sodality.
The dinner and the excursion require presence, availability and patience in collecting the memberships, registering the wishes of the participants about the group of friends not to be separated at the table or on the bus, dealing with the restaurant manager or the travel agency. Sometimes it is difficult to please everyone, since we are in the order of a few hundred people (dinner always records 5/600, the trip a little less) and some discontent escapes us, with relative protest. By now in the section we are used to and endure everything with great stoicism, even if some futility could be done without.
The bike ride requires a stressful and concentrated effort in a few hours in the preparation of the refreshment baskets, in the assembly of the stand, in the preparation of the lunch at the Pineta Ranieri and so on. Also in this case it is good to keep an eye on some figures to understand the quality and quantity of the work. Participants are never less than seven hundred and the pasta being cooked exceeds two quintals.
Charity fishing is the most laborious initiative. It begins in July with the mischief of 20,000 tickets and their housing in the broth ring. We continue with the procurement of prizes and the setting up of the structure to arrive at the most visible phase which consists of the drawing and delivery of prizes.
The need for collaboration is essential to be attentive to requests during fishing, to supply the various sectors with prizes and to organize night surveillance shifts.
The stand, which was originally set up more in the center, between the Collegiata and the Coletti Bar, has recently been moved (1986) to the square adjacent to the headquarters, precisely for reasons of functionality and speed of service.
Even the newspaper, punctual to the scheduled deadlines, requires a lot of work. Drafting and printing are the simplest and most immediate tasks. Then there is the photocopy reproduction (1700 copies every two months and 7000 at Christmas), the folding, the set of addresses, the sorting by destination.
I wanted to recall only some of the Avisian obligations and I apologize for having provided a sterile and boring list, but it was necessary to solicit, once again, a wider collaboration also on the part of those who have never been donors and want to be useful, in somehow, for AVIS.
Fortunately, there has been no shortage of collaborators in the history of the section and they are the sixteen listed in the following table. At present, there are only 11 assets left, as can be seen.
Among these, some offer occasional but timely and important services, such as the assembly of the various stands, others are present on a daily basis and are involved in all sectors.
The problem of staff mobility, at AVIS, has been solved for some time and without grumbling.
Lisetti Renato belongs to the latter category. He is always present and knows how to do everything, with unique precision and tenacity. He hasn't built eyes on fleas yet, just because he hasn't had a chance.
In the Extraordinary Assembly of Christmas 1994 he was awarded the Silver Drop.
The focus on free time and the proactive role of related initiatives were a constant feature of the section.
The logic that inspired this orientation is not competitive with other subjects, more qualified for similar tasks, nor the post-working one to satisfy the needs of the workers. Much more simply, it is the natural and necessary logic of an Association that intends to achieve its objectives.
The first is that of the diffusion of nature and tasks. It is a propaganda requirement. In the society of commercials, one can easily grasp the importance of this aspect, which is not linked to the marketing of a visible and perhaps even useful product, which recurs on its own, but to a choice that is not very visible and which, referring to the solidarity, could be considered a problem of others, like the altruist of jokes who, engaged in powerful reflections on the evils of the time, bitterly concluded: "How selfish the world is! Everyone thinks of himself, only I think of me".
In truth, the diffusion of the associative image, its indispensability and its tasks should also take place for other channels with greater audiens, such as those of a state television, paid for with the contribution of all. But in a corporate conception of life, based on costs and revenues, there is not much room for these utopias and you have to fend for yourself.
For a very short period and on the initiative of the national AVIS, a beautiful and effective television advertisement on Avis volunteering was broadcast. Then nothing more. But AVIS is also the Association of Hope that confidently awaits some Minister of Health who, counting in hand, may realize that donors, after all, are also an investment.
In the meantime, we do it alone, organizing those moments of associative life that best respond to the characteristics and requests of a specific territory and witnessing the practice of essential volunteering.
The second is connected to the typical needs of each association, which must also look internally and prepare opportunities for meeting between its members and their respective families to strengthen the association ties.
The characteristics of our reality have meant that this aspect has never been pursued in a restricted way and the initiatives of the section have always been proposed and open to all, so as not to give the impression of a reserved club. In general, the obsessive attention to the internal dynamics of any type of group, provided that it strengthens its vitality, always goes to the detriment of the consensus and sympathies that must be sought from the outside.
Finally, some initiatives aim at creating economic resources, even if modest and marginal, which are essential for normal functioning.
This key has already been touched previously. Rather than complaining about the delays of others or pitying around paralyzing difficulties, Avisian creativity has always placed itself in the forefront to overcome arduous obstacles and widespread institutional negligence, finding, among the people, consensus and concrete answers to its appeals.
Consistently with the associative nature, which lives to give, it has aimed at its statutory duties, rather than at the rights sanctioned by complementary agreements, albeit important, which it is to be hoped that they will be respected with greater punctuality.
Thus, since its inception, the section has organized parties, very fashionable at the time, today a little less so that they have gone into disuse, charity fishing and more.
The fruits have been seen and are seen. Not only was the headquarters built, but the vitality of the Sodality is in good health.
Leafing through the old archive papers gives off a subtle smooth smell. The notes chase each other quickly and the dance steps of the fans embroidering the floor can be glimpsed. Going into more detail, there are those who really dance and those who, arranging themselves as best they can, just squeeze. All around, attentive and inquiring eyes, they analyze clothes and attitudes, commenting on the party. It is the show within the show.
The AVIS series of balls is quite long. To be exact, it has 23 editions.
Begun in 1964, it was repeated until 1986 with punctual regularity. Inside, two phases can be distinguished: that of TEACINE and that of the PEOPLE'S HOUSE.
There are also attempts to replicate Pierantonio (three veglioni) and Montone (one), but they don't last long. Clear sign that organizational investment did not find adequate participation responses.
The Teacine phase runs from 1964 to 1979. For the first three years (1964/66), the archive is not of great support. The dates of the parties, the indication of the orchestras and the number of participants are missing. In a separate note, as well as on the relative report, the 1965 collection, equal to 412,000 lire, is reported.
More details can be found in subsequent editions.
In 1967 the party took place on February 4 with the presence of the singer Maria Doris, accompanied by the pianist Cappellari and the I RILEVATI orchestra. The animator of the party was Tonj Bani who successfully entertained the 420 people present at the Teacine.
The two years that followed saw the same PINUCCIO orchestra and the MORITATs and the women's ensemble LE NAIADI on stage. The attendances on February 3, 1968 were 520, while those of January 25 of the following year dropped to 451.
In 1970 the participation registered a further decline, despite the presence of a famous orchestra LA BANDA DI DON BACKY with the singer Bruna Lelli. Only 380 were present on that evening of January 24th.
The following four years marks the era of LOS TROVADORES with the singer Eliana. It seems that the musical group has received a good approval rating to be reconfirmed four times. Participation also remained high, constant and loyal: 430 present on 1/30/71, 420 on 1/22/72, 480 on 1/7/27 and 575 on 2/23/74.
On 3 March 1973 Pierantonio also made his debut with his first AVIS party. Things did not go badly. 410 people participated, cheered by the complex THE NEW FORMULA. Even two years later (8/2/75), the second Pierantoniese edition held up enough with 320 participants. But the following year (21/2/76) the organizers were disappointed by the 190 appearances alone. And the experience closed.
Pierantonio ends and Montone tries. On 11 January 1975, there was the only Montonese edition of the AVIS party with 215 admissions. Too few. It is right to give blood for others, but not in all fields!
The twelfth Umbertide edition took place on January 25, 1975, with the MARIOTTINI orchestra and 430 participants. The same orchestra will also be present in the 14th with 520 participants, on January 29, 1977.
In the interlude (29/1/76) the Teacine hosted a complex with an interesting and fashionable name, the LIVING CROUP, which attracted 510 people.
The series of the first phase is closed by the I MONELLI orchestra which on 28/1/78 and 10/2/79 was followed by 520 and 410 people respectively.
By now the construction of the Casa del Popolo was finished. For the very young who will read these pages in a few years and will no longer find the building, I remember that it stood next to the Sports Hall, in the area currently occupied by the COOP, whose needs have left the people homeless.
The AVIS section aims at a qualitative leap in the organization of the party. The new structure not only offered much larger spaces than those of the Teacine, but also allowed the possibility of restaurant service.
From 1980 onwards there will be a party with dinner (based on fish). The mechanism worked, if we take into account that on March 15, 1980 the participants in the party were 2,070. Even if the call of the Goggi sisters, who animated the evening, was decisive, it alone does not explain the participatory success. The novelty factor also played a role.
But it was the beginning of the end. Subsequent editions, prepared with care, maximum commitment and with the hiring of famous names, recorded a constant and worrying decline in attendance.
On 17/2/81 with Ivan Graziani, there are 1,645 participants. The following year (13/2/82), with the PIERONI orchestra only 1,030 presences. By now the trend was downward and in the following years there will be a three-digit participation: 930 on 29/1/83, 759 on 4/2/84, 926 on 2/2/85 and 525 on 2/2 / 86.
The preparation work was enormous and in remittance, despite the contribution of a massive volunteer, and it was appropriate to suspend the initiative.
The last party, which closed the series and the story, was the 23rd, that of February 2, 1986.
Tastes were evolving, nightclubs were in full swing, and television was offering competing shows. In this overall picture, the younger Avis people preferred other haunts and the older ones were getting a taste for slippers.
The donor's dinner
The dance ended, but dinner remained.
From 1988 onwards, AVIS organizes this moment of meeting between donors, their families and friends, at carnival, during the month of February each year.
It is a real opportunity to be together and in solidarity, without other reasons. From an economic point of view, in consideration of the symbolic price charged to donors, it represents a significant burden for the section's finances.
The circumstance always attracts many people, equal to that recorded in the last party, between 500 and 600 people.
Such participation posed various organizational problems and required adequate choice solutions, such as the search for a large restaurant, a not too sophisticated menu, quick table service and an affordable price.
For now these characteristics have been found at FARO ROSSO, the Montanaldo restaurant in the municipality of Gubbio, which has always given satisfactory answers to the needs represented.
The only problem is the distance from Umbertide, but there seem to be no better alternatives and once a year, it is worth facing the inconvenience.
The first days of September are those in which the Umbertidese community finds itself, or at least found itself in the recent past, to rediscover its roots.
In that period is the Nativity of the Madonna (8 September), Patroness of the town, and around the religious event, recreational and recreational events with an ancient popular flavor have flourished which, framing the Sacred Rites, re-propose ancestral uses.
This happens almost everywhere on the feast of the patron saint. But even this dimension of authenticity is disappearing, under the banner of a mercantile and false triduum, represented by the Fairs which, moreover, give abundant signs of tiredness and decline.
Among the customs that have remained there is only the bingo in the square and the charity fishing of AVIS, one of the first initiatives of the section that has happily survived since 1964.
Its location among the celebratory events of the patron saint wanted to represent a modest but significant contribution of presence and involvement and, in a market season, it remains the only beneficial opportunity. And if luck helps you win something you like, so much the better. AVIS does not skimp in the selection of prizes to be offered, as the history of recent years can confirm.
Thus charity fishing is becoming one of the few remaining traditions, despite its youthful thirty years of life.
When the location of the structure was changed, from the Collegiata to the square adjacent to the headquarters (1986), serious fears emerged because the Fairs had moved the epicenter of the turnout to another part of the city, while moving further away from the transit area. . The fears turned out to be unfounded and the request and the exhaustion of tickets, with the same timeliness of the past, give hope that the Avisina proposal has become commonplace.
It is a hope on which the AVIS counts a lot because fishing represents a source of contribution, even if limited, directed towards the self-financing of the section. The calculation is transparent and within everyone's reach. There are 20,000 tickets and knowing the price, you can establish the collection. According to the provisions in force on the subject and the practice generously followed, the value of the prizes is always much higher than half of the planned revenues. In each edition the net profit exists only thanks to the contribution, never lacking, of a significant number of volunteers and commendable quality. The contribution of the very young of both sexes is very significant, who, instead of going up and down the fairs, lend a hand in the distribution of prizes.
The cycling walk
The penultimate Sunday of June each year (the last, in case of bad weather), is dedicated to cycling. The event is truly spectacular and sees hundreds of cyclists with the AVIS insignia wind their way along the established route. There is everything: men, women, young people and boys. There are entire families who face the path according to the available energy. It's a walk, not a race, and there are no winners or losers.
The organization is accurate with lots of relays, security staff, checkpoints and refreshment points. The vehicles that collect the participants in crisis and the medical ambulance close the colorful serpentine, as in all competitions worthy of respect.
The itineraries, in general, are those of the city center and the outskirts of the Municipality for a length of about 20/30 kilometers. Twice the walk crossed its own territorial limits, in 1980 and 1982. In the first case it started from Città di Castello, after having mobilized the Umbrian Central, which transferred participants and bicycles to the Tifernate capital. In the second, the departure took place from Gubbio where the cyclists were transported by bus and the two wheels aboard the four trucks. The event is a good opportunity to make the presence of AVIS visible in the area and to stimulate curiosity and interest, but it is also a valid associative moment that enlivens interpersonal relationships between those who participate in it.
The first moment of fatigue is followed by that of relaxation represented by the lunch at the Pineta Ranieri, set up by the AVIS volunteers, and by the musical show in the afternoon.
The participation, always high, indicates the goodness of the choice and the growing satisfaction contributes to making the event an Avisian tradition, which has been repeated since 1979.
Amateur sports groups
Under the banner of AVIS, amateur sports groups have arisen which have contributed to spreading the associative image and its role.
The sporting commitment, especially at the level of amateurs, is linked to passion, a little sacrifice and above all to age. When any of these requirements fade, the disintegration of the group is the natural consequence.
This is what happened for the AVIS PODISTIC GROUP , founded in 1980 with excellent intentions and interesting initiatives. It remained active only for three years and from 25 April 1982 all traces disappeared.
In 1993 the Umbertide AVIS CYCLING GROUP was born, equipped with a regular and lively sporty outfit with the colors and the symbol of the Association and animated by a great desire to do.
The Board of Directors has deliberated the initiative with pleasure, with the hope that its presence and its activity will have long and happy results.
The social outing
The organization of trips for recreational purposes is quite common in all associations. In that of Avis the attention to free time is even greater because it is an important vehicle for the dissemination of voluntary blood work and propaganda, urged on several occasions by the statutory and regulatory provisions.
In Umbertide the reminder was collected and also the trips, together with all the other initiatives previously described, became part of the associative practice.
The social outing has the charm of escape, of curiosity for a new experience, of cultural and human interest in aspects of the world that are not directly known or not very usual in the flow of our existence.
Furthermore, "traveling" realizes a natural necessity in every phase of life and in every epoch of history (Ulysses) because it interprets one of the intimate characteristics of the human soul, the desire for discovery and the thirst for knowledge. A little for these reasons and a little because the AVIS trip has entered the deadlines to be met, the request is always numerous and the participation is high.
In some cases, and when it was possible, contact was made with other avisine sections of the areas visited, with the possibility of reciprocal exchange, which allowed a useful and constructive comparison of ideas and experiences.
Even the trip, like the other events, is a familiar attraction and it is not always easy to reconcile the individual costs with their global impact within a nucleus that intends to participate fully. In the Extraordinary Christmas Assembly this aspect is the most debated to make the proposed itineraries compatible with the expected costs.
The history of Avisi travels has already turned 125 and has allowed the numerous groups of participants to visit interesting cities, landscapes and monuments of our country, with a few trips abroad, as can be seen in the summary table below.
All the AVIS trips, with the exception of the first two in 1970, were organized by the TUTTOTURISMO agency of Perugia with competence, high professionalism and general satisfaction of the participants.
The Avisini and the Pope
The trip that seventy Avisini from Umberto I made to Rome on Saturday 26 April 1980 was quite different. On that day the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, had set a special audience reserved for blood donors, in the Nervi room. The section did not desert the appointment.
I apologize to those who consider it inappropriate to mention the event in this chapter, but the others lent themselves even less.
On the other hand, free time is also a dimension of the spirit.
AVIS AND THE SCHOOL
Blood volunteering is not a missionary choice, but a civic commitment of solidarity on which, moreover, every form of social coexistence is based. It therefore affects the level of culture and education and directly calls into question the school, as a privileged place in which educational processes develop in an intentional and systematic way.
The same Statute of AVIS, in article 6, explicitly reaffirms this concept and recurring agreements between the National Headquarters and the Minister of Public Education have planned various interventions in the school field.
In Umbertide, the section was very prompt in collecting the proposal and schools of all levels have always offered the maximum availability and the widest collaboration.
The first initiative addressed to the world of schools took place in 1961, by the Organizing Committee. The section wasn't there yet. Little is known about this "competition", the traces of which appear on a simple sheet of notes (the outline of the intervention of Doctor Mariano Migliorati at the founding Assembly of the section, June 12, 1963) and any type of material produced is missing. More documentation we will have later.
It should be noted that the meeting with the school takes place on two tracks with different but convergent and complementary contents. In the first there is the direct relationship with the students, held by some members of the Board and above all by the Health Director, Dr. Giancarlo Bruni, to illustrate the association's purposes and the specific problems of blood. It is a fertile and constructive moment in which the interventions of the pupils enrich and personalize the debate, while building, on the inner level, the conviction of a noble and attractive objective to be kept in mind at the right time.
The youthful age, charged with rigorous and disinterested ideal impulses, lends itself very much to a proposal of altruism and self-denial. And there is a sequel. It has been the practice of the section, for many years now, to send wishes for the completion of the eighteenth year of age, to all the young people of the Municipality. The letter, one of the first or the only one, that the recipients find in their hands on the day they come of age, also refreshes the seed thrown in the school desks. It is a kind and very fruitful initiative, if only in terms of human contact.
The second consists in announcing drawing competitions or free compositions that stimulate youth creativity and end with the award ceremony for the best works.
This sector is well cared for by the district management and in particular by its President, Tognellini Rolando, who dedicates a lot of energy and a lot of passion to it. In truth, Tognellini is also dynamic in the relations of the section (of which he is Vice President) with the outside world, both institutional and private.
The second competition was launched in 1966. It was a free composition and there was a large participation. The works judged the best and awarded were those of Riccardini Graziella (class 3 ° B Middle School "F. Mavarelli"), of Boldrini Maura (class 1 ° B Middle School "G. Pascoli") and of Galeati Rita (class 4th Institute Professional for Commerce).
It is a pleasure, after many years, to rediscover a piece of history from the past and I propose the compositions in the full text.
“Why was this Association born?
Why is everything done to spread it among men? These are questions that can only be answered: love of neighbor.
By giving only a little of our blood we can give life back to a person who, although unknown, belongs to us because he is part of a large family: Humanity ".
Boldrini Maura, 1st B
“Who are you illustrious unknown, creator of AVIS? I don't know your name, but I can appreciate you, understanding how important the work that blood donors do.
Where and how do you get the idea of such a beneficial initiative for humanity? Perhaps they were scenes of pain similar to those that inspired the well-deserving French officer who, on the fields of San Martino and Solferino, had the idea of founding that noble institution called the Red Cross?
Now the white ambulances arrive in the most distant countries of the world to bring help to those who suffer, defying dangers of all kinds.
Alongside this work, I place that of blood donors because they too, committed to the defense of human life, run right where life struggles most severely with death.
I admire them and, if I can, I will also want to imitate them. It will be the best way to give thanks to God for making me strong. Bloodless bodies abandoned on white hospital beds pass before the eyes of my imagination, I imagine people anxious at those beds and I can therefore understand what satisfaction the blood donor will feel, if he helps to revive those who were about to die.
I read in my anthology a phrase that made me meditate: "There is no more sacred good than life" and therefore I feel that it is admirable who runs where life launches its desperate SOS.
At the ceremony held in my country in honor of blood donors, next Sunday, I would like all citizens to participate united in a true spirit of brotherhood and understanding for the great pains that illnesses and serious road accidents cause, so that we can all be hit ".
Riccardini Graziella, 3rd B
“There are particular moments in life when we need to feel close to our neighbor to hear the immeasurable value of a word of comfort, a good gesture, a smile. It is amazing, however, how easily we forget who has lent us a hand. It makes us wonder if altruism still exists or if it was the invention of some unrepentant idealist.
No, altruism still exists because there are those who believe in love, in generosity, in neighbor. Our fault, if we can define it that way, is to live in the world, isolated from the world. We are used to looking at what happens outside our family, our environment, with a detached, foreign eye, participating only for pure exteriority in universal pain, without reflecting that there is someone who needs a word, of affection.
Perhaps the fault lies with modern society, the frenetic evolution of progress, the intense rhythm with which the hours of our day, always full, are marked. But let's be honest, it's our fault too. We do not seek, as usual, a justification; we admit that we have dried up, that we have become socialists, opportunists, selfish and have forgotten the just, the true human values; we have distanced ourselves from those who suffer without thinking of finding ourselves at any moment in a hospital ward, looking for a friendly look, even just with our eyes, a reassuring and understanding smile.
We expect a lot from others, but what do we do? Looking at the question from a religious point of view, the solution is at hand. “Love your neighbor as yourself”; the rest is peaceful. We know this too, but let's not lift a finger. When we are scrupulous we look around in search of a good work to do, but we never find it, perhaps because when something is uncomfortable, we prefer not to see it.
This is reality, the worst side of reality, but fortunately there are still those who feel human pain and sacrifice themselves to relieve it. Is it possible to give back to a mother her own dying child, to save a life, a family? Yes, it would be enough for us to feel more human, more alive, more real. It would be enough for us to strengthen those bonds of brotherly love that unite us Christianly and make us feel a part of humanity. Have we ever thought about donating our blood, a part of ourselves to those who need it? Maybe yes, but we considered it almost absurd, beautiful, so beautiful as to make us feel heroes, but absurd. We have all experienced the anguish, the fear of losing a loved one. Amidst tears, with despair in the heart, it is too spontaneous to say to the Lord: "I offer you my life in exchange for his". This is not absurd, it is love, love that knows no selfish limits and repressed generosity, it is love in the evangelical sense of the word.
We all have a heart, perhaps we don't listen to it often, because we could find what we are anxiously looking for all our life in a simple, very sweet smile of gratitude from an unknown person.
Galeati Rita, 4th Institute Prof.
There were numerous similar initiatives in the following years. The last was from 1995 on the theme AVIS, LIFE and the language chosen by the participants was that of drawing. The jury found itself in the embarrassment of having to choose one, because all the works presented were of a high level, both in the expressive technique and in the quality of the contents.
The award ceremony took place in solemn form in the "S. Francesco" room on June 3, 1995 and one of the first prizes was awarded to Marcucci Maura (3rd class "F. Mavarelli" Middle School in Pierantonio) for the drawing that is reproduced .
The world of school, a privileged sector of the Avisian attention, did not prevent a broader view and in 1967, a poetry competition was launched open to all on the theme MY VALLEY: MEN AND THINGS, PROBLEMS AND ASPIRATIONS.
The copy of the announcement, due to the interest and participation it obtained, is reproduced here and the three poems that obtained the first prize ex aequo are also reported. They are by Roselletti Achille , Tosti Mario and Cancian Antonio .
Sooner or later it happens to everyone to wage the last battle of life, the one that no one has ever won. Those who have supplied considerable troops to the battles of others and after a generous militancy, suddenly misses the call, also undergoes this ineluctable fate.
It is difficult to closely follow the personal stories of each donor. The number is high, the places of residence are more disparate, the sectional presence of volunteers employed only in the afternoon.
It happens, then, that some mournful event becomes known in untimely circumstances to externalize a formal act of condolence.
The subject has been debated for a long time and for some time, in the various Directors.
On the one hand, systematic silence, even if innocent for failure to communicate the event, could appear as a symptom of indifference and insensitivity, inconsistent with the associative purposes.
On the other hand, external participation in pain only in the cases of which we know, could be interpreted as discriminatory attention for some particular partner.
The prevailing and practiced orientation is that of not resorting to any formalities, in cases of mourning involving the shareholders. But the Avisian family is not insensitive to a disappearance that also affects it directly and wanted to make a more lasting gesture than a simple crown of flowers.
In the city cemetery a stone was erected, three travertine steles of unequal height, the DONOR'S CLIP .
The names of the emeritus and active members, of the collaborators and of the founder who left us, are all there, engraved in bronze, and exposed to gratitude and memory.
The list is already long and frames many other names of that strip of land where love and hatred, vainglory and humility, generosity and avarice end. The cippus, in its simplicity and harmonious composure, wants to be, in death, the emblem of the life of the avisino.
It was conceived and edited by the architect Bazzarri Luciano . The inauguration took place in a solemn form on June 24, 1990. Many will remember that on that Sunday the cycling tour took place, which started after Mass at the Cemetery and the short inaugural ceremony, in the presence of numerous participants already in their starting clothes. .
And the story continues. It belongs less and less to the elderly person who writes it and more and more to the young person who reads it. It is natural that this is the case, to reaffirm life with its burdensome commitments, sacrifices, pains, joys and hopes.
It is a bit like the physical law of ice formation in the polar cold, which if they were not lighter than the underlying liquid that originates them, they would settle without the possibility of life on earth.
The founders of AVIS found those who supported them and then replaced them in their daily organizational work; the first donors were joined by a large group of young people who grabbed the baton to pass it on to others, in the interminable relay race of solidarity.
This will also be the case in the future, because the choice of volunteering from Avis has become connatural to the people of Umbria, testifying to the solid roots of human sensitivity and high civicism, not yet completely contaminated by the contemporary categories of prevailing individualism.
In giving this modest work to the press, I feel the duty to thank those who gave me a hand: Luigi Gambucc who, with solicitude and concern, provided me with all the archive data, checking them with scrupulous diligence and with the competence of those who the history of AVIS has it in mind. Without his help, these pages would have come to light much later.
So much gratitude also to the Publisher, the GESP of Città di Castello and to its owner Paoloni Sandro who, as a good Avisino, wanted to contribute with the utmost generosity by offering the section the free printing of the book, with the participation of Mrs. Franchi Roberta and the Mr. Ascani Ascanio.
But I have to thank, in particular, all the people from Umberto I whose hidden and silent effort was a high teaching for me, which made mine lighter.
Precisely to contribute, in a minimal part, to the concrete testimony of solidarity that is usually practiced at AVIS, I assign all the copyrights inherent in this volume, except for the right to modify its content, to the AVIS SECTION OF UBERTIDE which, with the offers obtained from its diffusion, it will be able to better meet the economic needs of its many initiatives.