Aldo Tognana, from the Resistance to ceramics: goodbye to a great entrepreneur

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Clarimbaldo: nobody was named like him, and not even like his sister Canzianilla. Names due to the father’s imagination, to the assonance with Arcibaldo and Petronilla of the comics and to the distant Lombard-Austrian origins of the family: there was a de Tonanfeld at the service of the emperor of Austria, and more an Antonio Tognana than in 1770 builds a furnace and a Venetian villa in Sant’Antonino, Treviso. Clarimbaldo, for all Aldo, left yesterday at the age of 100 in March, with this familiar landscape in his eyes: the furnace, the window on greenery and a life behind him as a great ceramic entrepreneur. immediately after the war, he gave the blow to the business of the family and went from making bricks to making crockery. Everything was needed, he said, in that Italy to be rebuilt. They calculated that half of the Italian families had Tognana dishes on the table, the market was divided into two: the high end for Richard Ginori, which had 12 percent, and all the rest Tognana.

Aldo Tognana, from the Resistance to ceramics: goodbye to a great entrepreneur

Not just the company

But the Aldo rampante was not alone in the factory: a decisive character, solid principles, pragmatic that did not erase a basis of idealism, in the first post-war Treviso city council. A Christian Democrat, of course, as he had been a white partisan in the Resistance, never with a rifle in his hand, but to weave the organization until he became commander of the square of Treviso. In 2015, Minister of Defense Pinotti remembered him, who awarded him the gold medal of Liberation. But after the war, these became memories, there was the company: Ceramiche Tognana depopulated, there is only to grow, grow. Up to 1430 employees will arrive, there will also be the opening of a factory in Puglia. Aldo Tognana goes hard in everything, looks at the society around, returns. a tennis and cycling enthusiast. He founded a cycling team with Pinarello that covered himself with splendor and laurels, joined Confindustria, became its president in Treviso between 1976 and 81, but in the meantime he founded Ucid, the Christian Union of leading entrepreneurs, just to clarify that they are not everything: neither founder nor president.

The promise

Aldo and his wife Linda
Aldo and his wife Linda

He remembers his son Antonio, in the next room his father lying on the bed where he fell asleep forever: He thought about the well-being of the employees, he was an enemy of automation because he forced to lay off, and when fatally automation won, he preferred to pass the hand , that it was someone else doing the dirty work. Relocation did not suit him. Just as fascism hadn’t gone before. Christian entrepreneur, indeed profoundly Catholic, for whom the family counted. His wife Linda Balestrieri is 99 years old, he said he’ll wait for you to celebrate your hundred years, but he didn’t make it. They married in ’46, soberly celebrated their 74 years of marriage together with their four children: Alessandra, the twins Antonio and Elisabetta, Maria Luisa. Or rather five: because in 1969 they adopted Cristina, taken from the orphanage at the age of 4 and became part of the family. A beautiful story, with all due respect to those who in Treviso whisper that a couple of the characters of Ladies & Gentlemen by Pietro Germi were inspired by the Tognana brothers, rampant industrialists.

Three newspapers a day

In short, Clarimbaldo Tognana has been a living handsome for almost all his hundred years: until a few years ago he went with his legs to the assemblies of Confindustria, still last week he read three or four newspapers a day, he bought books on political current affairs, he was fascinated by art. The books: he had two thousand at home, had a portion of the porch closed to make it the library, and called a boy to catalog them. They are all divided into sections – literature, politics, history – and traceable with an Excel program. He reasoned and no longer recognized himself in today’s politics: He did not agree with any of the current leaders, says his son Antonio. Bread with bread and wine with wine, he did not agree even in Confindustria with the Agnelli presidency, and he said it clearly. Imagine if he agreed with the Northern League players who wanted to take Treviso with the mayor-sheriff Gentilini: in ’94 Tognana ran to beat him, he won in the first round but lost the ballot. Ideas at the antipodes, he who was friends with Romano Prodi and that Christian Democrat ruling class not overwhelmed by Tangentopoli. Remember son: Rigid character, yes, but discreet and calm. He made up his mind after listening a lot, and then didn’t change his mind. He has not written, neither for politics nor for business: but his lectures are collected in a book published by Assindustria Treviso.

June 23, 2020 (change June 23, 2020 | 10:30 p.m.)

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