Vicenza, Gino Rigon died at the age of 99, Christian Democrat symbol of purity of heart and intellect

He was councilor in Vicenza, co-founder of the Veneto Region, and spent a lot of energy on international cooperation

Gino Riogn, photographed two years ago at the meeting to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Mayor Corazzin (center) together with Silvano Spiller

Luigi “Gino” Rigon passed away at the Rovereto hospital: he was on vacation in Camposilvano as usual and fell ill. Rigon was over 99 and would be a hundred next year. He was the patriarch, not only by age but by authority, of Vicenza politics. Person of great spirituality and as much concreteness, together with Quintino Gleria (father of Francesco, for a long time director of the FTV) he was the closest friend of Mariano Rumor. He admired him so much that once Rumor went to visit him at his house and under the Rigon armchair he pinned a note with the words: “Here sat the Prime Minister”.

Rigon personified the most social and clear-cut soul – in any sense we want it to be understood – of the Christian Democrats. When in the early Eighties the DC, which held congresses at the San Marco cinema, was in such a bad shape due to the internal disagreements between the currents and the controversies of the opponents that in 1983 it needed Gino Rigon with his honest license to restore oxygen to the voters and party credibility. And in that year he was elected provincial secretary of the DC.

His political commitment began well before. Soldier in the Second World War, captured by the Germans in Slovenia, after the prison camp he returned to Vicenza in ’45. He embraces the social and founds the Acli together with Rumor. He becomes “half manager”, as he said. He attends the Leo XIII Patronage in Ponte Pusterla.

He became councilor for general affairs and heritage in Giorgio Sala’s second council, from 1965 to 1970: among other things, he planned the transfer of the large Valbruna and Beltrame steel mills from Viale Mazzini to the industrial area. The City Council approved it in 1970 and the blast furnaces shut down in 1978.

Rigon was also among the founders of the Region in 1970: together with him another Vicentine, Franco Borgo, was elected in the first legislature, destined for a career in the European Parliament. In 1975 he was re-elected to the Region, but the climate had changed. He confessed in an interview with Corriere del Veneto a couple of years ago: “The DC had an absolute majority and at that point they said that only one person was enough on the commissions. In practice, three or four decided everything in the Region ”. He didn’t like it and in 1976 he left his job and salary in Venice. His seat went to Giuseppina Dal Santo.

He spent half his life in politics but another half Gino Rigon spent supporting volunteering and international cooperation, from Timat in Creazzo to the nuns in Eritrea.

Journalist Margherita Carniello had recently interviewed him for a book on Vito Orcalli, the first president of the regional council, but she had also heard him for the book he wrote on Dal Santo, gives this effective portrait: “Rigon is exceptional, memory of iron and purity of heart and intellect “.

Antonio Di Lorenzo

Vicenza, Gino Rigon died at the age of 99, Christian Democrat symbol of purity of heart and intellect