sábado, 3 de outubro de 2009


First time I addressed to Tony Serrano at the final of a session in Salzburg, Austria, where he had been speaking, I did it in English, absolutely absent minded, because he had been introduced to me by Madureira Pires at San Antonio, Texas, as if it could be necessary, I think now, after we have had the opportunity to cross our lives in different continents, with someone who dominates his mother language so properly.
Therefore, it is a notable privilege to have the opportunity to know this calm man, useful to the others and rather pleasant in the way of speaking, an outstanding rotarian Portuguese language speaker, a first line rotarian, either in the practical sense of wealth as good-natured man, personality, wisdom, or through his personal way in the world rotarian panorama.
It is a great honor to me to usufruct Tony, Marie and Teresa friendship.
António Moreira Serrano, only Tony as he is known worldwide, was born in Angola (this country was still a Portuguese colony) and lived as a young man in Zambia and Zimbabwe, before he immigrates to South Africa with his family in 1970. He is a rotarian since he gets in the Rotary Club of Livingstone in 1957, in Zambia, to go on in the Rotary Club of Bedfordview, in South Africa.
Tony and Marie are appointed as a marvelous and elegant couple. They got married 54 years ago and have four sons and three grandsons.
He is a man with great culture and his hobbies go from music and theater to gardening and footing.
Our common friend Eric Marques, who lives in Harare, uses to tell that Tony always inspired him in his life, since he knew him in 1986 until now, with the same intensity. «Since the first moment I was very fond of his contagious smile…he was travelling through Zimbabwe in a polio mission and I had the opportunity to listen him speaking in firsthand about the rotary initial commitment trying to solve the poliomyelitis problem».
Some years ago my dear friend Tony Serrano was back home in South Africa with his wife, coming from Brisbane, Australia, and he profited at once the circumstance to «have a wonderful time seeing their friends once again». But when he made me a rough-draft of his curriculum vitae, some days later, he is already leaving for a new ten days tour with his daughter Teresa, to the east of Cape Province.
Tony served rotary in all possible ways and in almost all leadership posts at any level, local, regional and worldwide.
In 1976-7 he presided to the Rotary Club of Bedfordview. He was 9300 district governor in 1983-4.
In the club as well in the district, he exercised his vocation to serve in all avenues and service committees, as the chair or committee member.
At regional level he was secretary and chairman of the African south east governors’ council during four of the seven years he served in that council.
But he immediately worked in RI on a multiplicity of posts and tasks absolutely vertiginous and of great engagement, such is his capacity for working hard and «to serve above self».
So he served as ANZAO, world community service committee member, Rotary Information Seminar advisor for two years and team leader in the International Assembly for another two years.
Member of the Rotary Volunteer Committees, chairman of zone 6 regional CEEMA – rotary volunteers in action committee, CEEMA regional special committee member, he was elected twice for the RI Council on Legislation.
If RI saga as for the struggle against infantile paralysis touched him with liveliness and truly absorbed him physically, intellectually and emotionally, namely in the beginning, wrapped oneself in the Sub-Saharan PolioPlus committee, and afterwards in so many tasks and procedures highly distinguished, multiplies after all in a immensity of approaching areas well different and not less complexes.
Tony Serrano, «Mister Africa», was the chairman of the promoting and planning committee of an uncountable number of goodwill African conferences and institutes, area coordinator of the membership task force in Africa, international affairs committee member and chairman or vice chairman of the African affairs committee for five years.
«We have to agree to meet there in Portugal to eat a bacalhauzada (cod fish meal)», here they are Tony Serrano single recurrent manifestations, by chance making evidence of the longing and affection that tie him to his roots.
But Tony Serrano, this dear friend of ours, «patrician», gentlemanly, cosmopolitan who visited already 56 countries, attended 40 district conferences around the world and participated in 24 RI International Conventions, was RI director in 1993-5 and had the privilege to chair its executive committee board in 1994-5.
(To be continued below)

Henrique Pinto

October 09
PHOTOS: Tony Serrano, Ruth Madureira Pires, Henrique Pinto, M.J. Madureira Pires, Yolanda Melamed (Global Health, Atlanta, USA) and Eric Marques, at Presidential Conference, Nairobi, Kenia, 2003; Tony Serrano observes while Henrique Pinto offers his book Rotary International in Angola, about Polio Eradication, to RI President Bhichai Rattakul, Nairobi, Kenia; Imbondeiro tree in Angola, the country where Tony Serrano was born

1 comentário:

  1. Dear friend Henrique

    Thank you very much for your letter as hereunder. I have been delayed in sending this note to you, as Marie and I have just returned from the Insititue in the Seychelles.
    You have indeed been very kind in all the words that you say about me on your blog. I know that there are very many Rotarians, including yourself with distinguished service records in Rotary. I am honoured that you chose me and I want to wish you great success in these endeavours.

    Warm regards

    Best wishes

    Your friends

    Tony, Marie and Teresa.