Memories of those who came before us

After recalling the events that led to the establishment of our association, it seemed useful, especially for the members who have recently approached aerophilately, to bring back a brief memory of those who, in various capacities, have actively contributed to the constitution to the development of our association. We have limited ourselves to remembering the members who have deceased, who have assumed the office of president and president or honorary member.

President Mario Onofri

Mario Onofri, from Rome, was a well-known collector and expert in Zeppelin mail, he was a founding member and first president of Italian Association of Aerofilatelia, advisor and life partner of Lombard Philatelic Union. He was also a member of the Association International des experts philatéliques, of Association International des journaltes philatéliques, of American Air Mail Society, of Swiss Aerofilatelic Society, as well as of the Correspondent Collectors Club, the association established by Giuseppe Schenone.
He was author of numerous and valuable studies on Zeppelin mail and was editor of a philatelic column in the Milanese newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore” and collaborator of the famous magazine “The Philatelic Bulletin of Italy”, in which his study on flight in South America of the airship “LZ.127 Graf Zeppelin”, followed in 1958 by the study of other flights of the same airship and in 1959 by the one on Zeppelin airships in 1914-18 war. It was a magazine in which they wrote a patrol of real aerofìlatelia aces in its various specialties: Piero Consonni, Mario Onofri, Giuseppe Schenone, Piero Gall, Luigi Polo Friz introduced our readers to the most beautiful aspects of air mail collections.
In 1994 the Board of Directors of American Air Mail Society entered the name of Mario Onofri, in memory, in the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame, in State College, Pennsylvania, in the building of the American Philatelic Society, with the following motivation: ” Zeppelin expert and collector of mail, author of three books and many articles in this sector, organizer of many events of aerophilately in Italy, FISA co-founder and its first vice president, AIDA co-founder and its first president from 1958 to 1966, first FIP aerophilatelia commission president and international juror “.
The commemorative plaque of American Hall of Fame was delivered in Milan on November 26, 1994 to Mrs. Fausta Onofri, daughter of the late aerialist, in the presence of AIDA directors and members gathered for the occasion.

To remember Mario Onofri worthily, it seems appropriate to bring back some excerpts from a beautiful memory dedicated to him by Giuseppe Schenone, his close friend, published right on the pages of the Bulletin, in the May 1968 issue, on the occasion of his death:

“I was climbing the stairs of Via Armorari 14, in Milan, on a Sunday morning in the spring of the year 1948. I had just become a member of the Lombard Philatelic Union and my nineteen years, with the very little experience that I had, they were not the viaticum more suitable to access what was then considered the saint of saints of Milanese philately. I hadn’t even dared to take the elevator, and there were many steps even for a young man like me. When I reached the top, I entered the Lombarda headquarters and presented myself with an embarrassment in which curiosity and the desire to escape were mixed. I was well received and soon noticed a face with a big nose and another open in an equally big, indeed very big smile. These are my earliest memories of Piero Consonni to whose nose I immediately got used to and of Mario Onofri, […] For twenty years Mario and I have walked together on the easy and difficult path that philately and aerophilately offer their lovers. Over time, the disproportion in age between us diminished and this made the friendship more and more affectionate. He was an extremely good companion, loyal, of absolute moral uprightness, with whom one could argue, not get along, even fighting, as happened and not infrequently to me, always without destroying the friendship, even strengthening it in the contrast. It has never been for sale and no one has managed to buy it with ideas or inventions that were not freely accepted by him as his. This brought him some enmities which he was proud of as well as friendships. His indomitable and strong character made him an ideal, if not always lucky, fighter. In the young history of Italian aerophilately, Mario Onofri occupies a very important place. His experience in the vast and complex sector of Zeppelin airships post, recognized by all, had led him to write and publish numerous articles, both of a popular and historical nature, and three monographs printed by the Philatelic Bulletin. For his specialty, he was part of the Association International des experts philatéliques and, recently, the publisher of the only Zeppelin mail catalog, Sieger, had given him a very important task in preparing the new edition. Equipped with a solid culture and gifted with an easy and happy pen, he was dedicating these last years to an intense propaganda for aerophilathelia, with articles concerning the most various sectors of the subject: from the ballons montés of the Siege of Paris in 1870 to documents mails of the Gordon Bennett balloon cups, to the air mail of Italy and Germany. I will reveal one of his secrets: he wrote the whole text and provided the illustrations for the Giulio Bolam edition album dedicated to the “Atlantic crossings”. When in 1958 I launched an appeal from this magazine for the establishment of a partnership between Italian aerophilatelists, Mario Onofri and Piero Consonni were among the first to say yes. Unfortunately, Piero Consonni died on 18 October 1958, two months before the birth of the Italian Aerofilatelia Association of which Mario Onofri was the first unforgettable president. […] During the Onofri presidency, AIDA organized the historical air mail exhibition in Milan in September 1960, in conjunction with the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the first overflight of the Alps made in 1910 by Geo Chavez, and the transport of souvenir mail from Domodossola to Milan, by air. In 1959 and 1960 Salsomaggiore, Alessandria in 1961 hosted aerophilathic exhibitions, promoted by the local philatelic circles and organized by the AIDA to which Mario Onofri gave a particular dynamism and spirit of initiative. The Federation of Italian Philatelic Societies was the first and for now the only one among those that are part of the FIP to seriously consider aerophilatelia to the point of making it the subject of the appointment of a special national delegate. The credit goes to Mario Onofri who was federal delegate and author of the national regulation for aerophilathelia exhibitions.”

Honorary Member Giuseppe Schenone

Giuseppe Schenone, from Milan, was a great scholar and historian of aerostatics and for over 15 years he published the “Aerostatic Letter”.
But we also want to remember him here as a founding member, honorary member and number 1 of the Association, as a theorist of aerophilathelia, and as a concrete researcher and collector of aeronautical history.
His interests, however, went far beyond our airmail, from religion to poetry, from associations to the problems of his professional work.
He loved writing and communicating in writing, his phone was the post. For more than fifty years he had founded the Correspondent Collector’s Club and ran the “Collector’s Post” newsletter.
From 1986 he sent a sheet that he had called “Cartapersa della Specola di Gi Esse”: where he told his friends thoughts and considerations on many aspects of life, even the most unusual, in the vision of a believer as he was.
Returning to his collections, many of which are unknown, it can be said that he began with helicopters – he was present in Rimini, San Marino and the Milan Fair at the first experiments with the rotary wing – and published a famous volume on this period. Then he threw himself into aerostatics and the history of balloon flight.
He participated in the foundation of the Italian Aerostatic Club, following in Italy and abroad free balloons ascents and competitions and writing chronicles and emotions, up to the publication of the essay on “The aerostatic mail from Milan of 1848”.
For years he commented on air mail news on “The Philatelic Bulletin of Italy” in Florence, on “La Gazzetta Filatelica” in Milan, on “F & N” and on “Il Collezionista” in Turin.
Schenone, who died prematurely, still had many things to tell us about the past and to invent in the future. Countess Maria Fede Caproni wrote of him: “… seeing a balloon in the sky, the memory of Schenone will flutter for his friends …”. And we will be able to remember him every time we leaf through the books and magazines where his thoughts are present.

President Sandro Taragni

Without detracting from the presidents who preceded or followed him, the president Ing. Sandro Taragni, with his long term, is undoubtedly the most important figure, if we go back over the years to reread the history of our association. When we talk about him we can, without fear of being misunderstood, refer to “The President”, without adding anything else.
Those who knew him still have a vivid memory of him, with his marked qualities of amiability and kindness, combined with an extraordinary generosity. He was a man of culture, a great collector of aviation items, both postal and historical and he was even one of the greatest exponents of our aerophilately and profound connoisseur of the subject.
Sandro Tragni became president AIDA after the assembly held in Milan on 10 April 1964, succeeding Mario Onofri, who had been its president since its foundation in 1958. It cannot be denied that President Taragni’s conception of collecting has influenced, both through the relationships with the members, both through the tasks and activities he carried out for long years, on the meaning and contents to be given to modern aerofilatelia and therefore on the way of being aerophilatelists today.
His work as creator and organizer of exhibitions and exhibitions should not be forgotten: we remember AEROPHILEX 70 in Riccione, SERENISSIMA 76 in Venice and 75 Years of Flight in 1978 in Milan. He was author of catalogs, among these we remember the catalog of tItalian air mail, which he wrote together with Cherubino Cherubini and the last effort: the erinnophile vignettes of aviation pioneers. As a writer and scholar: just consider the texts and the choice of documents in the volume “Il volo in Italia alla belle époque” and in “Milan and the Milanese in the history of flight”.
He signed alsomany articles in specialized magazines and, shortly before his death, he had completed and was about to publish two works he had been waiting for for a long time. One was dedicated to the Five Days of Milanof 1848 and his “Air Mail”, the other was a listing of all psychological warfare leaflets, launched by various belligerents during the First World War.
He got Italian Philately “Albo d ‘Oro”and he was AIDA founding member and President for 32 years. The Board unanimously appointed him Honorary President.The ceremony, affectionate and cordial, as it was in his style, took place on January 20, 1996, in Taino (Varese) and on that occasion the then president Aldo Alonge, on behalf of all the partners, gave Sandro Taragni a golden souvenir that it was engraved with the words “AIDA with gratitude” and the dates “1964-1996”, accompanied by a diploma signed by the members present.
In addition to be enthusiastic and tireless organizer of many aerophilathic events, he was a member of the FISA Presidium and an international juror. For several years he was a member of the Council for philately of the Ministry of Post.
In addition to an infinity of national and international awards, in 1990, he was honored by another prestigious international recognition : his name was inscribed in the “Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame”. The Hall – inaugurated in 1989 at the headquarters of the American Philatelic Society a State College in Pennsylvania – home to the names of those around the world who have dedicated a significant portion of their lives to the development and advancement of aerophilathelia. The motivation for this international recognition, granted to Taragni, recalled the above already highlighted, i.e. his AIDA presidency, his collections on aviation pioneers, his work for exhibitions and juries, the volume on the flight in the “belle époque”, the air mail catalog written together with Cherubini and, finally, his participation in FISA presidium.
Even the latter, in November 1996, appointed him an honorary member of his Board, in recognition of all those merits acquired in so many years of passionate dedication to aerophilately.
To accompany Eng. Sandro Taragni often there was his lady, Laura Taragni, who followed his studies and research with interest and participated with attention in his collecting occupations. At the time of the birth of AIDA, and in the following years, the kind lady was often present at the meetings that marked the different stages in the life of our association. His cultural interests, from music to art, to literature, often had points of contact with ours, as when he spoke of his experiences as a volunteer, in the classification of papers and documents at the civic collection of Bertarelli Prints of the Castle Sforzesco of Milan.

Honorary President Piero Gall

Prof. Piero Gall, from Trieste, after having abandoned the profession of doctor due to age limits, devoted himself passionately to the study of Italian Zeppelin aerograms, publishing several studies on the subject. In deepening this field he also considered the number and importance of correspondence carried on the various flights, also associating a commercial evaluation.
In particular, the memory of the cruise carried out in 1933 by the “Graf Zeppelin” in Italy shared him with Mario Onofri, with whom he went to share his interest in the history of German aircrafts and the aerograms they transported. Of both, the magazine “Il Collezionista” has published numerous and interesting articles, very well documented, which confirm the profound preparation of the two writers and which are still taken as reference today as indispensable bibliographic sources.
Precisely for these merits, the Italian Association of Aerofilatelia, after having elected Mario Onofri as its first president, wanted to elect Prof. Piero Gall as vice-president and then as honorary president. The details of this appointment can be deduced from the minutes of the meeting of the board of directors (which met in Modena on January 8, 1967), which states that the appointment of Prof. Gall as honorary president “was unanimously approved for the contribution he gave to his studies in the field of aerophilathelia in Italy, for the merits gained and the prestige given to aerophilathy, and in particular to AIDA of which he was vice-president, with his participation in the main exhibitions of aerophilately Italy and abroad “.
The great contribution given to aerofilatelia in Italy has also been recognized by the Federation of Italian Philatelic Societies, with the inclusion in the Golden Roll of Italian philately.

Honorary Member Cherubino Cherubini

To describe the figure of Cherubino Cherubini we are inspired, above all, by the description made of him by Paolo Pogliani, in one of the issues of our magazine, to remember his death, occurred on 25 May 2009.
He was accountant, and he carried out professional activities as a labor consultant and administrator of assets of many families and important Florentine farms, with great ability and fairness. ln the philatelic and aerophilatelic field, he was for many years President of the Florentine Philatelic Circle, of which he was honorary president. He was an active part of the group of founding members of AIDA, where he held the position of Vice-President as long as his health allowed him. His fame as a great collector and his recognized competence earned him numerous and important Italian and foreign certificates. He is remembered at philatelic conferences careful to look for the rare but well-known piece, which might interest him, but also to look at the odds and ends because, thanks to his expertise, he was able to find something of interesting from the mass that others had overlooked.
Together with Eng. Sandro Taragni was the author of the “Italian Airmail Catalog”, a work for many years has been a valid point of reference for airmail collectors. Unfortunately, only the first part of the catalog was published; the second part, already ready, it was not published for editorial reasons. His philatelic passion ranged in the most disparate fields, such as the military post, the Italian Napoleonic cancellations, the letters of the expedition to the Crimea and those of the Tuscan volunteers in Curtatone and Montanara, as well as the cancellations of the offices Grand-Ducal post offices and Tuscan railways. His thorough knowledge of these sectors allowed him to collaborate in many specialized publications, as well as to write numerous articles for various philatelic magazines.
However, aerofilathelia was the field that, with his activity as a collector, researcher and scholar, gave him international fame. As a young man he lived through the golden age of the development of flight in Italy, following with enthusiasm the individual and collective enterprises that fascinated Italians and aroused the admiration and appreciation for Italian pilots all over the world.
Certainly his research and the in-depth study of air mail (of aerograms, in particular), which at the time represented a revolutionary communication tool, which shortened distances in an unthinkable way, significantly contributed to the spread of aerophilathelia that at that time was a specialty philatelic limited to a select few, and almost unknown to the general public of collectors.
In 1998, on the occasion of the forty years of AIDA’s life, the Board decided to confer to him the qualification of Honorary Member: to him who was already a Founding Member and had represented the Italian aerophilathelia at the highest level. “With this decision – the president Alonge wrote to his friend Cherubini – we wanted to reward a great collector and scholar who honors Italian and world aerophilathelia and, moreover, recognize what he has done for AIDA, from the day of its foundation and in the many years of the vice-presidency and the permanence in our Board”. The letter then concluded ” … I wish you to continue to enjoy your passion, making use of all the knowledge and experiences you have with accumulated commitment and perseverance “. His experiences and knowledge not only led him to compose, as already told, the authoritative “Airmail Italian Catalog”, but also made him known abroad as international juror, from “APEX 73” in Manchester to “Italy 85”.
His competence and versatility in many fields, also by cultivating the study of other specializations (from the Tuscan railways to the sea routes, up to the military post from the time of Napoleon to the late 1950s) earned him the inscription in the “Roll of Honour” of the Italian Philately and in the FISA “Spillo d’oro”.
But that’s not all, again in 1998, from the United States, by our partner dr. Robert E. Lana, former President of the American Air Mail Society, it came the news that, as already happened with Eng. Sandro Taragni, the Board of the American Association had decided to include the name of our Cherubino Cherubini in the famous “Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame”, a recognition that, in the words of Fernando Corsari, could be defined as the Nobel Prize in aerofilatelia, an international recognition that went to honor the whole Italian aerophilatelia.

President Aldo Alonge

Aldo Alonge, from Milan, devoted himself to the study of drawing and painting. At the end of the Second World War he resumed his job as an advertising designer and then moved on to technical publishing with his father. When he went by chance to the Linate airfield, he took the opportunity to get his pilot’s license, buy a plane and fly around in the skies of Brianza.
Dedicated to aerofilatelia, he specialized in the postal services of the Siai S.55, then extending the research on this seaplane, on its history, businesses and its men, postal services, later collected in his famous book “S.55 Story”.
At the international ITALIA ’85, Aldo Alonge won one of the three gold medals with a special prize. He was the first of the Italians, exhibiting a study on the triptychs and aerograms of the Balbo transatlantic cruise of 1933, enriched with postal service documents relating to the dispatches to Cartwright.
In May 1998 our president was also awarded a diploma, awarded to him by the Associazione Trasvolatori Atlantici, for his book “S.55 Story”. The ceremony took place at the shrine of the Atlanteans, at the Parco delle Crociere in Orbetello, where Alonge received the recognition from the hands of Gen. Mario Arpino, Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, with the following motivation:
“… His monographic work is a monument of aeronautical history in honor of men and means of Atlantic companies”.
I was a master for many of us, scrupulous and precise; he was always available with his suggestions, from which we all learned the passion for aerophilathelia. There remain his articles, his researches, his book, present in the library of every aerophilatelist, which will continue to be consulted because they are incommensurable sources of news and culture.

Secretary Fernando Corsari

If for Taragni it was customary to refer to “The President”, for Fernando Corsari, one could without any doubt refer to “The Secretary”, a role he has played for many years, with unparalleled passion and competence. A great experience that he then poured into the role of President, commendably played unfortunately for a few years, following his untimely death, on 11 December 2002.
Although many years have already passed, his memory is still alive, because nothing and no one has filled the void he left in our association. His disappearance, it can be said, not only constituted a loss for his loved ones and for us who were friends with him, but also constituted a great loss for the world of philately, which remained impoverished.
He was known for his gifts of kindness, modesty and helpfulness, but also for his vast culture in the field of aerophilately. Whoever had turned to him was sure to get an answer, and he, thanks to his great availability, made your vast knowledge available disinterestedly, without expecting anything and, above all, without showing off any arrogance. His name still continues to be respected and esteemed, as he is recognized as one of the most serious and competent lovers of the subject. In this regard, it is necessary to remember his beautiful collection on “Interrupted Flights”, but also the precious catalog “Aerofilatelia Italiana”, edited together with Ugo Desimoni, published in the period 1969-1971 through the “Rivista Aeronautica” and then as a book, which in the intentions of the authors constituted a real philatelic history of flight in Italy (from 1784 to 1939). We cannot forget about Fernando’s interest in post-war air mail, to which he dedicated the important essay “The air mail of the Italian Republic”, which he could not see the publication of, as it is part of the volume “La Repubblica Italiana”, published on the occasion of the exhibition held at the Chamber of Deputies in 2003.
Despite his journalistic engagement with other newspapers, he found the time to devote himself to the “Flash” as well. His was, in fact, the “In Biblioteca” column, which he always kept updated to the last hour. In it he reviewed, in great detail, the latest arrivals, in bookstores, of publications and books relating to aeronautics, as well as, in particular, publications concerning aerophilately.
Over many years, he has always been generous with advice, bestowed with the usual education and discretion: articles that have now become rarer than a “3 lire di Toscana”, as Romano Bini well wrote in one of his many testimonies dedicated to him on the ” Flash”. And even after he was appointed President of the Association, he never took advantage of his authority to impose his will, regardless of the opinion of others. People like Fernando cannot be forgotten, his figure will always be present. And his “modus operandi”, in the human relationship, will continue to be an example to all of us.
Fernando also had a woman at his side, Mrs. Bruna, who supported him a lot and accompanied him in his passion for aerophilathelia, but not only. As everyone knows, another passion of Fernando, in addition to aerofilatelia, was the “Mountain”, to which he devoted himself, even philatelically. Mrs Bruna Corsari then had the merit, even after her death, of never making us miss the memory of Fernando, continuing as long as she was able, in her memory, to pass on her passion.

Honorary President Giovanni Merelli

He was born in Modena, then moved to Sassuolo, where with his important studio he practiced his profession as business consultant. Giovanni Merelli was a special man. His disappearance, which occurred on January 18, 2013, left a great and unbridgeable void for those who had the privilege of knowing him well.
In a world, including the philatelic one, characterized by selfishness of all kinds, Giovanni stood out not only for his innate elegance but also for his great generosity, which he did not like to exhibit very much, but which was inherent in his being.
Like the others who preceded it, it was an inexhaustible source of teachings, both from the philatelic point of view and from a general culture point of view, without any emphasis and always suggested with a smile on the lips, but precisely for this reason of great effectiveness.
To frame this extraordinary character, to make it clear how noble his thought was, we can recall the AIDA Board held in Empoli in September 2009, on the occasion of the “Aerophilatelia Day”, when he quietly made his thesis prevail that every decision must always take into account the sentimental aspects.
Just at the end of the lunch of that “Day”, the then president Costantino Gironi proceeded, in addition to the awarding of the exhibitors, to confer on Giovanni Merelli the title of “Honorary President” of our Association.
The recognition unanimously decided by the AIDA Board, then had the seal of all the members present on that occasion, who did not fail to express their satisfaction and appreciation to the person concerned for a decision fully shared by all.
His collecting interests concentrated above all on air mail, of different periods, but always in the historical-postal sense, rather than purely airphilatelic. In this regard, he used to repeat, with a certain irony, like a perfect Emilian he was, that he was not interested in the “first flight”, but the “second flight”, which was certainly rarer. In any case, with his postal knowledge and his great philatelic expertise, he could immediately read a correspondence traveled by air, identify the company, the route, the goodwill, any signs of censorship and much more. His collections are very interesting, never exhibited in competitions, which he did not like, but only on the occasion of the “Day” or in some other event in which he was invited. In particular, very important was his collection of the large frankings of the “imperial” series and also of the ordinary series “Italia al Lavoro”. For the latter, it is curious to remember, during the various conferences in which it was possible to meet, when he often pulled from his bag a curious notebook, in which they were noted with great diligence, through crosses and with a criterion that only he knew, all the possible combinations of franking of this famous series.
We will all always remember him with affection and much, much regret!

Honorary Member Paolo Pogliani

To remember Paolo Pogliani we are helped by the heartfelt memory by Paolo Pellegrini made in an issue of our magazine. Paolo Pogliani’s death occurred on 29 May 2014. With him has gone one of the last exponents of that aerofilatelists group which in 1958 gave life to our AIDA.
The Board of the time entrusted him, from the beginning of the social activities, with the delicate task of heading the “News Aerophilatelic Service”, to be distributed to all members who had subscribed to a regular subscription; a collecting sector that had never before been undertaken in Italy in a systematic and organic way.
Paolo Pogliani took up the position with a real sense of responsibility, great professionalism, time and resources by making use of the experience acquired in many years of research in the airphilatelic field.
He immediately made a qualitative leap in the sector of the first flights: both those carried out by all the airlines that operated on the national territory, and the special flights celebrating events, anniversaries and aeronautical celebrations.
These were the years of the great development of world air transport; we can only imagine how difficult it was – without today’s web – to keep up to date on the myriad of inaugural flights, the opening of new routes and stopovers, the arrival of new airlines, the operational introduction of new aircraft. He succeeded by activating an incredible network of relationships and interconnections with similar foreign aerofilatelic associations, with collectors, organizations, newspapers, sector advertising.
Any information received or captured was promptly processed for the creation of private envelopes (but also aerograms, postcards, postal stationery, etc.), prepared by himself and admirably made to arrive, in time for their mailing and to be embarked on board aircraft enabled to carry extraordinary air dispatches, which gradually represented the expansion and spread of Aviation in Italy and in the world.
Today there is no Air Mail collector who does not have aerograms prepared by Paolo Pogliani in his collection; all recognizable by a few essential data; wording affixed with rubber stamps, postage always in perfect air mail rate, personalized sender on the back, absolute sobriety of the paper supports. Among his many specializations in collecting air mail, the dispatches prepared with the collaboration of the Vatican and San Marino post offices deserve to be mentioned.
He was a reserved man, hard worker and very shy, but it cannot be forgotten that all the post-war Italian airmail collections owe the aeropostal documentation of almost all the inaugural and special flights carried out in thirty years aviation history to Paolo Pogliani. The Italian aerophilatelists must also be grateful to Paolo Pogliani for the attention and perseverance with which he has followed the development of scheduled air transport.
For his work in 1999, the Board Assembly kept in Verona warmly celebrated him. The Board, in implementation of a resolution of the previous year, appointed him honorary member. On that occasion, President Alonge showed those present the elegant plaque that bore the words “To Paolo Pogliani / I’AIDA / with gratitude / Milan 1959 – Verona 1999”.
Those are words that need to be explained.
Paolo was honored not only as a founding member, but also for having been part of the Board of our Association for forty years. First, in fact, as secretary from 1959 to 1961, then as person in charge of the news service and the swap service.
On these reports, which he carried out with great competence as has been said, it is curious to return to the description that he himself made of it on the pages of our magazine a few years before his death.
“I must say that the greatest difficulties for this service (the News Service) came from the Italian side, because the main foreign companies always announced the opening of the new airlines and some even offered the possibility of booking the aerograms that would be made.
ALITALIA not only did not give information, but came to threaten legal actions (later returned) because in the private stamps, which specified the flight, the AIDA indicated “VOLO ALITALIA”. Thanks for the free even if minimal advertising!
As previously mentioned, relations with foreign air companies were excellent, so much so that LUFTHANSA, in 1968, awarded Fernando Corsari and me with a commemorative medal which it gave to the most loyal collectors”.
For the “Swaps Service”, assigned to him at a later time, we report the words of Pogliani, “it has always been difficult because few members provided swap material and to balance the costs of preparing and shipping lists, with the small proceeds from sales, it was often a dream”.

President Costantino Gironi

First as Treasurer and then as President, Costantino Gironi was a leading figure in Italian and international aerophilathelia. As National Delegate for Aerophilatelia he contributed a lot with his articles published in the Federation magazine, “Qui Filatelia”, to clarify, in the face of his long experience as a juror, many of the doubts that come naturally to those who the first time exhibits in competitions, also acting as a promoter, the March 28th, 2009, of an “Aerofilatelia Seminar”, the last one carried out, managed with the support and participation of the Federation.
He was responsible, starting from 2011, as National Delegate, for the subdivision of the Aerofilatelia class into temporal subclasses, which has always been advocated within our Association, through the following categories:

  • Aerofilatelia of the pioneering period: from the origins to 1925;
  • Modern aerophilathelia: from 1926 to 1949;
  • Contemporary aerophilathelia: since 1950;
  • Diachronic aerophilathelia: relating to more than one period.

A subdivision had already been adopted for some time by traditional philately and postal history. As for the latter, the aim was to avoid direct competition and confrontation between the aerophilatelic collections relating to the last decades and those on the pioneering period, which could evidently draw on material of greater philatelic “weight”. The distinction adopted between the classical / pioneering period and the modern one was 1926, with the opening of the first commercial lines.
His participations in the most important exhibitions in Italy and abroad have always been the object of attention on the part of aerophilatelists and postal historians. His writings, which appeared in the magazine “Cursores”, on “Qui Filatelia”, on the various single Issues of the “Giornate dell’Aerofilatelia” and, finally, on “Il Postalista” will always be read with the utmost attention by fans of the sector.
Without a doubt, with his death, occurred on October, 22nd 2014, an important contribution to our Association has been lacking, to face the challenges that our collecting sector will face in the future.
Finally, we do not want to forget his philanthropic activities and his interests and initiatives to do with the young and the elderly of GorgonzoIa, having also been the president of the local Philatelic Circle for many years and until his death.

President Roberto Gottardi

First as Secretary and then as President, Roberto Gottardi, with his shy character, was a very original figure for Italian aerophilately, as he was not a true aerophilatelic collector, even if he did not disdain the study of airmail.
In fact, everyone knew his very original vision of philately, which led him to collect without too many pretensions, but with the desire to always exhibit on any subject: football, the “Italia” airship, the polar expeditions, Christmas, Brianza, military contingents abroad and many other topics, it would be difficult to list them all. A goal that allowed him to reach over a thousand appearances in philatelic events, but never in participation in competitions, which he, on the other hand, disdained. However, his shy character did not prevent him from collaborating with other enthusiasts, so much so that he was a member of various philatelic associations, becoming, in addition to being first secretary and then president of our association from 2013 to 2018, also president of TURINPOLAR.
After leaving the AIDA presidency, always keeping a careful eye on postal regulations, marcophilia and mechanophilia, he continued for some time, as long as he could, to take care of the marcophile page of our magazine.