Service to commemorate the passing of the EBU President, Professor Rodolfo Cattani

On September 26th 2022, EBU held an emotional virtual celebration to commemorate the sudden passing of the EBU President, Professor Rodolfo Cattani.

Family members, board members and representatives from various EBU member organisation contributed words of condolence and thankful memories to the celebration. Rodolfo Cattani’s wife and son were present and spoke very movingly of a more intimate family side to Rodolfo. Our readers find hereafter the words spoken by the acting EBU Vice-President, Wolfgang Angermann.

As acting first vice-president, I welcome you to this virtual service to commemorate our president, Professor Rodolfo Cattani, who passed away on September 8th this year.

Members of the European Blind Union, his colleagues and all those who are involved in the work for blind and partially sighted people feel deep grief and sorrow. We lose a wonderful person who dedicated all his energy and profound knowledge to the struggle for equal opportunities in life for blind and partially sighted people worldwide.

For a moment, let us put our focus on some milestones that marked Rodolfo Cattani's life:

Rodolfo Cattani, born in 1941, had a university degree in Philosophy of Science from the Bologna University. He worked as a schoolteacher for 13 years and for almost 20 years he was Managing Director of the Italian National Library for the Blind.

From 1992-1996 he was Vice-President of the World Blind Union (WBU).

From 1997-2019 he was the Chairman of the EBU Commission for Liaising with the European Union.

Since 1997, he was a member of the Board of the European Disability Forum (EDF), and since 2005 he served as a member of the Executive Committee of this European Umbrella organisation.

From 2009-2017 he was EDF Secretary General.

In 2019 Rodolfo Cattani was elected President of the European Blind Union.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these are just pure dates. However, they all remind us of Rodolfo's dedication, his readiness for action and his successful work. His contributions to the benefit of blind and partially sighted people became extremely valuable components of the disability movement's work throughout decades.

With his enthusiasm, his determination, his accuracy and reliability he was a valuable guide to his colleagues. His empathy, kindness and warmth made him a friend to all those who had the chance to know him.

Rodolfo Cattani will remain vivid in our minds and in our hearts and stay in our memory as one of the most outstanding members of the disability movement of our time.

At this moment, my thoughts and words of gratitude also go to Rodolfo's wife, Anna. Throughout the decades of Rodolfo's service to blind and partially sighted people she was close by his side. She was always there to lend a helping hand and give assistance to anyone who needed such assistance.

Anna, we wish you strength and confidence during these mournful days.

Wolfgang Angermann, Acting First Vice-President