Daniele Speranza

(1843-1919)
 
 

He was a teacher at the school in Comighello, close collaborator of don Lorenzo Guetti, with whom he founded the first sale and consumer cooperative, of which he was also secretary.

In the only issue of “La cooperazione trentina”, on the first anniversary of don Lorenzo Guetti’s death, April 1899, you can read: “master Daniele Speranza would have wanted to bid the final farewell to the body of his unforgettable friend, trusting and colleague in cooperation, and point out his goodness of mind, the candor of character, kindness of manners, passionate christian charity and patriotism, the only norms of every saying, of each of his works, but he was prevented by great commotion”.

Daniel Caliari writes about him:
Among the most influential people in the late nineteenth century’s society of Bleggio we surely find Daniele Speranza from Duvredo, strongly confident in the cooperative project by don Lorenzo Guetti and involved in numerous public activities of that time, among which the firefighters of Bleggio Inferiore, the hospital of S. Croce and the “Casino di Bersaglio” of Stenico. We have two diaries by Speranza where he narrates extensively the events that happened in Bleggio between 1915 and 1919, pausing in particular on the miseries endured during the Great War .

Daniele Speranza was born in Duvredo on 3 November 1843, firstborn of Luigi Speranza from Pastoedo (1815-1864) and Marianna Gusmerotti from Duvredo (1821-1851). In 1836 the father is a teacher in Larido in Bleggio Superiore; teacher again in Santa Croce in 1838, role that he had also when his son was born. Later on, Luigi and Marianna had three children: Sperandio Raffaele (1846-1930), Letizia Proba (1848-1929) and Ignazio Giuseppe (1851-1851). Daniele Speranza began his studies in 1849/1850, as recorded on his birth certificate, while in 1858, following his father’s steps, he began to teach at the elementary school. The largest information on this period was given by Speranza himself who, in his autobiography, dedicates a chapter to the institutions which he got involved in during his life.

First of all, Speranza tells us to have begun his teacher career in Tignerone, to teach then in Vo Sinistro, Bono, Daone (1874) and Comighello (around 1880). He practiced this profession for 45 anni, retiring in 1904. The next key event in his life is his marriage: he got married on 8 July 1865 with Maria Bellotti from Comighello (1844-1890), from whom he had eleven children: Ignazio Luigi (1866-1867), Ignazio Virginio (1868-1870), Luigi Enrico Guido (1870-1890), Luigia Letizia (1872-1906), Lodovico (1875-1893), Ida (1877-1878), Leonida (1879-1951), Maria (1882-1885), Ezio Valdemiro (1884-1884), Carmelina (1887-1964) and Angela Maria Elisa (1889-1899).

On 2nd April 1894, four years after his wife’s death, Speranza got married again with Maria Romanelli from Creto (born in 1855), by whom, however, he had no children. Speranza recalls then to have obtained the qualification in sericulture in 1873, managing the breeding of silkworms between 1873 and 1883 and succeeding at eradicating a disease that had infected the silkworms of the village of Duvredo, thanks to cell selections and microscopic examinations. Speranza’s authority in this field was also confirmed by the fact that some of his articles were published by “L’Agricoltore” (February 1874). Later, in 1880, Speranza became responsible for the “Casino di Bersaglio” in Stenico, while five years later he became Chief of the Bersaglieri of Bleggio. Analyzing this point, he declared to have worked with Bernardino Ferrari from Stenico (1839-1883), to promote the institution of this ”Casino”, of which he was councillor Consigliere di direzione.

Altro importante traguardo raggiunto da Speranza fu la fondazione del Corpo pompieri di Bleggio Inferiore, che risale almeno al 20 giugno 1885. In tale data, infatti, il Corpo venne formalizzato dal Capo Comune Bortolo Bleggi (1804-1897), che nominò comandante Daniele Speranza e vicecomandante Pietro Malacarne di Sesto. Come comandante gli successe il figlio Leonida, che occupò la carica dal 1914 al 1924. Insieme a don Giovanni Battista Lenzi (1841-1917, parroco del Bleggio dal 1883), Speranza fu inoltre coinvolto nel movimento cooperativo, che vide il proprio fulcro attorno a don Lorenzo Guetti da Vigo Lomaso (1847-1898). I tre sono ancora oggi rappresentati su un murales a Villa di Bleggio, realizzato nel 2002 e dedicato alla fondazione della prima cooperativa del Trentino, avvenuta il 28 settembre 1890. Uno dei più grandi risultati di Speranza fu infine la partecipazione all’istituzione dell’ospedale di S. Croce e del quale fu il primo segretario contabile. Fondato nel 1894 con il nome di «Ospitale Ricovero di S. Croce di Bleggio», fra i suoi promotori si annoverano don Lenzi, che ne fu presidente fino al 1917, don Lorenzo Guetti e don Giovanni Salvadori (1836-1900). L’ente iniziò la sua opera come ospedale nel 1902, trasformandosi poi in casa di riposo nel 1969 per opera di Senatore Bellotti di Comighello (1896-1992), nipote di Speranza.

During WWI, as he remembers himself, Speranza was arrested for reading the newspaper “il Corriere della sera” and for supposedly reading a brochure published by Cesare Battisti. The arrest happened on 20th February 1915 and it also dr. Giusto Galli, Ignazio Martini and Mario Martini. He was then released. Three months after, in May 1915, he could luckily avoid internment. The years of the Great War are particularly difficult for the society in Giudicarie and Speranza spent this time by devoting himself to his family and his writing, meticulously reporting local events in his diary.br />
The day of his death came eventually. On 24th February 1919, at 8 am, Daniele Speranza died in his house in Duvredo, aged 76. His grave is still present at the cemetery of S.Croce and it has this inscription:
«To Daniele Speranza from Duvredo, teacher for 45 years, on 24th February 1919, of 76 years of age, in the angels’ joy he joined his wife Maria born Bellotti and nine of his children. In memory of the family».


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