Franco Punzi – Self Discipline

“I believe that the life of a man is based on the case. And, of course, you have to pick the chance, you have to take it. I have changed many jobs during my life, I can’t list them all now because it would take it a lot of time. But the most important role of my life was education. To educate myself and the others. I did many different jobs in my life, from the most humble to the most exciting. And I have always tried not to fool myself. Because when you fool yourself you become like drunk and you don’t control yourself.
My experience of discipline (and unfortunately I lost my father when I was around 15/16 years old), was more of a self-discipline, because I immediately took the responsibility of head of the family, as well as economic and institutional ones. But my motto has been: serve others to serve ourselves. Watching others to watch ourselves, but ,above all, my concern has been to represent a model for others, for young people. If we don’t embody a model, we cannot give to others something of ourselves.
And discipline is this: self-discipline, because many times we can’t follow the footprints of others, however – here – in the school I have always tried to do my duty, to study, while discovering the world. And I have to say that every time, even today, I go out from my front door, I look at the others and I enrich myself. The garbage man gives me something, because he gives me an example of humble job, but dignified and decent work. A celebrity can give me something, when he is a role model.
Perhaps nowadays this is gradually fading, but I still try to pick the good that we have and, during my life, I always had the regret of giving less than I could. I should have given more.
And this is an inquietude that I carry with myself over the years, even if I still hope to be able to compensate by giving to the others a bit of experience, a bit of knowledge, and a bit of life, which is the life of a man, made also of love, love for the others and love for ourselves.”

As Mayor of Martina Franca, was the first subscriber of the Memorandum of Musical Arts Centre that gave birth to the Festival of the Itria Valley. Since 1980, he has been President of the Artistic Music Center “Paolo Grassi” and of the Festival of the Itria Valley. Since 2003 he has been President of the Foundation Paolo Grassi of Martina Franca. Until February 5, 2014 he was National President of Italiafestival, which brings together within the Italian General Association of Entertainment (AGIS), the largest Italian festivals of music, theater, dance, culture and cinema.

He was Deputy Vicarious Chairman for the Live Entertainment AGIS of Puglia and Basilicata and Deputy Vicarious Chairman of Federmusica – national AGIS. He was Mayor of Martina Franca from 1972 to 1989.
Former leader of the ACLI, he held various positions in administrative and political level. Convinced European, he had held positions of great prestige, including the position of President of the Italian Section of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, a member of the Intergroup Local Authorities (Brussels), member of the European Commission in the program “Water solidarity for third world countries”.
He was also Chairman of the Jonico University Consortium, member of the Board of Directors of the University of Bari, President of the section of the Regional Control Committee of Taranto [CO.RE.CO], member of the regional committee of Puglia for Economic Planning.

Among many honors received there are: Gold Medal of the President of the Republic as worthy of Art and Culture, Commander of Merit of the Italian Republic from 2000, Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, appointed by Pope John Paul II in the occasion of the Jubilee 2000 Academic Auditor Teatina Academy of Sciences of Chieti.
Among the awards recently won are included: the title of Paul Harris Fellow by the International Rotary Foundation, Melvin Jones Fellow title by International Lions Club, the Seal Martiniano conferred by the Basilica of San Martino in the occasion of the Martini’s celebrations in 2012, the title of honorary member of the Lions Martina Host, Rotary Club of Martina Franca and University of the Free Age of Martina Franca.
In December 2013 he was awarded the Asterisk Prize by homonymous Association of Martina Franca, reserved to personality from Martina Franca who have best represented it and honoured the city even outside the territorial boundaries. Since February 2014 he has been unanimously elected new President of FEDERMUSICA, the federation that, in AGIS, brings the other Associations together, representing the traditional theaters, opera, festivals, institutions and orchestral concert bands.

• 26 January 2015

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