Davide Calandra - Acceglio 1799 - Torino 8th March 1865
Some Documents prove what happened during the long period of time that Calandra planned to reach his will (like: Speeding up Procedures for the Will and Testament at the End of the Years 20s).
Frequent requests to the competent Authorities by the different Administrations have been made in order to anticipate the will of the Donor so to gain the benefits of his money, but never had been accepted but the Government Authorities until that written by the Chairman of the Calandra Charitable Institution, Mr. Giovanni Battista Rejneri at the End of the years 1920s.
“That request has been done and justified because those years Italy was to its knees, both because of the First World War and because of the terrible economic crisis of 1929”. (Costanzo Ponza)
Acceglio Parish Bulletin: Centenary Celebration of the death of David Calandra (May - June 1966) (it)
Copia dattiloscritta (1936) del Testamento di Davide Calandra conservata in Segreteria comunale di Acceglio. (it)
Regio Decreto 1866 - Riconoscimento della Istituzione di Beneﬁcenza Calandra per la Istruzione gratuita della popolazione d’Acceglio. (it)
Davide Calandra was born in Acceglio (Chialvetta) on 5th August 1799.
We do not know when he moved to Turin, but he remained there till he died on 8th March 1865. It’s almost incredible but no-one knows anything about this person, his life, his job, … We only are sure he gave Acceglio a great dream and the possibility to make it true.
At Calandra’s death in 1865, Acceglio discovered to have inherited a great fortune from one of its sons who never forgot his native country.
What Davide Calandra left behind him is only his last will and testament and a lot of money. He strongly wanted his native citizens to invest in culture, education and welfare.
He wanted - and were afterward really built - four school buildings, three small for the minor hamlets of Chialvetta, Villaro, and Chiappera, and a big one in Borgo Villa, now seat of the Municipality.
This last one should have been a Primary and High Secondary School in order to ensure the students to attend Philosophy at University. Moreover, in his will, he cherished to establish an advanced medical post with surgery, completely free for the whole population of Acceglio, again, the opening of a well-equipped pharmacy with drugs of quality standards.
He wanted his posterity to use only the return of investment (ROI) of the whole capital, being very consistent (around 1,200,000.00 Liras at that time, a real huge amount), to spend in order to achieve his will.
Extracts from his Testament:
“My Last Will, written by myself, Davide Calandra, born in Acceglio and living in Turin.
In my inner heart I’ve always desired to contribute to the moral and educational progress of that part of my co-citizens who live where I was born. I’ve never been able to reach their needs due to my not so rich condition, but, instead of giving up, I could find a way to make my aim become reality.
The result of my good intention will be seen only in a far future time, but, according to the exact performance of my will, our great- grandchildren will feel a true and practical benefit out of it.
Here are the reason and dispositions I hope my co-citizens will take care to perform in patience and co-operation. So being trustful they will perform a good job, I order them as follows:
10 . I want that all my assets must be converted into a “Charity Institution” I here institute with this legacy in the Municipality of Acceglio. I call this Charity as my universal heir to the essential aim of giving Free Primary Education to all population of that same Municipality. Suitable graduated teachers will be assumed as many as necessity requests.
The above-mentioned Institution will be called:
“Charity Institution for the Free Education of the People of the Municipality of Acceglio”
11. After having provided without any parsimony to the needs for a Primary Education on the whole territory of the village, so that both male and female children might be allowed to enjoy. Moreover in Borgo Villa, should be opened a High School Institute in order to grant students the complete courses to gain access to University and Philosophy Courses.
Of course, all Schools that the Municipality will consider fit for the full education of the population can be promoted and established in the village.
14. The Profits of the Capital which remain available, after providing for what established above, must be used for the benefit of the young people who want to continue their studies, ensuring them all those necessary expenses owed to the achievement of their career, especially if those are achieved through a practical training period, or a practice or volunteering.
16. I want that the youth, as they will desire to enjoy the fruits of this Institution, must submit an admission test and open competition in order to be admitted and passed as suitable, having given the best of their talent and study. To the same competition only and exclusively the youth born and living in Acceglio will be admitted. In case of lack of a good number of those young lucky people, other youth should be chosen among the Municipalities of our Country, but approved by the ruling Committee of the Municipality of Acceglio on a case-by-case basis for the admission to the school.…..”)