Alfons Banda Tarradellas died in Barcelona the 30th January 2014. Founder of Fundació per la Pau – Foundation for Peace, (today FundiPau) was its president until 2011 and currently was the Chairman of its International Committee. He was also vice president of the International Catalan Institute for Peace.
In FundiPau we deeply regret his loss while we will keep alive his example of firm, tenacious and confident work for peace. And his belief that peace is the way, will continue to lead ours.
Alfons Banda was born in Girona in 1944. With a chemical training, he developed his career in education as a teacher and director in different educational institutions.
His interest in pacifism began in the early 70s of the last century by people like Joan Gomis, Lluís Maria Xirinacs, Fèlix Martí, Arcadi Oliveres and Pepe Beúnza. At the beginning of the 80s he received another decisive influence: the one of the Nobel Peace Prize Sean McBride, whom he considered one of his masters. Following a conference of McBride in Barcelona, Alfons, along with a small group of people, decided to found an organization with the aim of moving towards a culture of peace based on the transforming power of public opinion: the Fundació per la Pau.
Throughout his committed career in the peace movement, Alfons actively participated in countless meetings, demonstrations, conferences, workshops and protest actions in addition to publishing two books on peace education and many articles in various media. He also participated in organizations and agencies like the Consell Català de Foment de la Pau (Catalan Council to Promote Peace) and had the intuition for the creation of the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP), where he was vice president and where he directed the collection of books Classics of Peace and Nonviolence.
It was one of the driving members of the group Pau i Treva where at the end of a process of reflection, he participated in the drafting of the document Catalunya, a nation of peace. He was also a member of the jury of a solidarity journalism award Memorial Joan Gomis, among other activities.
But the best way to know Alfons is through his own words: “I keep a constant commitment to the culture of peace for which I have never lacked imagination or intuitions, but I’ve often flanked the courage. About all this, it remains a distilled: peace is a demanding path towards a more just and fraternal humanity, and forgiveness and reconciliation are the necessary attitudes to break the chain of causality that explains a permanently violent history that we don’t want to perpetuate.”