Fernando Guedes, who died this week (28 August), aged 87, was the last President of the predecessor of FEP; the GELC or the Groupement des Editeurs de Livres de la Communauté. President in 1988, Fernando was instrumental in setting the basis for the new federation together with his successor the French publisher, Alain Gründ. He later became the President of the IPA in 1992.
Fernando Guedes, as APEL’s President, during a speech
at the presentation of Portugal’s Books in Print
Active at European and international levels, he also worked for the community in Portugal where he was President of the National Publishers and Booksellers Guild (1969-1972) and the Associação Portuguesa de Editores e Livreiros (Portuguese Association of Publishers and Booksellers) (1983-1987). In addition, he sat on the High Council of the Portuguese Catholic University and was a member of the same university’s Scientific Society, as well as serving as an academic at the National Academy of Fine Arts and the Portuguese Academy of History.
In Portugal, he founded Verbo Publishing in 1958, which he directed until November 2009.
He received several national literary prizes as a poet and writer in Portugal, and was variously decorated for his work by Portugal, the Holy See and France.
In a message of condolence to Mr Guedes’ son, João Miguel Guedes—who is also a publisher and former delegate to the FEP—the current FEP president Henrique Mota wrote: ‘Fernando Guedes was an example to all of us, as a publisher and as a dedicated member of the community, through his multiple commitments with our trade associations. FEP will remember how your father as president of the then GELC worked to set up FEP as a modern organization representing the interests of publishers at a European level. I am very proud to be one of his successors in this endeavour, and I will never forget his friendship and the great human testimony that he left us all.’
Fernando Guedes, nowadays, at a Summit in Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Bernard Gérard, the longest serving member of FEP said ‘The Portuguese publishing community has lost with Fernando Guedes an internationally recognised personality. FEP has lost a founding father in his way of presiding our organisation. Lisbon was the frame of several of our general meetings. I will always remember the first one at Castelo San Jorge where a mixed of pleasure and sadness emanated when listening fado. We have the same feelings today, keeping the image of a smiling Fernando while deploring his passing’.
Anne Bergman-Tahon, the director of FEP, fondly remembers the collaboration with Fernando Guedes and says ‘I was fortunate to meet Fernando Guedes when I joined the FEP and he was among those publishers who always guided me with kindness. I was lucky to be around great personalities like Fernando who talented both in being publisher and in promoting the values of our sector. I express to Joao Guedes, his son, with whom I worked several years, my sincerest condolences’.