“Personally, I remember everything I received from him, the privilege that was the contact I had with him, at that moment in his life. When I met him, [Rui Nabeiro] he was 88, 89 years old and, from then on, I had the opportunity to meet him, to share some of his experiences, to see what he valued, what he wanted to pass on to others, what he wanted to leave as a legacy.
On a day like today, when a lot will certainly be said about him and many compliments will be paid to him, I would say that the really central and most striking dimension in what was Rui Nabeiro’s example is the human, community and social dimension. We know, of course, that he was a great businessman with an extraordinary life path, who was born in 1931 and built a brand, a very large company, but what makes us here talking about him and giving him this prominence does not come exclusively from of this business dimension — if it existed alone, it would make much less news. What makes the difference is precisely having maintained a series of values that, unfortunately, are not very common today.
I would highlight his optimism and belief in the possibility of building something better, not only in our personal and immediate conditions, but in the sense of leaving a better world than the one we received, and doing so based on a series of values that , in his case, had to do with belonging to a region, a community, an identity. They had to do with that love, because that is what it is about, even in an absolutely literal way with regard to his family, which he always integrated in all his actions, but also in relation to those he considered his own, who departed from that center in Campo Maior, but later expanded to the whole country.
Rui Nabeiro had an elementary school education, he studied those four years that, in the 1930s, were already a great thing for many people. This probably made him maintain a purity of view in relation to certain themes. Of course, he never neglected the purest and toughest business side — your companies have always made a profit —, but that was never the only goal. There were always a series of other elements that he took into account, which, on the one hand, meant that, at first, it was not all that it could be, but in the second and third moments it expanded a lot more. And it was certainly like that, because Rui Nabeiro always realized that profits do not exist exclusively on a financial level, but also on other levels.
I believe he would be immensely proud to know that we will remember him in this way. He always worked with that personal pride, with that presence of his, and that, in my view, is a sign of wisdom. He had this charismatic wisdom, which many people recognize in him, and which was related to his values and his spirit.”
Testimony collected by Mário Lopes