-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

After I found out that in 2014 the former Romanian international of rugby union,
Ascanio Damian (1914-2005),
would have turned 100 years,
I decided to use a few other photos
dedicated to the ROMEXPO rugby half-ball building,
which was projected by him.

At the same time I found out that Romania was the first country in the world
that produced a stamp on a rugby theme in 1944,
70 years ago, so another jubilee before
the International Rugby Board Autumn Internationals 2014,
from which 3 matches were programmed in Bucharest.

The story of that stamp is simple:
the young president of the Romanian Rugby Federation,
Prince Serban Ghica (age 24, former player in the first representative team),
needing money for his institution,
decided to try a financial hit through such a stamp
(a successful idea, finally).

It is interesting that he who made the design for this stamp was…
even the same Ascanio Damian!

But during the totalitarian regime which followed soon after,
the two rugby heroes had different destinies.

Prince Ghica was arrested and imprisoned by communists
just because he had a monarchical blood
and was an anti-totalitarianism militant after World War II.

However, after his liberation, he worked in a provincial factory,
where he founded… the rugby team of the town of Buzau!

In exchange, being initially a sympathizer of the left ideas,
Ascanio Damian had a much better life under the communist regime,
but he also tried to be a good professional and to make constructive things.

Firstly he became a new president of the Romanian Rugby Federation,
and made an impressive re-organization of this game in his country,
encouraging especially the juniors.

Then he became the Rector of the Bucharest Institute of Architecture,
where, along with a complex activity,
he promoted… the rock music (which was not enjoyed by communists).

And finally he became a dissident
of the totalitarian regime.

That’s why for me November 2014,
when Romania played the 3 super-powers of the Pacific Ocean
(USA, Japan and Canada),
was a month of commemorations.

ROMANIA-USA 17-27 (3-17)

In 8 November on a foggy weather
Romania and USA contested the Pershing Cup,
a trophy celebrating:

-95 years since the first match between the two teams
(21-0 for USA),
which had took place in Paris during the Inter-Allied Games 1919
(or the Pershing Olympiad, named after the great American general).

-90 years since their second match, also in Paris,
this time at the Olympic Games (37-0 for USA).

-15 years since their first match at the Rugby World Cup
(27-25 for Romania in 1999 in France).

The prologue of this match was spectacular,
elite militaries from the two countries
carrying the national flags under fireworks,
and sopranos performing the anthems.

This time the Americans (a cosmic nation with 50 stars on their flag)
came as champions of North America,
were more rapids
and, in spite of the Romanian territorial domination,
they stung the hosts with 3 decisive essays.

Celestially, the Moon appeared after the half-time,
and a little at the final before being gulped by clouds,
just when I found out the best photo-position.

She re-appeared on my road toward home,
this time surrounded by a superb corona,
maybe to make me remember that Romania lost this rugby match to the nation
who had sent the first people on the Moon.

And a special memory from Romania-USA
(an astro-photo-tipuritura):

ROMANIA-JAPAN 13-18 (10-9)

In 15 November on a cloudy weather
Romania gave an excellent reply to Japan
(the 9th nation in the world in the IRB Ranking
after recent victories over Wales, Samoa, USA, Canada and Italy
and winner of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2014),
marking the unique try of the match.

And a special memory from Romania-Japan
(a photo-haiku, or haiga):


Like in 2013, this match had as prologue 3 junior matches:
Romania-Canada 31-0 on the Triumph Arch 2 Stadium,
Romania-Canada 15-16 on the Olimpia Stadium and
Romania-Canada 9-3 on the Steaua 2 Rugby Stadium.

In 22 November, also on a cloudy weather,
although dominated in the first half,
Romania showed a good defensive and an efficient pragmatism,
and obtained a prestigious victory.

A few days after the Canadian rugby visits
I saw a street advertising about another Canadian visit,
a spectacle of the largest circus of the world,
Cirque du Soleil.

And the place for this spectacle was announced as…
right the ROMEXPO building!

In these conditions,
I decided to end this project with my own “cirque du soleil”,
a sentimental-geocentric photo-poem dedicated to
Architect Ascanio Damian and Engineer Prince Serban Ghica.

Cirque du soleil,
I wonder why
I think the world is still OK
If the Sun moves in the sky.


© 2015 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)