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"GOD" 2003 Obituary


GODFREY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-13 published
By Jack FORTIN Thursday, February 13, 2003, Page A30
Musician, husband, father. Born August 3, 1931, in Winnipeg. Died August 31, 2002, in Scarborough, Ontario, following a stroke, aged 71.
Gordie FLEMING/FLEMMING was a remarkable music talent, known internationally as a master of the accordion, especially in the jazz idiom. He was a life member of Local 149 of the Toronto Musicians' Association.
In show-business vernacular, Gordie was "born in a trunk." He began playing accordion when his older brother gave him lessons. His musical ability was such that he began performing publicly at the age of five. His schoolteachers often saw him being whisked away in a taxi to perform at theatres and radio stations in Winnipeg. By the age of 10, he was a working member of various bands in that city.
In 1949, Gordie lost his accordion in a fire at a Winnipeg hotel. With the insurance money, he headed for the bright lights of Montreal where he soon became an important part of that city's musical life. His accordion ability was complemented by the fact that he was also a gifted arranger and composer.
He had a marvellous ability to improvise and could string out complex bebop lines, leaving his listeners in awe. He often slipped a jazz phrase into ballads or commercial tunes, confirming that jazz was indeed his first love.
One of Montreal's busiest musicians, he wrote for local orchestras, shows, radio and television. He had perfect pitch and often wrote without reference to a keyboard. He was at home in every type of music from classics to jazz. For several years, he worked at the National Film Board as a composer and musician.
In Montreal, Gordie performed with many show business headliners: there was a wealth of home-grown talent in Montreal, such as Oscar PETERSON and Maynard FERGUSON, as well as other jazz musicians who were beginning to be noticed.
Gordie had said that when when he first heard bebop it was like entering another world. As his career indicates, he had no trouble in that world. He worked with many personalities including: Charlie PARKER, Mel TORMÉ, Hank SNOW, Lena HORNE, Englebert HUMPERDINCK, Dennis DAY, Gordon MacRAE, Cab CALLOWAY, Nat King COLE, Cat STEVENS, Rich LITTLE, Billy ECKSTEIN, Pee Wee HUNT, Arthur GODFREY and Buddy DEFRANCO.
He also performed with Tommy AMBROSE, Allan MILLS, Wally KOSTER, Tommy HUNTER, Bert NIOSI, Wayne and Shuster, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation jazz shows with Al BACULIS, and many other Canadian jazz musicians.
On Montreal's French music scene, Gordie performed on radio and television with Emile GENEST, Ti-Jean CARIGNAN, André GAGNON and Ginette RENO. He was a featured soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on several occasions.
Internationally, Gordie toured France in 1952 and performed with Edith PIAF and Tino ROSSI. He had the honour to perform for former prime minister Pierre Elliot TRUDEAU at a Commonwealth Conference.
He participated with other top Canadian musicians in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tour to entertain Canadian and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops in Europe in 1952 and 1968.
For me, a memorable experience was playing in a group with Gordie for several winters in Florida. A popular member of the Panama City Beach family of musicians, Gordie looked forward to his winter trek south. Many of the American musicians will miss him, as will the many snowbirds who looked forward to hearing him each year.
His extensive repertoire allowed Gordie to author a book called Music of the World, in which he wrote the music to 280 songs from more than 30 countries.
Gordie leaves his wife of 47 years, Joanne, and seven children.
Jack FORTIN is Gordie's friend.

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GODFREY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-20 published
Ex-politician and war hero FLYNN dies
Was chairman of Metropolitan Toronto
By James RUSK Municipal Affairs Reporter Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - Page A17
Dennis FLYNN, a war hero who parachuted into France on D-Day and eventually rose to be chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, died yesterday morning as he was preparing to observe an army reserve exercise at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.
Mr. FLYNN, 79, who had been in poor health in recent years, collapsed, apparently of a heart attack, at his hotel in Pembroke, and was pronounced dead at Pembroke General Hospital, the Canadian Armed Forces said in a statement.
Mr. FLYNN was mayor of Etobicoke from 1972 to 1984, the longest-serving mayor of the Toronto suburb, and was chairman of Metropolitan Toronto from 1984 to 1988. He continued to serve on Metro Council until the 1997 amalgamation that created the new City of Toronto.
He served on the Toronto Police Services Board and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2001.
Major Tim LOURIE, public-relations director of the exercise, said Mr. FLYNN travelled to Pembroke on Monday to observe a reserve exercise in which the Toronto Scottish Regiment (the Queen Mother's Own,) of which Mr. FLYNN was the honorary lieutenant-colonel, was participating.
"Unfortunately, he didn't even get out to see us here," Major LOURIE said. The regiment received the call that he had collapsed in the hotel just before a group of honorary colonels was heading out to observe the exercise.
Mr. FLYNN, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1923. When he was two years old he migrated with his family to the Kensington section of Toronto, long a melting pot for immigrants.
In 1938, at age 15, he joined the Toronto Scottish and volunteered for active service at the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1942, he joined the joint Canadian-American unit that came to be known as the Devil's Brigade, and in 1943, he transferred to the 1st Canadian Parachute Regiment.
He jumped into Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, where he was wounded by German fire. After recovery, he rejoined the regiment, jumped into Germany on March 24, 1945, in Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine River, and was wounded again when part of his leg was shattered by machine-gun fire as he escorted two German prisoners across the Rhine.
As a result of the wound, Mr. FLYNN walked with a cane for the rest of his life. "One of his most self-deprecating comments, when talking to young soldiers, was that he had made only three jumps. One was for practice, one was on D-Day, and the third and last was across the Rhine," commented Lieutenant-Colonel Mike TRAYNER, commanding officer of the Toronto Scottish.
After the war, he joined the City of Toronto's clerk's department, and rose to be protocol officer. He failed in his first run for mayor of Etobicoke in 1969, but upset the incumbent, Doug LACEY, in 1972.
In 1984, he was elected chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, replacing Paul GODFREY, now president of the Toronto Blue Jays, who was then leaving Toronto politics to become publisher of the Toronto Sun. His career as Metro chairman ended in 1988, when he lost to Alan TONKS, now a member of parliament.

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GODIN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-10 published
Programmer was a 'people person'
Computer consultant advised clients not only on technology, but on the psychology that made the technology work for the company
Harvey GELLMAN was the first person in Canada to get a PhD based in computer studies.
By Marina STRAUSS Saturday, May 10, 2003 - Page F11
He broke new ground in the computer field long before most Canadians even knew what a software program was, or that computers would so profoundly change their way of communicating and doing business.
Known as the dean of computer consulting, Harvey GELLMAN had a hand in purchasing the first computer in this country in 1952 he ran one of the first software programs and was the first to get a PhD based on computer studies. Last month, Dr. GELLMAN died suddenly in Florida at the age of 78.
He made his name as a consultant who advised clients not only on technology, but on the psychology that made the technology work for a company -- with a knack for matching people's skills to the job at hand, colleagues say.
Most important, Dr. GELLMAN put the clients first, always looking out for their best interests rather than simply the consultant's bottom line, says Jim HAYWARD, his partner at Toronto-based Gellman Hayward and Partners for 18 years until it was sold to Montreal-based CGI Group in 1992.
What particularly distinguished Dr. GELLMAN as a consultant was his departure from others in refusing just to analyze a problem and deliver a report to the client, Mr. HAYWARD says.
Instead, Dr. GELLMAN would find out exactly how far the client was ready to go in implementing any change recommended in a report and then guide the client through the change process.
This fundamental shift took root in the mid-1970s, when Dr. GELLMAN became frustrated that too many consultants simply handed over a report and then walked away from the problem, Mr. HAYWARD says.
"The trick is to work beside the client and walk with them, but don't take the problem away from them, " he says. "It's like therapy."
Together, they applied this form of business therapy at Gellman Hayward, which grew from four partners to about 100 employees before it was sold, boasting a client list that read like a Who's Who of corporate Canada.
Indeed, the firm at one time or another advised all the big banks, Bell Canada, Imperial Oil, Labatt Breweries, Eaton's, Hudson's Bay, Spar Aerospace, TransCanada PipeLines, Noranda, Falconbridge, Inco, Atomic Energy of Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
"It was all the big names, says CGI president Serge GODIN, who worked closely with Dr. GELLMAN after the 1992 acquisition and credits him with helping to manage its huge surge in staff mostly through acquisitions -- by integrating and streamlining the various systems.
"Harvey GELLMAN is a brand name, Mr. GODIN says. "He was quite something, very strong, brilliant -- with a big heart."
He was a man of few words, with a deep-seated respect for and interest in people, colleagues and family.
"He would say, 'The janitor and the president are the same, ' recalls Paul GELLMAN, the younger of his two sons, who also is a computer consultant. "He believed it and he lived it."
From the security officers at Dr. GELLMAN's apartment building in Florida, where he lived half the year in his retirement, to the secretary in his doctor's office -- all were touched by him and upset by his death, Paul says.
Born in 1924, Dr. GELLMAN was the middle of five children of Polish parents who immigrated to Toronto in 1928. His youngest brother Albert says nobody in the household ever quarrelled: a calm reigned in the family and reverberated in the future computer guru.
Still, Dr. GELLMAN's life threatened to take an entirely different course early on, when he dropped out of high school to work in an electrical manufacturing plant and help the family make ends meet.
The factory had an electrical test set that only Dr. GELLMAN was able to figure out, Mr. HAYWARD says. The budding tech whiz realized that he wasn't so dumb, went back to school -- and the rest is history.
He attended the University of Toronto, graduating with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics in 1947. The following year, the university's newly established Computation Centre, headed by Professor Calvin (Kelly) GOTLIEB, invited him to join and study electro-mechanical devices.
Dr. GELLMAN subsequently was involved in purchasing a huge Ferranti computer from England for $250,000. It was the first computer bought in Canada, sponsored in part by one of the centre's clients Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
"The machine would fail every five minutes, Dr. GELLMAN was quoted as saying years later when he was inducted in the industry-sponsored Canadian Information Productivity Awards hall of fame. "We would sit at the monitor and watch the diagonal array of dots, and when a dot dropped, we would stop the machine, reset it and carry on."
He wrote a small program on punch paper tape to help users print efficiently from the computer, one of the first software programs to be run in Canada, and soon he produced the first printout for a computational problem, according to information supplied to Canadian Information Productivity Awards.
In 1951, he obtained his PhD in applied mathematics, the first doctorate in Canada for which the theoretical calculations depended on a computer.
That same year, he became head of computing at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and, by 1955, he founded H. S. Gellman and Co. Ltd. in Toronto to advise the growing number of companies seeking his help.
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. was his first client and remained one throughout his consulting career.
"He was doing a lot of pioneering work on operating systems, and operating systems that deal with controlling nuclear-power plants, says Bob BANTING, manager of information technology security at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. "He understood the programming and the technical stuff, but he also knew how to manage people.... He was very good at assessing skills."
He hired top talent, sizing up job candidates in minutes, and was able to move seamlesslessly from being a good programmer to a good "people person, Mr. BANTING says.
Dr. GELLMAN's early work was computing based on mathematical equations, but the firm quickly moved into what became known as information technology.
His busy consulting firm was swallowed in 1964 by a subsidiary of de Havilland and subsequently by AGT Data Systems before he left with Mr. HAYWARD to form Gellman Hayward.
But by the early 1990s, the firm was "stuck" and started to seek a buyer, Mr. HAYWARD says. "We didn't know how to get to the next level."
When CGI acquired it in 1992, Dr. GELLMAN stayed on as a senior vice-president until he retired six years later.
In 1997, he co-wrote Riding the Tiger, a book that helps business managers use information technology effectively. He was often quoted in the media on managing information systems, and wrote articles on the topic for The Globe and Mail.
In addition, he received many honours during his career, including being named International Systems Man of the Year in 1967. He was a founding member of the Canadian Information Processing Society, among other professional bodies.
In his personal life, he was a private man and a steadfast father and grandfather nine times over. He was devoted to Lily, his wife of 57 years. They were teenage sweethearts, best of Friends and "a model of how we all should live, " says his son Paul.
When Paul's older brother, Steven, decided to pursue a career as a composer and musician, Dr. GELLMAN had some reservations, aware of the risks of such an unconventional and insecure profession.
"Before I left home to study at Juilliard, he said to me, 'I understand you wanting to become a musician. Become the best musician you can be; but I am concerned that you don't become just a musician, ' " Steven says.
"Dad was reminding me to become a full human being, to develop many facets of my life, just as he did."
Dr. GELLMAN and his wife spent a lot of time in Israel, where they had family. In the mid-1970s, he took a six-month sabbatical from work for an extended stay.
He was also part of a small discussion group called the Senge Circle, started more than a decade ago among business colleagues to discuss Peter Senge's management book, The Fifth Discipline. It evolved into regular breakfast meetings to chew over different business tomes.
The last meeting was in October before he went to Florida when the group delved into the Peter DRUCKER classic, The Practice of Management. Dr. GELLMAN was struck by how relevant the book was almost 50 years after he first read it.
Dr. GELLMAN, who died on April 23, leaves his wife Lily, sons Steven and Paul, and siblings Dorothy, Albert and Esther.

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