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"GOT" 2003 Obituary


GOTLIEB o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-01-31 published
Daughter of former ambassador to U.S.
Friday, January 31, 2003, Page R15
Toronto -- Rebecca GOTLIEB has died at age 44. Ms. Gotlieb, who was the daughter of Allan GOTLIEB, a retired diplomat and former ambassador to the United States, died of vascular cancer at Toronto General Hospital on Tuesday.
Ms. GOTLIEB attended high school in Ottawa, after which she studied political science at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, gaining her undergraduate degree in 1980. She decided to remain at Queen's to study law and, after graduating in 1983, went on to work as a staff lawyer with the Ontario Ministry of Health.
She leaves her husband Matthew FRASER, son David from a previous marriage, parents Allan and Sondra GOTLIEB, sister Rachel and brother Marc.

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GOTLIEB 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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GOTLIEB o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-12-30 published
Diplomat shaped cultural policy
Art-loving ambassador to Moscow and Bucharest also served as Trudeau's press secretary and as a director of the Canada Council
By Bill GLADSTONE, Special to The Globe and Mail Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - Page R7
Peter ROBERTS, a former press secretary to Pierre Trudeau who served as Canada's ambassador to Moscow and Bucharest and as director of the Canada Council, is being remembered as a major shaper of Canadian cultural policy and a late representative of an older generation of broadly based, multitalented diplomats that has all but vanished from the scene.
A native Albertan, Mr. ROBERTS died in Ottawa on November 21 after a varied career that stretched over four decades and included stints in Washington, Hong Kong, Saigon and Brussels. He was 76.
As assistant undersecretary of state responsible for cultural affairs from 1973 to 1979, he helped Ottawa develop protective policies toward the domestic film and book-publishing industries, and was instrumental in drafting the government's nationalistic Bill C-58, which applied tariffs to American magazines sold on Canadian newsstands. He also helped to establish the National Arts Centre.
"He was a superb civil servant because he had a capacity to listen to ministers, understand their viewpoints and help them achieve what they wanted to achieve," said John ROBERTS (no relation,) who was Secretary of State when Peter ROBERTS was undersecretary. "But at the same time, he had an extraordinary passion for the arts and for culture. So he did have his own ideas about things that should be done. He stimulated you to think and to adapt your thinking."
As ambassador to the Soviet Union, Mr. ROBERTS took a keen interest in George COSTAKIS, a former junior employee of the Canadian embassy who had spent a lifetime amassing an outstanding but illegal collection of modern art, both Russian and international. Mr. ROBERTS helped arrange a major exhibition of the collection at the Musée des beaux-arts in Montreal and later wrote a full-length biography, George Costakis: A Russian Life in Art, published by Carleton University Press in 1994.
Raising Eyebrows, a book of memoirs and character sketches, was published in 2000. He also wrote a book-length profile of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, whom he met often during his posting in Bucharest from 1979 to 1983, and who was executed in 1989. The book, Revenge on Christmas Day: Fact and Fiction in Bucharest, is slated for publication in 2004.
"Peter was a multifaceted person who bridged the cultural world, the literary world, the academic world and the world of the foreign service," said Allan GOTLIEB, a former ambassador to Washington. "If you go back to the golden age of Canadian diplomacy, you find examples of these very broadly engaged minds. Peter joined a little later, in the 1950s, but he still seemed a part of that era."
Peter McLaren ROBERTS was born in Calgary on July 5, 1927, and grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta. His father was a locally stationed federal tax official, his mother a schoolteacher. A brilliant student, he earned an M.A. in English literature from the University of Alberta in 1951, as well as a Rhodes scholarship that enabled him to study for three years at Oxford.
Afterward, he went down to London with a group of Friends, including Mr. GOTLIEB, who convinced him to write the Canadian foreign-service exam. He did so on a whim -- and passed. He taught English literature for a year at Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, and joined the foreign service in 1955.
Initially stationed in Ottawa, Mr. ROBERTS began studying German in anticipation of a posting in Bonn or Vienna. "The department had just then begun to realize that it was an advantage for a foreign-service officer, and for Canada, if the officer knew the language of the country where he or she was working," he noted in Raising Eyebrows.
"I hear you're learning German," the personnel manager remarked to him one day.
"You must be interested in languages."
"How'd you like to learn Russian?"
Several months later he travelled by ship and train to Moscow, where he served as third-in-command of the Canadian embassy from 1955 to 1958. He was posted to Hong Kong and Vietnam in the early 1960s and to Washington for the rest of that tumultuous decade.
In 1970, the Prime Minister's Office essentially borrowed him from the Department of External Affairs, as it was then known, so he could serve as assistant press secretary to Prime Minister Pierre TRUDEAU. Returning to Canada after a nine-year absence that had included a dreary stint working for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, Mr. ROBERTS showed up for his first day of work -- just as the Front de libération du Québec hostage crisis was erupting. Marc LALONDE, Mr. TRUDEAU's principal secretary, asked him to represent him at a strategy-planning meeting with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
"I had been long enough in diplomacy to know that this was a situation in which one did not speak without instructions," Mr. ROBERTS would recall. "I had no instructions, and I hadn't the faintest idea what the prime minister's views were on this abrupt development. I promised I would listen, make notes, report, and phone everyone. That I did, but I was glad that I had not ventured to predict which way TRUDEAU would jump. It was only a few days later that the troops were in Montreal, suspects rounded up and in jail, the War Measures Act proclaimed, and the prime minister saying to the press, 'Just watch me.' By that time I was veteran and expert."
After that baptism by fire, Mr. ROBERTS became full press secretary and met daily with Mr. TRUDEAU, often advising him on issues that the Prime Minister may have considered unimportant, and sometimes having the sobering thrill of hearing his words repeated verbatim to reporters later in the day. It was Mr. ROBERTS himself who announced the Prime Minister's marriage to an "incredulous" press gallery on March 4, 1971, and the birth of a son on Christmas Day.
External Affairs reclaimed Mr. ROBERTS in 1972 and parachuted him into the cultural division of the Department of the Secretary of State. The new assistant undersecretary awoke at 4 every morning and studied for three hours before going to work, but even with a "marvellous staff" who "filled in for me when I was stupid or ignorant," he sometimes found the learning curve excessively steep.
"Gradually my diplomatic experience came into play," he would write. "Diplomacy is partly a matter of faking. If you don't know the answer, if you don't know who someone is, don't let on. Smile enigmatically, and change the subject to the situation in Peru. I did a lot of that at the Secretary of State."
Mr. ROBERTS learned Romanian before becoming that country's ambassador in 1979, and found that the effort had been worthwhile because it gave him exceptionally good access to Mr. Ceausescu, who seemed flattered that a Canadian could speak his language; the leader would dismiss his retinue of advisers and translators and meet with Mr. ROBERTS alone to discuss a variety of political issues ranging from the situation in Poland to the situation in Quebec. Mr. ROBERTS enjoyed the meetings but understood that he was dealing with "the most desperate dictator and tyrant in Europe" and one who was becoming increasingly unhinged.
Among the visitors to Bucharest during that time was Allan GOTLIEB, by then undersecretary of state for External Affairs, who recalled being feted with Mr. ROBERTS by their Romanian hosts at a deluxe and crowded restaurant, where they washed down wonderful steaks with equally wonderful wines. The next evening, seeking a place for dinner, he suggested they return to the same establishment. "He told me, 'It's not there any more -- it's not real,' " Mr. GOTLIEB recalled. "He said, 'They opened it just for you.' He took me back there and it was all boarded up. There wasn't a soul there. It was like one of those Russian Potemkin villages you hear about."
As Soviet ambassador, Mr. ROBERTS joined Prime Minister Brian MULRONEY's entourage for the funeral of general secretary Konstantin Chernenko in Moscow in 1985. Like most other world leaders present, Mr. MULRONEY was keenly interested in meeting the incoming general secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev, and so was "predictably enraged" when the appointment was abruptly cancelled because an inept bureaucrat had overfilled Mr. Gorbachev's daybook with appointments. Persuading Mr. MULRONEY to be patient, Mr. ROBERTS quickly convinced the Soviets to rectify the error, and the meeting occurred in the Kremlin as originally planned.
Six months later, Mr. MULRONEY expressed his gratitude to Mr. ROBERTS by summoning him back to Ottawa to head the Canada Council. Fascinated as always by the Soviets, Mr. ROBERTS was reluctant to go, but realized he could not refuse.
"He was sad because Gorbachev had just come to power, and things were just beginning to show signs of change," recalls his wife, Glenna ROBERTS.
"He left with a great deal of regret, because he was really interested in seeing those changes."
Mr. ROBERTS retired from the Canada Council in 1989 and was an adjunct research professor of political science at Ottawa's Carleton University from 1990. He was diagnosed about 10 years ago with the cancer that increasingly incapacitated him over the past year.
He leaves his second wife Glenna, children Frances and Jeremy and their families, sister Mary, stepchildren Graham, Brendan and Hannah REID.

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