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CIPS Joins in Celebration for Founder Kelly Gotlieb’s 90th Birthday

On Monday March 28th 2011 CIPS representatives attended Kelly Gotlieb’s 90th birthday celebration ceremony at the University of Toronto. This included a distinguished lecture by Kelly himself, “Chiefly about Computing", followed by a private dinner reception. It was a wonderful and emotional event, and attendees felt honoured to have been part of the celebration.

CIPS representatives included Mary Jean Kucerak (Executive Director), Trekker Armstrong, I.S.P., ITCP (CIPS CCITP Chair), and Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., ITCP (CIPS Board Chairman & President (2007/8, Advisor OEC 2008-present)). Trekker and Stephen were both invited to the head table and delivered remarkable speeches (as part of 4 keynotes speakers) in front of a full house at the Great Hall, in the Heart House building at U of T. The following is the speech that was delivered by Trekker. 

          

Speech by CIPS CCITP Chair Trekker Armstrong, I.S.P., ITCP:

“I have been asked to say a few words about Kelly’s involvement in the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS).  CIPS is Canada’s association of IT professionals and Kelly is recognized as our founder.

In the late 1950’s Ted Codd of Computing Devices Canada wrote Kelly proposing the formation of “an association bringing together people in Canada who are deeply involved in automatic computing and data processing”.  Kelly acted on that idea by first organizing two successive conferences here at the University of Toronto.  Those conferences demonstrated to participants the value of sharing ideas, networking with fellow professionals, and learning about coming changes in the technology, practices, and management of information systems. These conferences sparked the formation in 1958 of The Computing and Data Processing Society of Canada. In 1968, the society changed its name to the current Canadian Information Processing Society.

Initially, Kelly was very active behind the scenes with the establishment of CIPS, and it wasn’t until CIPS’ third year in 1960-1961 that he accepted a term as CIPS President.   In looking back over Kelly’s term it immediately becomes apparent how through Kelly’s leadership and vision, the fundamental tenets of the Society were set. 

What were those fundamental principles?  They included the realization of the importance of a central body, the formation of Sections based on rules governing both their formation and their relationship to the central body, the requirement of each Section to pay a per capita fee per member to support the central body,  the importance of providing ongoing networking and educational opportunities through the Sections and centrally through an annual conference, and the importance of both communicating with and educating members through National publications.

Kelly also set the stage for CIPS’ long and valued international participation.  On behalf of CIPS, Kelly attended in 1959 the inaugural meeting of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), and served as our representative for 10 years.  In the mid 1970’s he spear headed the formation of IFIP’s technical committee on Computers and Society, and while he turned down the opportunity to serve as IFIP President, he is the recipient of many distinguished IFIP awards.

Minutes from Kelly’s tenure as President reveal his determination and innovation.  On January 10, 1961 a Board meeting had been scheduled and unfortunately there was no quorum of Directors or Executive members present at the meeting.  While many of many us placed in a similar situation would likely continue the meeting without transacting any formal business, lack of quorum did not stop Kelly!   The minutes state “the President appointed himself and those attending as a special committee to discuss and where necessary act on the agenda”.  And act they did, for it was at that meeting that funding was approved for the establishment of CIPS Sections in Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg.   The very first Sections of CIPS.

Today, Kelly remains an active member of the CIPS Fellows and especially the CIPS Fellows Nomination Committee.  He has, through his extensive experience provided many insights on how our Fellowship program and nominating process should work.  We value Kelly’s ongoing insights and commitment to the success of CIPS.

On behalf of all CIPS members, I extend our best wishes on your 90th birthday and our gratitude for establishing an association in Canada that has allowed individual practitioners, educators and students to come together as a community.   And for putting into place an association that is recognized and respected as part of a global professional IT community.  We remain grateful for your continued involvement.”

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