Geoffrey BRUCE
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BRUCE, Geoffrey F
Geoffrey died at the Ottawa Hospital (Civic Campus) on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. He is deeply mourned by Erika, his companion and wife of 47 years. Geoff was the younger son of the late Professor E.L.Bruce and Mary Bruce (nee Neely). He was predeceased by his brother Douglas, half-brother Dr. H.C. Horwood, and half-sisters Lorna Horwood and Dorothy Davis. He is survived by his sons, Ian and David (Lia, Ella, and Eilam), daughter Karen, sisters-in law Rev. Jean Bruce and Mary McMartin, many nephews and nieces of the Bruce and Davis-Little families, and goddaughter Emma Drouin. Born in Kingston, Ontario, on June 30, 1925, Geoff graduated from Queen's University with a B.A. (Hons) in political science in 1947. He was elected president of the student government in both Kingston Collegiate and Queen's University. Among his academic awards were the American Legion Scholarship, the McRae scholarship and the Tricolour at Queen's. In 1948, Geoff entered Columbia University in New York, where he earned an M.A. in economics, while also studying at the New School of Social Research. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1952, and at the start of a distinguished career took up his first diplomatic assignment in 1954 to the newly opened Canadian Embassy in Israel, where he remained until 1957. He then served at the Canadian High Commission in Ceylon, and from 1963 to 1967 as Counselor at the Canadian Embassy in Vienna, Austria, where he was also a member of the Board of Governors of the I.A.E.A. Upon his return to Ottawa, he joined the UN Division, and in 1971 attended the National Defence College in Kingston, following which he was named Director of the International Science and Environmental Affairs Division, and secretary general of the Canadian Delegation to the UN Conference on the Human Environment, which took place in Stockholm in 1972. Subsequently, he went as Minister to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he remained until 1977. In 1977/ 78 he was a Fellow at the Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University. He then served as High Commissioner to Kenya and Uganda, and also until 1982, as the Canadian Permanent Representative to the UN Environment Agency and the UN Commission on Human Settlements. Once more in Ottawa, he became Vice President for Foreign Aid Policy and then for Business Cooperation at Coda. In 1987, he was appointed Ambassador to Portugal, and upon completion of his assignment in 1990, he retired and accompanied his wife Erika to NATO in Brussels. Geoff participated actively in the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, the Group of 78, Queen's University Alumni Association and others, and served on the executives. During the whole of his life he was passionately committed to multilateralism and the development of sustainable resources, and retained a deep interest in the history and politics of the United States. Geoff loved music, good conversation and the telling of stories; he read widely and thoughtfully to the end of his life. But more even than music, he loved people. His perceptive advice, his dry sense of humour, and his unfailing kindness made him lifelong friends in many countries. Our thanks go to CCAC and the devoted medical team at the Ottawa Hospital (Civic). A Farewell celebration will be held on Tuesday, September 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Church of St. Bartholomew, 125 Mackay Street, Ottawa. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Community Living Kingston, 1412 Princess Street, Kingston, K7M 3E5
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Published in Ottawa Citizen on Sep. 13, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
October 6, 2014
Dear Mrs. Bruce,

As a schoolgirl, I was your next-door-neighbour on Bruyere street. Both of my parents are long dead, but as a family we were well aware of your husbands many achievements in the world of diplomacy. We were proud to have you both as neighbours, and your husband was gentle and kind to me whenever we spoke.

I wish you all the strength you need in this difficult period.
Erin O'Brien
September 19, 2014
Dear Erika,
Elaine and I are saddened to learn that Geoff has passed away. He was a great supporter of international development during the four years that I served in Nairobi. Geoff always consulted the CIDA staff whenever he had been approached by Kenyans about an aid-related project.
Among his wide-ranging interests, his love of the environment was demonstrated to us during a project visit to the Kenya coast with the CIDA reps and cooperants. Long after we were all back in the boat following a snorkeling excursion, he was so enchanted that he kept on swimming and admiring the aquatic life.
His diplomatic skills were in evidence each year during the Thanksgiving celebrations that brought together Canadians serving throughout Kenya. Tradition required that he take the position of umpire of the Canadian East vs. West baseball game. When it became clear which side (usually the West) would win, he kept the scores close by making some very unorthodox calls.
John Copland
September 18, 2014
Dearest Erika,
We just learned of Geoff's passing while here in Hanoi. We are deeply saddened and look forward to seeing you once again when the time is right. Brian & Virginie
Brian & Virginie Proskurniak
September 18, 2014
I am so sorry for your loss. It was my privilege to have known Mr. Bruce. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Lena Sousa
September 16, 2014
Dear Erika, I have just returned from a meeting of the FET group. I reported on the sad events that have happened to you during the last weeks. It is true that only a few members knew Geoff at all and then only briefly.I was able to tell them what I knew about Geoff and what an important role he undertook for Canada and for the world. The group requested that I extend sincere condolences to you. It is a duty I perform with sadness for you and your family.

On behalf of the executive and members of Friends of English Theatre.
Fran Pearl
Friends of English Theatre National Arts Centre
September 14, 2014
Dear Erika,
We only got to know Geoff during the last few years of his life through his and your interest in the theatre trips organized by Friends of English Theatre in Ottawa. He immediately impressed us as a gentleman of culture and refinement. We are greatly saddened by his passing not only because of the immense loss it represents to you and to your family but because we did not have the opportunity and privilege of enjoying his friendship more fully. We are fortunate to have known him even for a short time.
With deepest sympathy,
Fran and Paul Pearl
Fran and Paul Pearl
September 14, 2014
Dear Erica - my deepest sympathies
Angus W J (Ron) Robertson
September 14, 2014
Dear Erika, On behalf of myself and my staff, I would like to add my sincere condolences to you and your family. Geoffrey's lifetime of accomplishments leaves us with a clear view into his character as a person. He, and his "dry sense of humour" will be missed.

Sincerely, Dr. Levine
September 14, 2014
Dear Erica,
I would like to tell you

I would like to offer my condolences at the passing of Geoffrey. You made a great couple. It would be nice to get together. My friend Robert is not well, so my life has changed considerably.
Be Well
Best Wishes
September 14, 2014
Geoffrey was an esteemed colleague with whom I had the privilege to work very closely at UNEP in Nairobi in the 70s and when he was in Lisbon and I was in Madrid in the 80s, and we both lived on Bruyere when on Ottawa postings. We also found ourselves together in Brussels in the 90s when I was at the WTTC and Erika was at NATO; we socialised frquently and were guests in our respective homes.

Geoff was an endearing individual, full of life, not at all pedantic and rather self demeaning, never playing one upmanship, a model for younger FSOs and a font of knowledge about international relations and what was really behind media stories. His sense of humour was contagious and he and Erika were superb hosts at dinner parties. I fondly recall many entertaining evenings at their residences in Nairobi, Lisbon, Brussels and Ottawa.

Bettina joins me in sending our condolences to Erika and Geoffrey's family. Sadly,we are unlikely to see people of Geoff's calibre in Canada's Foreign Service again.

Lorne Clark
Lorne Clark
September 13, 2014
Chère Erika, mes sincères condoléances. J'ai beaucoup apprécié travailler avec Geff, un homme de profondes valeurs humaines et humanitaires.
Émile Gauvreau
September 13, 2014
Chère Erika,

C'est avec tristesse qu'Anne-Marie et moi apprenons le départ de votre cher époux Bruce. Anne-Marie Bourcier se souvient de votre accueil chaleureux au Kenya. Bruce fut mon prédécesseur à la Vice-Présidence aux politiques ainsi qu'à la coopération industrielle.
Je garde de lui le souvenir d'un homme charmant qui croyait profondément au rôle du Canada dans le monde. Il offrit son engagement et sa compétence partout où il servit.
Jean-Guy Saint-Martin
September 13, 2014
Mes sincères condoléances
Pierre Racicot
September 13, 2014
All the way from New Zealand, I read with sadness that Geoff has left us. Dear Erika though we haven't connected for a long time, I remember you both with great fondness, stay strong. With much love from Julie
Julie Loranger
September 13, 2014
Madame Bruce,
C'est avec tristesse que j'ai appris le décès de votre époux. Veuillez accepter mes profondes condoléances; que vos souvenirs vous soutiennent pendant cette période difficile.
Carole Ann Murphy
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