Goodbye to an old Friend
BOMA Ottawa lost a pillar of its association, with the passing of Pat Gillin in July of this year at the age of 84. Pat was the founding president of the Building Owners and Managers Association, Ottawa Chapter, founded in 1971 with about 12 other members.
Pat was also past-president of BOMA Canada, past-president of the Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa, past-chair of the board of governors of Ashbury College, past-president of the board of governors of the Rideau Club and longtime board member of the Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital as well as supporting the causes for Guide Dogs for the Blind and fundraising for the Shepherds of Good Hope.
On the national level, Pat was one of the builders of BOMA Canada, having not only been instrumental in establishing BOMA Ottawa, but also BOMA Atlantic (1987) having worked with several of the local industry members and providing them with his counsel and his support.
He was a graduate and a long-time supporter of the University of New Brunswick, an institution which he dearly loved. He funded bursaries for engineering students, assisting over 400 students financially over the past 35 years. UNB honored him by bestowing an honorary D.Sc. degree in 1981. He served many years on the board of governors and for the past few years as Governor Emeritus.
After graduation from UNB, he returned to Ottawa and started building individual houses. Later, he developed high-rise apartment and office buildings and became “the Squire of Laurier Avenue,” having built or purchased everything from the Lord Elgin Hotel to O’Connor Street. In particular, he bought the CCA Construction House property and erected the 24-storey EDC Building on its site.
Pat was a pioneer in construction engineering education and research. He funded the first construction engineering chair in a Canadian university and also established a fund to help UNB students pay their fees.
Having formed Gillin Engineering and Construction Ltd. in 1949 the company also counts the Gillin Building and the Sir Guy Carleton Building, both on Laurier Avenue, the Standard Life Building on Slater Avenue, Place Laurier on Laurier Avenue West and the Commonwealth Building on Metcalfe Street among its accomplishments.
Most recently Pat was selected as the Ottawa Business Person of the Year 2003.
Gone but not forgotten. BOMA Ottawa continues to recognize his contribution by awarding its highest achievement, The M. Patrick Gillin Award to those that have demonstrated excellence in our industry and dedication to BOMA Ottawa, something that Mr. Gillin demonstrated his entire professional life.