Michael Rosen and I first worked together in Metro Vancouver on a large, complex subdivisional project, at the time when I was the chief administrative officer of Bowen Island Municipality. The successful realization of the project took us through some very difficult times, and its progress would have been impossible without Michael having agreed to return to it and grace it with his expertise and equilibrium. His death last Sunday, at an age too early, was tragic. It is difficult to explain how high a regard I held him in.
The day of the funeral I was at the downtown YMCA in Edmonton. For some reason, the adagietto from Mahler’s fifth symphony began to play over the sound system. It seemed so very odd and strangely moving to hear it in such a place. Michael and I had talked a number of times about his terrific trip with his family to Prague and Israel. Mahler, of course, was a Bohemian Jew, and the adagietto, because it speaks of those who are close to us, is frequently played in memoriam. Well, as much as I sometimes may wish to, I do not believe in signs, but perhaps I can see my way to acknowledging a sign of signs.
Another friend sent this through today from a newsletter of the Planning Institute of British Columbia:
IN MEMORIAM – MICHAEL ROSEN MCIP:
“It is with sadness that the Institute shares the news of the recent passing of Michael Rosen MCIP, on May 13, 2012.
“Michael passed after a courageous battle with cancer. Beloved husband of Karen Hoffman. Devoted father of Rebecca and Matthew. Cherished son of Seymour and Selma, and the late Roslyn.
“Michael first joined PIBC and CIP as a member in March 1986. He was an active planning consultant for many, many years. Michael had recently been awarded the high honour of ‘Freedom of the Municipality’ by the Village of Belcarra. He first became Belcarra’s planning consultant in April 1981, just 19 months after Belcarra’s incorporation, and assisted Belcarra in that capacity for 31 years.
“Contributions in Michael’s memory may be made to the Israel Cancer Research Fund, (514) 481-2723.”