It's with sadness that we share the news of the passing of Abraham Rogatnick this afternoon. This lovely photo of Abraham was taken by his close friend, photographer Alex Waterhouse-Hayward who wrote about this great Vancouver original often on his fine blog. How can you sum up a life of amazing accomplishments? It's certainly not something we'll attempt here, but there are many places to read his bio.
Abraham was the co-founder of the first contemporary art gallery in Vancouver, co-founder of the Arts Club Theatre, Fulbright Scholar, Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, juror of art and architecture competitions, and an expert in the history and architecture of Venice (where he traveled regularly). He proudly referred to himself only as an actor.
Rogatnick has touched the lives of thousands through his philanthropy and his teaching. His most recent public appearance was this summer during a speech he gave in tribute to his friend and contemporary, the late Arthur Erickson. Vancouver Magazine's profile of Rogatnick published last year is a good read.
"I first met Abraham in London on my visit to Torino with Sam Sullivan at the time of the last winter Olympics," says CityCaucus.com's Daniel Fontaine. "It became apparent to me immediately that Abraham truly loved the city of Vancouver. It was for that reason - seeing Vancouver on the world stage - that Rogatnick wanted to be in Torino for the closing of the Games.
"He became essential to my survival in Italy as he knew the language, the culture, and all the best places to dine. Abraham is someone you'll never forget. He will be sadly missed."
The tributes will begin pouring in around the city and across the globe in the days to come. He was tiny in stature, but larger than life.
We'd really like to hear the comments from our readers about Abraham. Share your thoughts and your stories about the man.