Robbert Hartog

“Robbert had an incredibly generous spirit in every sense.”

It was one of Toronto’s worst snowstorms on record, but undeterred, eighty-eight year old Robbert Hartog travelled from Midland, Ontario, where he lived, to attend a Crossroads committee meeting in Toronto two and a half hours away. It was one of many gestures of support that demonstrated Hartog’s lifelong commitment to Crossroads, an organization he helped establish 50 years ago.

Along with other leading figures in CCI’s history, such as Bill Lockington, Jack Sibley and Donald Simpson, Robbert was first moved to take up the challenge of founding Canadian Crossroads Internatinal after attending a talk given by American civil rights activist and Operation Crossroads Africa founder James Robinson. He would become its first Chair of the Board in 1961. He actively supported the organization throughout his life, and in 2005 renewed his commitment as a member of the leadership gifts committee.

“Robbert had an incredibly generous spirit in every sense. He was an encouraging benefactor, friend and mentor,” says CCI Executive Director Karen Takacs. “He firmly believed that Canadians should see themselves as global citizens. He felt a deep sense of responsibility to contribute to his own community and the world at large,” says Takacs.

An outstanding member of Canada’s business community and director of several corporations, Robbert was also a dedicated volunteer who devoted a lifetime of energy and support to a wide array of non-profit organizations. Canada honoured Robbert for his enduring commitment to public service with the Order of Canada.

“I don’t think any of us will ever know the list of organizations that Robbert took the time and energy to support,” says former CCI Executive Director Michael Cooke. “He always had time for me and for the organization. He was an incredibly humble man. He would never tell you how to do things if you asked his opinion, but he’d give you wise advice. This combination of wisdom, commitment and authority – I’ve rarely seen it in my life,” reflects Cooke.

“Many Crossroaders have been inspired by Robbert’s commitment, and we are deeply grateful for his support,” says Takacs. “Robbert was truly a global citizen. The legacy of his lifelong commitment to the public good lives on.”

 

Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of: