His shouts of “Bravo!” were often heard echoing throughout the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra’s (NSO) performance venues. Loved ones and NSO friends of Gerry Germain are now preparing to give him an ovation of his own.
Germain, a businessman and longtime supporter of the NSO, died at home on Saturday, at the age of 77.
In his business life, Germain had been president of Genergy Inc., Rutter Engineering and Automation, Unicontrol International Ltd. and Bouyges Offshore, his work taking him around the world to places such as Brazil, Scotland, France and Vietnam.
Germain, who served on the board of the Tuckamore Festival, spent two terms as chairman of the board of the NSO. A Montreal native, he founded the organization’s golf tournament, headed up the ball committee and would often volunteer his home for rehearsal space or to accommodate visiting musicians.
According to current chairwoman, Heather McKinnon, Germain set about implementing the organization’s most recent strategic plan, designed to ensure the longtime stability of the orchestra.
Despite having been diagnosed with lung cancer last fall, Germain — who is described by loved ones as adventurous, generous and having a larger-than-life personality — continued to serve on the executive of the NSO. Not just part of the orchestra’s administration, he was one of its most enthusiastic patrons, McKinnon said.
“Not only did Gerry rarely miss a concert, he also attended most dress rehearsals, so deep was his love for the music the NSO was playing, no matter the genre,” McKinnon told The Telegram. The orchestra’s annual production of “Messiah” was his favourite, she said.
“The NSO family is deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague.”
McKinnon said the NSO will formally pay tribute to Germain during its 2015-2015 season.
Germain leaves behind his wife, Dr. Angela Penney, children Guy and Victoria Germain, grandchildren Kieran and Harrison Betts and Sienna Germain, and sister Blanche Streeter. His funeral will take place at the Carnell Memorial Chapel on Freshwater Road in St. John’s Thursday at 11 a.m.