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Old 09-01-2015, 07:03 AM   #161
George S.
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JOHN LOUIS NICHOLAS BITOVE

Obituary



clip_image001JOHN LOUIS NICHOLAS BITOVE, CM "Where there is Love, there is Life." --Gandhi John Bitove, Sr. (JB) passed away peacefully on July 30, 2015, with his loved ones by his side. It was a fitting end to a man who lived 87 years for his family, friends, heritage and country. He leaves behind a legacy of love, caring, passion and success, impacting so many people around the world. Husband and partner, in the truest sense of the word, to his loving wife of 66 years Dotsa. Father, mentor and inspiration to their five children -- Vonna, Nick (Della), Tom (Karen), John (Randi) and Jordan (Nicole) and loving Dedo to their sixteen grandchildren -- John, Sasho, Jenna, Gabriel, Natalie, Nicolas, JJ, Katarina, Jacob, Brett, Emma, Blair, Brodey, Cameron, Chloe and Ivy. Predeceased by his brother James and his beloved sister Milca (Novak). John Bitove Sr. was born on March 19, 1928 to Macedonian immigrant parents in Toronto's East End. At a very young age, he learned from his parents Nickola and Vana Bitove the importance of family and of giving back to his community. Whether it was a neighbourhood project or one of global implications, he never shied away from what he believed was his calling in life -- helping others less fortunate than him and protecting human rights. He lived his life proving that it was better to give than to receive. While holding down three jobs as a young boy, he managed to find time to be a star athlete in multiple sports. Hockey was his passion and at the age of 12 he founded, coached and played on the Toronto Young Leafs hockey team, a group of "Cabbagetown" kids. With big dreams, he approached Maple Leaf Gardens about the possibility of his team using the hallowed building for their home games. They agreed. The Toronto Young Leafs went on to win City and Provincial Championships. A number of his teammates would later play in the NHL and win Stanley Cups. In 1946 he was offered a tryout with the Detroit Red Wings. As times were tough, he chose to stay in Toronto and help with his father's butcher shop, located on Queen Street East. At the age of 18, he would meet the love of his life, Dotsa Lazoff, at a Macedonian convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Three years later they were married and settled in Toronto. They were inseparable and their marriage would produce five children. Their love was the kind that existed in fairy tales and they pursued their dreams together in business, family and philanthropy. At the age of 21, he opened his first restaurant, the Java Shoppe and the rest was history. This evolved into one of the largest foodservices companies in Canada. Despite loudly proclaiming to his children that he did not want them following him in to the hospitality industry, they all did! He was never more proud. His love for Canada, Toronto and his parents' birthplace of Macedonia was demonstrated every day of his life. In 1979 he was named an Honorary Citizen of Metropolitan Toronto and in 1989 he was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for his philanthropic work. He was a recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation and in 2012 he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee award for his contributions to Canada. He was also extremely proud of being honoured by the Toronto Police Service as an Honorary Chief of Police for his service to the TPS and the youth of the city, in part due to his founding of the ProAction Cops & Kids program. His charitable endeavours were legion and started at a very young age. These efforts included working with the Salvation Army to prepare over 50,000 Christmas baskets for the needy; travelling with his wife overseas in 1963 for six weeks to personally help organize relief efforts and gather supplies for those injured in the devastating earthquake in Skopje, Macedonia; chairing fundraising for Toronto General Hospital, Cardiac Care Unit; conceiving, funding and building the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy for those with Alzheimer's disease and other memory-related disorders; and creating, funding and initially administering funds for the Toronto Police to positively interact with youth at risk in their communities. In 1978, as Founder and Chairman of the Board, he and his wife took great pride in opening Canadian Macedonian Place, a senior citizen's complex in East York. It was the culmination of a dream to create a home where Canadians of Macedonian decent could live and socialize together. It was a testament to his hard work and vision and he took exceptional pride in how the Macedonian community of Toronto worked in unison. Nearly 40 years later, CMP continues to provide exceptional services to its residents, housing thousands of Torontonians over the years, many of Macedonian decent. John and Dotsa were deeply impacted by the experience of the child-refugees of Macedonia at the conclusion of World War II, who are known as the Detsa Begaltci. Both of them had relatives among the 30,000 Macedonian children who were sent to the countries of the European Eastern Block to escape persecution and death in their native country. Together they organized and paid for the reunion that took place in Skopje, in 1984, to re-unite them with their families. This event became a landmark in the latter-day history of the Macedonian people and led many Macedonians to reunite with their missing brothers, sisters, relatives and friends. He believed strongly in his Eastern Orthodox faith and provided funding for the establishment of its churches around the world. Together with Dotsa, they never stopped their charitable work; this characteristic has been instilled in each of their children. He emphasized to all of his children and grandchildren the importance of education. To this end, he established the Bitove Foundation Scholarship award at Ryerson University School of Hospitality and the John and Dotsa Bitove Law Library at the University of Western Ontario was named in their honour. He also initiated a degree program at the University of Toronto for the study of the Macedonian language and founded a scholarship program for the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) for outstanding students of Macedonian heritage. JB also served as a Director of the Royal Ontario Museum and as the Ontario Chairman of the British Commonwealth Games of 1986. He was a Member of the Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute and was the Founder of the Armour Heights Rotary Club. He served on several Boards, including Oppenheimer & Co. He was extremely proud of his accomplishments regarding the independence of Macedonia, which culminated in the creation of the Republic of Macedonia in September of 1991. Shortly after its independence, Macedonia was in great need of medical supplies. He helped organize a fundraising event at the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) with 20,000 people in attendance, the proceeds of which enabled the delivery of the required supplies. On the twentieth anniversary of the Republic of Macedonia's Independence, he was awarded the country's highest award by President Gjorge Ivanov. The Order of "September 8" was presented to him for his "exceptional dedication and commitment in support of the progress of the Republic of Macedonia and its affirmation worldwide as an independent and democratic state." Amongst all of his business and charitable endeavours, he always found the time to be an outstanding husband, father, grandfather and friend. He went to great lengths to ensure that his family homes in Toronto, Georgian Bay and Boca Raton, Florida, were always filled with the sounds of his friends, children and grandchildren playing and laughing together. Christmas will never be the same without him. He loved to play golf and wasn't shy about reminding his family and friends, usually during their backswing, that he had made a hole-in-one. It only took him 78 years! He encouraged everyone around him to dream big dreams and that only through hard work and perseverance will one achieve success. He lived by his philosophy in business that one must always be respected. And respect is something earned -- every minute of every day in everything you do. In keeping with his wishes, John L.N. Bitove was interred at Mount Pleasant Cemetery with his family present. A Celebration of Life will take place in the fall. Details will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, the family would be honoured if donations were made to the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy: JohnBitoveSrTribute.ca, ProAction Cops & Kids: copsandkids.ca or the Canadian Macedonia Place Foundation: canadianmacedonianplace.com

Published in the Toronto Star from Aug. 7 to Aug. 8, 2015
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:46 AM   #162
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CFMT47 DEBATE BITOVE VS FOUSSIAS on the name Macedonia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQtketSePZo
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:54 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Momce Makedonce View Post
CFMT47 DEBATE BITOVE VS FOUSSIAS on the name Macedonia

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQtketSePZo
Neither of them were particularly good at debating. Having said that I genuinely think Bitove won, although he did have the language advantage.

We are so much better equipped today than we were back then. I get the feeling that if this debate happened again right now it would be much easier to debate from the Macedonian perspective. Meanwhile the Greek position is the same, history history history.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:17 AM   #164
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Neither of them were particularly good at debating. Having said that I genuinely think Bitove won, although he did have the language advantage.

We are so much better equipped today than we were back then. I get the feeling that if this debate happened again right now it would be much easier to debate from the Macedonian perspective. Meanwhile the Greek position is the same, history history history.
I agree. A nation and people have the right to self determination... debate won without even touching upon history.

Apparently this Foussias is a Grkoman, which made it even more cringe worthy to listen to the stuff coming out of his mouth.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:35 AM   #165
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I only saw small random parts and Foussias is indeed weak in English (he's an immigrant since the 70s). I've never heard of him before, he's a psychiatrist and a leader of Greek-Canadians.

Where is he from?

The other guy is much better; he looks and sounds as an American politician with the smile and the look at the camera. Also the whole thing seemed dark, dead and boring. It certainly needed an audience and a more lively direction.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:40 PM   #166
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John Bitove

On September 30, 1993 the National Basketball Association invited a group led by Bitove to be the 29th team to join the league. In addition to being the Founder of the Toronto Raptors basketball team, he led the creation of the Air Canada Centre the new home of sports and entertainment in Toronto, including some new, state-of-art stadium features.

URL:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bitove

The impulse to start companies seems bred in the bone. John Ivan Bitove Jr. was born in 1960. His father, the son of Macedonian immigrants who arrived in Canada after the First World War, opened a 14-stool coffee shop in Toronto in 1949 and spent the next four decades building a catering empire. It's an enterprise forged from sweat, strategy and some bitter clashes with partners and rivals, with the Bitove name usually coming out on top.

URL:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/repo...rticle8252900/





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Last edited by Carlin15; 06-16-2019 at 08:40 AM.
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