In Memory of Gustavo da Roza (1933-2022)

Gustavo Uriel da Roza passed away peacefully in his home in Surrey, British Columbia on April 24, 2022, at the age of 89. Gustavo (known throughout his life as Gus) was born on February 24, 1933, to Gustavo Uriel da Roza Sr. and Cecilia Maria Alves in Hong Kong. After graduating with First Class Honours from the University of Hong Kong in 1955, he was invited to teach at the University of California in Berkeley and later, at the University of Manitoba where he acted as head of the School of Architecture for many years. In addition to his academic work, Gus maintained a busy and active architectural practice for over fifty years. Success in numerous competitions and design awards led to his work being exhibited across Canada, the United States, Europe and the Far East including the World Expo of 1967 in Montreal. His most notable work in Canada is the Winnipeg Art Gallery where Gus hosted Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden at the grand opening in 1971. Gus was elected Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1973 for his distinction in design and education.

Gus dedicated much of his time to the Portuguese community in Winnipeg throughout most of his professional life. In 1970, he was appointed by the Governor of Portugal to serve as Honorary Consul General of Portugal in Winnipeg, participating as an active member of the Consular Corps and its Vice Dean in the 1980s. In 1985, he was decorated by the President of Portugal as Comendador of the Order of Prince Henry for excellence in architecture and architectural education, and for his service to the Portuguese community. In 1988, Gus was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for distinction in the architectural profession, and contributions to Canada and humanity at large. He was decorated by the Governor General again in 1992 for his professional work, and completed special projects in celebration of the 125th anniversary of Canada.

Gus was a leader within the community of Canadian architects and artists. He served on the Canadian Housing Design Council and as its National Chairman in the 1970s. In recognition of his design work as an artist, Gus was awarded the Senior Arts Award from the Canada Council in 1975. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in Vancouver in recognition of his outstanding community service and contributions to architecture and teaching, and in 2012, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2009, he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree by the Catholic University of Portugal and the Inter-University Institute of Macau for his influence on Canadian architecture in the twentieth century.

Outside of Gus’s professional life, he pursued his love of horses by travelling across Canada with his family to equestrian competitions and serving as Chairman of the Manitoba Horse Council. After more than thirty years of teaching and practicing architecture in Winnipeg, Gus and Gloria relocated to Vancouver where he continued his private practice with a focus on projects on the West Coast and in the Far East. In Hong Kong, he enjoyed attending horse races at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and spending time with his many friends, reminiscing about his father’s (Gustavo Senior’s) victories as a jockey in the 1920s.

In his later years, Gus pursued his artistic passion for painting, publishing several original watercolour works of the cities and places where he lived and worked throughout his illustrious career. Regrettably, he was unable to complete his book of original paintings of his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Gus is survived by Gloria, his beautiful wife of 60 years, his wonderful children, several grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, as well as his sisters and families throughout the United States. Anyone who met Gus will remember his loud voice, infectious laugh and his ability to make friends with everyone. His impact on the architectural, artistic and Portuguese community will be fondly remembered by many. Gus will be sorely missed.