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WFDB Pays Tribute to Goldschmidt

Feb 9, 2010 10:09 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) paid tribute to the memory of the group's honorary life secretary Gerson Goldschmidt, who died in Antwerp on Monday, February 8, 2010, at the age of 89.
 
Goldschmidt served for two lengthy periods as secretary-general of the WFDB, from 1984 to 1986 and again from 1990 to 2002. Upon his retirement from the post, he was awarded the distinguished lifetime title.
 
"Gerson Goldschmidt was not only a mentor but also a sincere and loyal colleague," said WFDB secretary general Michael Vaughan ,who succeeded Goldschmidt in 2002.  "He belonged to that exclusive group of individuals who helped shape the WFDB. As secretary general, he was responsible for the day-to-day running of the federation for 16 years, working tirelessly behind the scenes. He embodied the image of a dedicated public official in the diamond industry. On behalf of WFDB president Avi Paz, the WFDB executive committee and the WFDB member bourses, we send heartfelt condolences to his family and many friends," Vaughan stated.  goldschmidt
 
Goldschmidt, pictured, was born in Lubeck, Germany, in 1921. He immigrated to Belgium with his family before the outbreak of World War II. His recorded his wartime experiences in a book entitled "Am seidenen Faden (On a Silken Thread)."
 
Building a career as a dealer in industrial diamonds,  Goldschmidt also became leader of the Belgian diamond sector. He served as president of the Antwerpsche Diamantkring, the city's rough diamond exchange, from 1999 to 2003, and before that as vice president and treasurer from 1987 to 1999. He was a board member at the bourse from 1978 to 1999.
 
Goldschmidt served as a member of the WFDB executive committee and the international arbitration panel, was a committee head at the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses, as well as a member of the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses' permanent committee for the settlement of debts. In addition, he served as treasurer of the industrial diamond firms group at the Antwerp Diamond High Council (HRD), which was the predecessor the current Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).
 
Among his philanthropic activities, Goldschmidt was president of the Frechie Stichting Jewish cemetery in Antwerp and treasurer of the Synagogue Eisenmann and Verenigde Israel Aktie.
 
He was named an officer of the Belgian Crown Order in 2002, an officer in the Order of Leopold II in 1996, a knight in the Order of Leopold in 1983 and a recipient of the Golden Laureate of Labour in 1982.
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Tags: Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), AWDC, Belgium, HRD, Israel, World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)
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