Cleophas Gubbels was born in Sheho, Saskatchewan, in 1930 and attended grade school and high school in Victoria, BC. His father came to Canada from the Netherlands in 1922, his mother from Belgium in 1913. They farmed on the prairies and then moved to Sooke, BC in 1933, and in 1936, to Victoria. For many years they produced flowers for the wholesale market.
After completing two years at Victoria College (as it was then called) Cleophas enrolled at UBC and obtained a BSA (Major in Horticulture) under the supervision of Dr A F Barss in 1952. Graduate work at UBC led to the award of an MSA in Plant Nutrition under the supervision of Dr G H Harris in 1954. Cleophas was a graduate assistant during grad school and for about a full year lived in the header-house apartment in return for tending to the greenhouses after hours.
Mr Gubbels joined Agriculture Canada at Ottawa in 1954 and spent the next 28 years in various assignments with the Department, mostly in administration and personnel management. He served in Ottawa, Lethbridge, Winnipeg and Calgary. During 1977-78 he attended the National Defence College, Course 31, Kingston Ontario, 1977-78. He transferred to Treasury Board Secretariat in 1982 and worked there in human resource administration and occupational safety and health until retirement. He retired in 1989.
Mr Gubbels now works as a part-time consultant in human resources with Quintet Consulting Associates in Ottawa. He has been active for many years with the International Personnel Management Association – Canada and served as National President 1978-79. He was awarded an honorary life membership in 1982. Mr Gubbels was active for 19 years in the Canadian Army Militia, and Commanded the 29 (Ottawa) Service Battalion 1972 -75 as Lieutenant Colonel. He was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) in 1968.
Mr Gubbels resides with wife Margaret Sheila in Ottawa, Ontario, and they have six children. Two of his brothers graduated in Agriculture from UBC, Peter Gubbels (BSA ’62, MSA ’66) and Gerard Gubbels (BSA ’57, MSA ’59, PhD ’64 (Michigan)).