By GERRY POSNER First there were there the Howes, as in the late Gordie and sons Marty and Mark. Then came the Hulls, as in Bobby and son Brett.
Well, what these famous father and sons were to hockey was no doubt an inspiration to father Lloyd and son Dov Secter, only this time in the world of architecture. For as certain as the Howes and Hulls made their mark in hockey, the Secters are doing the same in architecture and design. And just as Colleen Howe, Gordie’s wife was integral to his and the boys’ success, so to Marcia Secter, Lloyd’s wife and mother of Dov, has been instrumental in the Secter appeal.
How did it happen that father and son would end up in the same stream of architecture collaborating together and practicing almost in the exact same way? It began with the father Lloyd who, after almost 50 years in the profession, is a well known fixture in the Winnipeg community in the field of architecture and beyond. The first family team was Lloyd and Marcia (formerly Moscovitch).
The couple, married in 1964. Both graduated from the Faculty of Architecture - Lloyd in 1965 and Marcia in 1968. That a husband and wife should graduate as architects is rare today and was even more unusual back in 1968. The couple soon settled in Winnipeg and three children followed, the youngest of which was son Dovide, better known as Dov. That very same Dov followed his father in at least three ways as he moved on in his career and extra curricular activities.
First of all, Dov became an architect. There is certainly precedent for father and son Jewish architects in Manitoba, but having said that, rare would be the next word in making that comment. Max and his son, the late Morley Blankstein, come to mind. Perhaps it was the pursuit of his father’s career that ignited Dov or perhaps it was just the natural Secter genes handed down from both parents that caused Dov to follow father Lloyd’s lead. Most likely it was the time spent with his father Lloyd at job sites when Dov was younger and his getting involved, even in a small way that triggered this interest in architecture. As Dov puts it, “I learned a lot though osmosis. It was those times that really formulated my love of the built environment. Now, my father and I sit together and work on a design of a glass and steel house and those feelings of creating something with my father return.”
The second way that the son and father have been alike is that both have operated and still do operate out of home-based offices. One of the reasons that this mode of practice was chosen was in order to maintain a “ family “ oriented quality of life. Clearly, the influence of Lloyd must have been strong, as Dov was attracted to this lifestyle.
Lastly, the father and son (and indeed mother) have made giving back to the community a priority in their lives. Lloyd was active in the former Ramah School Board, Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, the Winnipeg Children’s Museum and later on, for many years he served on the board and executive of the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue. In fact, there was a period when Lloyd and Marcia were the core of the House and Building committee at Shaarey Zedek.
With Dov, it might be that he learned the lessons of his father and mother well as, not that very long ago, he received the Harry Silverberg Young Leader of Distinction award from the Jewish Federation. He has been on the federation’s J- Peg Steering committee and was responsible, along with his wife Sarah, for the Eco Shift Lecture in 2012 with Davis Suzuki, which attracted a huge crowd.
A member of the federation board since 2012, and in fact, a key part of the executive, a volunteer for Chesed Shel Emes and BB Camp, a Big Brother for JCFS and the winner of the B’Nai Brith Richard Tapper Memorial Award for spirit and enthusiasm, Dov is what might be considered very connected to his community.
What also ought not be overlooked is that, just as Marcia was a key player in the growth of Lloyd Secter as an architect, so too is Sarah (Allentuck), who operates an art consulting business through the umbrella of Secter Design.
She also finds the time to handle all of the social media and marketing for Dov and was instrumental in orchestrating and staging their home for the photo shoot that led to Dov’s rise to fame.
This fame and the event that shot Dov into the spotlight recently was recognition for the best contemporary kitchen in his home right in River Heights. The appliance makers, Sub- Zero and Wolf, held a contest, receiving over 1,700 entries from 16 countries.
Secter’s design, on a minimalist theme, and designed for his own house, was the winner. Secter calls it a very functional kitchen where “the family all works together.” Now, you can bet that father Lloyd and mother Marcia never in their wildest dreams ever thought that one day their son would be the king of the kitchen.
But, kvell they might today and with good reason. You could say that although the tools of the architecture profession might have changed from pencils and drafting paper to the computer, the Secters have been a constant.
Who knows? With Dov and wife Sarah’s two daughters now, it might be that a third generation Secter in architecture is in waiting.