Former city councillor Ruth Gotlieb has died, after decades of community service.
Mrs Gotlieb, who was in her 90s, had a long and successful career serving the people of Wellington. From 1983-2001 she was an Eastern ward city councillor. She was also elected to the Regional Council, the Wellington Harbour Board, and the Capital & Coast District Health Board.
Among the achievements Mrs Gotlieb was most proud of were her role in establishing the Wellington Youth Council, her support for setting up a mobile library, driving the installation of a third cancer-fighting linear accelerator and hydrotherapy pool at Kilbirnie Aquatic Centre, and sitting on the board that oversaw the upgrade of Wellington Hospital.
“Ruth was a tremendous worker for Wellington,” says mayor Justin Lester. “She was on council well before my time, but her reputation survived her years after she left. In recent years I ran into her frequently while she continued to serve her city, and she always exuded great energy and vitality and a love for her city.”
He says it was entirely appropriate that Wellington City Council named its new library at Kilbirnie the Ruth Gotlieb Library in 2000.
“Ruth was like a force of nature, and with her strong personality and drive she was a very effective councillor.
“Last November, when the council hosted a function for all its female councillors over the years, Ruth came along and spoke with wit and energy. She really was one of a kind.”
Mrs Gotlieb was named Wellingtonian of the Year in 2010 and well into her retirement continued to use her free time to help the community. She did volunteer work for Trade Aid, the Cancer Society, Newtown Community Centre, and Ronald McDonald House, among other organisations.