Tribute to Dr Rob Blokzijl †, Chairman of RIPE
EURid would like to send its deepest condolences to the family of Rob Blokzijl, RIPE Chair Emeritus and founding member of the RIPE community, and to RIPE. In his memory, EURid is pleased to publish the following lines by Christopher Wilkinson, former EU official and EURid Board member.
"Rob has departed this world too soon. He was a founding, indeed the first, father of the Internet in Europe. I met with Rob on only a few occasions, but they were turning points for both of us. I went to a RIPE meeting in Amsterdam in 1997 to make the case for European involvement in the forthcoming (first) 'transition' for IANA which subsequently became ICANN.
Initially sceptical, “Here we deal with addresses, not names”, Rob became persuaded that RIPE had a potentially global role, which he was prepared to exercise. In due course, Rob joined the ICANN Board.
At the same RIPE meeting, the ccTLD community was encouraged to play their part in the global reform of what nowadays would be described as Internet Governance. Again, RIPE was initially itchy about that, to say the least. But as a significant concession to the nascent European 'names' community, a RIPE birds-of-a-feather group was authorised. Arguably, that group was the seed that grew into CENTR and ultimately created the political preconditions for the European application for the creation of .EU and EURid.
Looking back, and reading now between the lines of the many, many, tributes that have already been posted to Rob's memory, I latterly see the presence of a hand in a velvet glove, that I was not supposed to perceive at the time, but without which, most probably, we would not be where we are now.
Thank you Rob!