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A member of what Peter Newman christened the ""Munitions and Supply Gang"" in World War II Ottawa, Covert was a protege of the legendary minister of everything, C.D. Howe, for whom he later helped create the post of chancellor of Dalhousie University. Appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1982, Covert's citation noted that he had ""given generously of his counsel and leadership to universities, hospitals and charitable organizations"" - an understatement typical of the man, who believed that successful work was its own best reward.