Ode to Dr. John

Happy Birthday, Dr. John Evans
Happy Birthday, John Evans

Today is the birthday of one of MaRS’ most treasured assets, Dr. John Evans, our Founding Chair and Chair Emeritus. It follows not long after another important milestone: the fourth birthday of the opening of the MaRS Centre (September 26th). As our CEO, Ilse Treurnicht quoted from one of her favourite old books, “the past is a far country, they do things differently there…”

Of course Dr. Evans tried to pretend his birthday was not happening, but we decided to have a staff BBQ, acknowledging this milestone in the life of a truly amazing MaRSian. What follows is the ode I wrote to mark this occasion.

How best to describe
To these gathered ears
A progress report on
Four score years

We could resort
To refer to the Bard
In “As You Like It”
He comes down quite hard…

…on the seventh age of man.
He sums it up
In a phrase that stings
“Sans teeth, sans hair… sans everything!”

But wait – that’s not right for our Dr. John
Who, like the Energizer Bunny, just goes on and on and on
Who still inspires us all
With wit, with grace and quiet calm
That we have come to count upon.

We need a better metric
To measure up this man
To somehow capture the net results
Of that eighty-year life span.

I have in mind a great Bordeaux
That likewise through many a stage must go.

It starts with high promise
And after some years
Displays the brilliance
That was earlier clear.

But it is only after
Many years have passed
That the full measure of that greatness
Is felt at last.

Great men are like great wines
And we at MaRS are truly blessed
To have “uncorked” in the corner office
No vin ordinaire ready at our behest.

Now John will argue, strongly voiced
That maudlin poems
Should ne’er be foist
On unsuspecting birthday boys.

But put all these protestations aside
And join me as we take great pride
In celebrating a wonderful friend to MaRS
A true Canadian “vintage” star!