Speech for Dave Irvine-Halliday
At his Hero of the Year Award

When I first heard of Dave’s endeavor with Light-up the World, it brought me straight back to my childhood and the loooooooong and coooooooooold Romanian winter nights when I used to learn at candle light (which was the only source of heating sometimes also…) It was very painful, the candles were nothing like what we have in Canada today… they were extremely thin and blew off at each and every breath I took… when they didn’t blow off, the wax was flowing on my books... it was an extremely frustrating time of my life… when I was battling with my eagerness to learn and the impossibility to read… and, believe me, Dave, we really could have made great use of your light then!

Time passed by… and eventually I became Dave’s colleague (and I must confess that Dave has a lot to do with me being here…) Well… and as his colleague, we both know that the Faculty of Engineering, more so than other Faculties at U of C, has its way to evaluate academic performance by a so called ‘peer review’ process, which measures among others, the ‘impact’ of our work… So, as a peer, here’s how I would evaluate Dave’s performance:

Last week at the Alliance for Capitalizing on Change I attended a presentation by Gordon Davidson who talked about the ‘Enlightened Corporation’, stressing, among others that the imbalance existing in our world, between the rich regions and the poor regions, is deepening with every moment…. By giving a drop from our abundant light (which not only our kids, but we as well so much take for granted!) to those parts of the world which so badly need it, Dave’s Mission is one more concrete step towards healing our world from this imbalance!

And here I have Mahatma Gandhi smiling at me, and I see Dave as being his missionary on Earth today, and Light-Up the World as an Enlightened Corporation. And herewith I evaluate you Dave as a ‘Hero’!

… How much farther could one aim in terms of impact of one’s work?...

I will end by reading a poem, which I wrote for you, Dave, My Hero!

A Touch Of Nepal