The Governor General of Canada returned to UW campus yesterday to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Accelerator Centre. If memory serves, he was affectionately known as “DJ” among some students when he served as UW President from 1999 to 2010, though perhaps not in his company. He was greeted with what can only be characterized as love, complete with hugs, handshakes and backslaps.
My connection to all this seems tenuous when I type it. Aside from living two kilometres from campus for the past 20 years, I am forever quoting something I heard attributed to David Johnston about leadership: “Take all the blame; give away all the credit.” I try to practise this in my travels, shining a light on the lesser-known contributors in our community. I’ve not got a perfect record, but you gotta have goals. The funny thing is I don’t remember how I came by this credo. A little searching suggests that the Governor General probably didn’t invent this approach. But what I heard yesterday when he addressed the crowd was a man, standing on a research campus named after him, who completely and in some detail gave all credit to others. Credit for the inception and first ten years of the Accelerator Centre. Credit for the continued innovation and recognition of The University of Waterloo, now known around the world. Credit to the community in which all this has been possible.
A friend at the event, noting my rare sporting of a tie and dress shoes, said she didn’t figure me for this sort of gig with all the suits. I told her this short story and about the obligation I felt to be present, to listen, to clap and to welcome David Johnston who has made a massively positive impact on Waterloo Region. Respect!
Before I changed back into my more familiar t-shirt and jeans, I took an excessive number of photos. Click through for more…
Always come early.
My pal Catherine Bischoff with former long-time Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr.
AC boss Paul Salvini.
Mike Pereira of the AC and Mike Stork, Chair of the AC Board.
Regional Chair Ken Seiling chatting with Regional Councillor Karen Redman.
Cadence Venture Partners’ Tim Ellis with Structur3D Printing’s Charles Mire and writer Michelle Gold-Mire.
On the job for the AC, photog Wayne Simpson.
Mayors and former mayors abounding.
Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky with Carl Zehr…
Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky.
Met photog Brian Limoyo IRL…
Karel Vuong, writer/photog/man-about-town.
“Let’s shoot each other.”
My main man Jonathan Massimi of United Way, in da house.
I believe that’s Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson on the left. I remember him from an early morning meta-shoot ride-along with Huckleberry Film Studio five years back.
Heather in full social media mode.
Terry Pender, also a jazz fan.
Let me just say I love all the photogs at The Record. They’re all extremely talented and really nice people. They have grudgingly accepted my penchant for meta-photography over the years where I photograph the photographers photographing stuff. Peter Lee, here joking around with me while we wait for the GG, mouths “how does this thing work?”
Hanging out with Peter, David or Mat on the job will give you gear envy.
Mike, a mere 5 hours before his child was born. No pressure.
Hey, I met this dude at HackerNest this month! UW grad student Kapil Haresh.
Alan shoots back while Angelique Mohring of GainX encourages him.
Time to get started.
Amy Reier, lawyer.
The GG’s photographer.
David Johnston arrives to loud applause.
Ken Seiling, Regional Chair.
Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo.
The parrot joke: “To be honest, I’ve never seen it do a thing, but the other two call him boss.” A great self-deprecating sense of humour.
Paul Salvini wrapped it up.
Then the crush for well-wishes and more photos.
Seems fitting to close this post with this beautiful print by my friend Michelle Purchase. I found it hanging in the lobby of this 10-year old Canadian house of innovation.
From the Accelerator Centre in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, this is Waterloo.