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Fifty Years Young

David Wells photos

John as he came into the house totally unsuspecting that there were over 50 people lurking behind doors and around corners waiting to surprise him. At least five photographers all flashed their bulbs at this instant: John was walking into walls and doors for at least five minutes before he got his sight back.

Gathered around the goodies from left to right: Yola Georgiadou, Ivan Ford, Jean Ford, Theresa Pearce, Roger Gaudet.

John's wife, Maggie, managed to trace a member of John's favourite musical groups, the Commodores, from his time as an undergraduate at UNB. Jimmy Dooley, on the left, provided the music for the evening, and played all of John's favourites.

The other entertainment takes a bit of explaining. When John turned 40, the department clubbed together and hired a genuine belly dancer to perform for John. Now that it was his 50th, how were we going to top that dancer? Well, we didn't even try. A former member of the department, Theresa Pearce, borrowed a wig, coconut brassiere, and waste paper hula skirt, and put on a performance that almost outshone the belly dancer. Well, not quite. But is was rather diverting!!! Also in that photo are John, of course, Dave Coleman, Peter Pearce (keeping a close eye on his wife), and Stephen Ross.

This is a good crowd scene of some of the attendees:

First row, left to right: Heather McLaughlin, Maggie McLaughlin, John, Marg Langley, Adrian Tout.

Second row, left to right: Roger Gaudet, Caroline Gamble, Marg Hamilton, Dave Loukes, Tony Fitzgerald, Adam Chrzanowski, Anna Szostak-Chrzanowski.

Third row, left to right: Rejean Castonguay, Glen Jordan, Angus Hamilton, John Robinson, Larry Mayer, Debbie Jordan.

In addition to the many who could attend his party, there were friends from away who sent messages of good cheer. Among the well wishers were the following.

George Benwell, Dunedin, N.Z.
Sincerely have a great second half century and enjoy your 50th. From a young guy like me (48!!!!!!!) I look up to my elder statesmen like you.

Don Grant, Surveyor General of New South Wales, Australia, who not only took the time to phone John during the evening of the party, but he also sent a print message:
What do you say to a friend like John who has just entered his sixth decade. I am here to help you get through it!

Dave and Barbara Palmer, from sunny Florida, said:
Congratulations. And during the next 50 years may you be blessed with an abundance of lost causes.

Peter and Beryl Dale, from England:
'Have a nice day' - to you both from Beryl and me.

Chris Hoogsteden, Otago, New Zealand:
Here is a telltale sign for the post-fifty: You finally reach the top of the ladder and you find it is leaning against the wrong wall.

Swee Leng and Phil Rapatz, Houston, Texas:
A VERY Happy Birthday wish to the person who taught me to look ahead and to go for my dreams.

David Forrest:
There's Crocodile Dundee in your blood, for sure. The stranger the adventure, the stronger the attraction! May you continue to enjoy life to the fullest.

Derry Gordon, Christchurch, New Zealand:
I hope everyone has a great party welcoming John to the BIG FIVE OH, and convince him that it is all downhill from here on.