Allocution de monsieur Bruno-Marie Béchard,
recteur de l'Université de Sherbrooke,
à l'ouverture du 23e congrès de la Society of Cardiac Surgeons

9 juin 2003

Mr. Minister,
Mr. President,
Distinguished guests,
Learned congress participants,
Good morning to all, buenos días, bonjour!

On behalf of the Université de Sherbrooke, I wish you all a most cordial welcome. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Society of Cardiac Surgeons for choosing Quebec and most especially the historic Eastern Townships as the site for holding this important event, a congress, which I might add, that is taking place outside Europe for the first time.

I am pleased and gratified to note a strong Spanish presence among us. If you will forgive my spoken Spanish for a moment, I would like to greet these guests in their language. Quiero saludar de manera especial, en nombre de la comunidad universitaria de Sherbrooke, a los numerosos participantes españoles. La Universidad de Sherbrooke está muy orgullosa de contribuir al éxito de este congreso de la Sociedad de cardiocirujanos.

I would also like to pay tribute to Professor Javier Teijeira and the members of the Organizing Committee for their ability to draw from among the finest examples of your profession, renowned expertise from the four corners of the globe meeting here together to debate and assess the most recent developments in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. I would also like to thank the Continuing Education Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Sherbrooke, which recognises participation in the scientific sessions of this congress.

While still relatively young in terms of the world's traditional bastions of higher learning, our institution has also been a medical pioneer in many ways. I could talk at length about our problem-based approaches to teaching, of the excellence of our research and the hundreds of patents it has earned, or our designation as the collaborating centre of the World Health Organization in the area of medical training. Like many of the institutions you also represent, ours has produced leaders who both lead and serve their society.

I will limit myself on this occasion to inform you that the new Minister of Health and Social Services was the head of our Surgical Department at the time he was elected last June to sit in Quebec's National Assembly.

Above all, I would like to say to you - our most welcome guests - that both our region and the Université de Sherbrooke are open to the World and its people. All our visitors therefore will be made to feel at home in an area that is widely known for its hospitality and spirit of multi-culturalism.

I hope you have a most agreeable stay and that your exchanges will be most productive.

Bon séjour en Estrie! Bon succès dans votre congrès!