It is, it is said, easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is standing up and taking action. Today we are celebrating the fact that someone stood up and took that action. Today we are celebrating enthusiasm, commitment and sheer hard work.
Enthusiasm is often neglected as a force. Yet without it there would be few achievements. Enthusiasm, you see, sets fire to the imagination. It asks "What if?" and "If I did?" and the results depend on the answer to those questions.
Today then we are honouring those who asked those questions and committed themselves to finding the answers. We are honouring those who worked late into the evening and early in the morning. We are about to present awards to the winners who wouldn't take "No" for an answer.
They knew, you see, that there were answers to be found. They understood that in the long and arduous research trail often there were often misleading side turns and unexpected obstacles. They discovered that some of the answers they got were not to the questions they actually asked. There were times of frustration and misunderstanding. Like detectives they have painstakingly followed clues that sometimes led nowhere.
Let us be under no misapprehension about this. They may have worked alone or in groups but they had, I am sure they will agree, the support and encouragement of family and friends. Without that back-up they could not continue to do what they have done. They had also the example of many others who, through the years, have worked in their fields and who have given them enlightenment and inspiration.
Today though they can celebrate because they have had results, they have made finds; they have expanded data and enriched our knowledge. (If applicable) Today we thank our sponsors for their encouragement and support. They have given these awards because they know that your work brings the future closer for all of us. They have faith in what you are doing and in what they hope you will continue to do)
Today you have turned disappointment into success. Through your efforts you have found some of the answers you needed. In the world of science it will always be impossible to say that you have all the answers of course but you, I know, will continue to seek solutions in the years to come.
Finally, I would like you to take as your motto the words of Pearl S. Buick who said, "All things are possible until they are proved impossible and even the impossible may only be so as of now."