Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am sure you don’t need reminding why we are all here this evening. It is to celebrate the 60th birthday of Arthur Aidan who I am proud to call my best friend. It is no exaggeration to say how much he deserves to be admired as a great man (applause). He has succeeded in everything that is important in life: love, career, family, friends and all this without forgetting to enjoy himself.
After a happy childhood growing up in Paris ( I will spare his blushes by not mentioning how good-looking he has always been since birth) he completed his studies in Switzerland in the prestigious ‘Ecole d’Hotellerie’ we call Glion but which is in fact better known under the name of the Glion Institute of Higher Education. Graduating with Distinction, he began his career as Food and Beverage Manager for the Rio de Janeiro Fairmont in Brazil. It did not take long for his reputation as an outstanding manager to spread and he was swiftly promoted to the Miami Fairmont where he stayed for the next ten years.
He dedicated his life to work (and fun) and it was there that he opened his first club that we all love to go to so often (laughter). This was the first step in his career as an entrepreneur and the club’s overwhelming success forced him to open a chain throughout the world that for the past 15 years has crowned him the uncontested King of the Night. Today is a great day for Arthur. Not only is it his 60th birthday, it is also the day he inaugurates his 1st Casino under the same name as his clubs.
But for us too, it is also a great day if we are wise enough to learn from his example. Arthur has achieved the impossible by showing that one can succeed in life without making enemies, without causing jealousy, without sacrificing the affection and respect of those around one. He has proved not only that dreams can come true but that they can come true without stepping on anyone’s toes or causing harm to anyone else. As teen-aged basketball players, he and I dreamed of being selected for a NBA team and today he owns the NBA Miami Heat Team!!
Arthur is far too modest to enjoy being praised and admired but I cannot finish without saying that all of us, successful or not, should try to model ourselves on him. I know his children and grandchildren are here listening to me tonight and I know how much they love and rightly idolize him. Rachel of course is at his side as she always has been in good and also difficult times. And now I am sure you want me to wish Arthur a very happy birthday on your behalf before each one of you does so in person with genuine feeling and friendship. Thank you Arthur for showing us how to make the most of life and enjoy it to the full.