In 2013, Eli Lilly Canada marks 75 years of helping Canadians live longer, healthier lives. I've blogged about this history and the impact on patient health here on LillyPadCA before, but I thought celebrating the people who have been part of our recent past and reflecting on these past 75 years would be an important way to commemorate this milestone.
So where did it all begin? Well, Lilly Canada started as a one-room warehouse in the Terminal Building at the foot of York Street in Toronto. Over time, and due in large part to the exciting research taking place here in Canada, we grew.
We grew to become incorporated into Eli Lilly and Company's second international affiliate, thanks to the research collaboration between the company and Canada's own Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best which led to the world's first commercially available insulin to treat diabetes.
Last Wednesday, June 12, Lilly Canada celebrated this milestone with a garden party to honour the many people who have played a role in bringing innovative medicines to Canadians.
Lilly Canada retirees, as well as long tenured Lilly Canada employees (25 years or more of service) were invited to the Canadian head office to celebrate and mark the occasion. Joining them were members of the 75th anniversary committee and Lilly Canada senior leadership from around the world.
Locally, Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and MPP Scarborough Center joined us for these celebrations along with Lorenzo Berardinetti, MPP Scarborough SW, who presented Lisa Matar, president and GM of Lilly Canada with recognition scrolls from the Government of Ontario. Also joining the Ontario delegation were Soo Wong, MPP Scarborough-Agincourt who also presented a scroll to Ms. Matar.
During a group tour of our offices participants were able to check out our Lilly "Art Jam." Each department here in our Lilly Toronto offices were challenged to create a unique, creative and personal art installation that represented the personality, character and values of their team.
At Lilly Canada, one of things I have really grown to appreciate is the meaningful connections with colleagues, but also with patients, and our larger Toronto, Ontario and Canadian communities. So in celebrating 75 years, I thought this citation was most appropriate:
"...throw a party and make it a good one. But don't just celebrate. Imbue your commemoration with the understanding that looking back can be more than mere nostalgia for the past. It can inform a whole body of work for the future."
Judith Rodin, President Rockefeller Foundation
Harvard Business Review, November 2012
Aerial photo: Eli Lilly and Company Canada Ltd. 1992, 3650 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.