A Farewell Party
07 April 2017 (online)
Dear Fred, Dear All!
Our getting together here is supposed to be a farewell party. Farewell parties are somehow sad occasions. I rather see this reunion as an opportunity to celebrate Friedrich Mohr's personal life and his deeds as surgeon, husband, father, and, of course, sportsman.
Quoting Aristoteles: “Excellence is never an accident but the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
I find no reason to go into the details of your CV because everybody reading this knows you well enough to already be your follower, admirer, and, last but not least, your friend. You climbed your way up among the “giants” of cardiac surgery ([Fig. 1]).
So allow me just to focus on the human side of the picture, I mean on the outstanding human being by the name of Friedrich (“Fred”) Mohr.
About a year ago, while preparing Fred's presentation as EACTS (European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery) President in Barcelona, I did an inquiry among his friends and close collaborators, asking them to characterize him in three words. True leader, vision, passion, humane, thoughtful, generous, came out among many other superlatives. Yes, authentic generosity, as you can see in this picture ([Fig. 2]).
So what else can I add? Well, maybe just to tease a little bit the car lover who you are, I shall tell you a family story. My German-born grandfather, who could not drive, was also a sort of car collector. By the end of the twenties, he bought himself a beautiful Packard limousine that he proudly kept until his death in 1969. My grandmother eventually sold it to a Portuguese car collector, but I can easily imagine it belonging to your own collection instead, Fred!
And now, because as I said I do not want to repeat what our colleagues and friends already told you, I'll quote your dear wife Anita who defines her husband as “the man who can say no without hurting”, a skill that many leaders would like to possess.
And I'm not going to say goodbye neither Fred. Because we will have to count on your wisdom, insight and leadership in the future.
Adieu is another sad word.
I'm simply saying so long, Fred, wir werden uns bald wieder treffen!