CERN celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special family day on 17 September where the accent was on fun, games and entertainment for staff and their families. After a brief opening ceremony, pomp gave way to play, formality to frivolity. The following extracts from the DG's speech of welcome were freely translated from the French original: 'Forty is the traditional age for taking stock of the past and assessing future prospects. CERN is no exception to this rule and it is particularly appropriate at what is clearly a major turning point in its existence. Before looking to the future, allow me to say a few words about our past.