"He invented the environment,” said former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson about her long-time friend, Maurice Strong. Ms. Clarkson and her husband, John Ralston Saul, hosted an intimate 85th birthday party for Mr. Strong, the former under-secretary general of the United Nations, at their home in Toronto's Annex on Tuesday night. Beyond the circles of notable Canadian politicians in attendance, piles of heart-filled letters from around the world flooded the house, including words from Ted Turner and David Suzuki. Mr. Strong’s friends, former premier Bob Rae, Stephen Lewis and former prime minister Paul Martin also toasted his many accomplishments. Mr. Martin got a laugh from the crowd as he told the story of how Mr. Strong fired him when he served as his executive assistant many moons ago, but they’ve remained good friends ever since. It was a warm and special evening among close, intimate friends for a true Canadian gem.