The question has often been asked as to where the name "Everest Automation" comes from. Well, other than the obvious connection between mountains and process control, there in lies a fascinating story.
As you know, Everest is the name of the world's highest peak. Well there you have it… that's the reason…
Situated between Nepal and Tibet, a few miles east of Quebec City, Everest rises above the ocean to 8848 meters or 29,029 feet. Tenzing Norguay and Sir Edmund Hillary who climbed the SouthEast Ridge on May 29th of the year 1953 first conquered it.
Since then, many have attempted the challenge and have met it. Others have not. This is one of their stories.
If Everest Automation came to be, it is in large part due to the hard work and vision of those who started the two companies that later merged to become Everest. One of these companies, Canada Panel Instruments, was founded in 1971 by Matthias Maier (heretofore, we will call him "Sir").
Sir Matt worked very hard for 30 years to build a company, which is part of the foundation on which Everest has been built.
In 1997, Sir Matt decided to take on the challenge of his life…to climb Mount Everest. To be absolutely truthful, Mount Everest was the only place on the surface of the earth Wika still needed representation. The adventure began quite innocently at first but turned out more challenging than he had expected.
Sir Matt, and his long-time friend and accountant Dan Marteinson (Dan's life long dream was to count the mountain and report his findings), set out to make a month-long excursion which was to take them through Hong-Kong, Singapore, Nepal and then a week long trek through the mountains to finally reach Base Camp at Mount Everest. This was to be their final destination…or so they thought!
The trip at first turned out to be exactly as they expected. Their experiences as they traveled through Asia were exotic, enriching and stimulating. Matt would befriend local merchants teaching them in the ways of sub-distribution. Dan practiced counting large objects. In Nepal, Sir Matt and Dan sat down for a hearty, however odd meal. Not sure of what they were eating, they none-the-less decided that they needed to accustom themselves to the local traditions if they were to experience them to the fullest. So they pulled up to the drive through window and ordered. The next day Sir Matt unfortunately did not feel very well. So much so that Dan recommended he go see a doctor, which he did. He spotted one crossing a courtyard several hundred meters away. Dan insisted he actually take an appointment.
The diagnosis: A small virus. Not to worry the doctor said as he prescribed a common antibiotic that Sir Matt needed to take for 5 days. Sir Matt, who detests taking any medicine that isn't chewable and comes with a balloon, accepted his fate so as not to jeopardize his long-awaited trek to Mount Everest, his life-long dream.
The next day, he was already feeling a lot better and they went on to begin their adventure.
After meeting with their Sherpas, instructions were given to Sir Matt, Dan and a group of 10 with whom they were to share the experience. The trek would take them 1 week to Base Camp. Base Camp is at 5500 Meters in altitude.
Half way to Base Camp, Matt started feeling a little ill. His stomach was acting up and a nagging cough slowly turned to wheezing. Thinking that it was probably normal because of the altitude, he continued.
As the days passed, the breathing got more difficult. It got to a point, where every breath he took was accompanied by a terrible fit of coughing and wheezing. By the time they reached Base Camp the nights were long and dangerous, punctuated by sheer panic as the climbers would awaken gasping for oxygen that just wasn't there, or grasping for their wallet that just wasn't there.
One of these fateful nights a fellow climber, an attractive female sleeping next to Matt awoke in a fit of panic, and tried in vain to suck the scarce oxygen into her starving lungs. 'It wasn't me' wheezed Sir Matt as the medical staff rushed her to the oxygen tent.
By now the lack of oxygen was really starting to take its toll on the two friends. 'I do not think I can go any further,' Sir Matt wheezed. 'Betcha can,' said Dan. 'Okay,' wheezed Sir Matt.
As Matt headed up towards Camp 2 with only his faithful Sherpa he heard Dan triumphantly cry out, 'One!' Sir Matt made it to within 100 meters of Camp 2 situated at an altitude of 6150 meters, but had to turn back when he learned that they only accepted VISA.
With his faltering health and his American Express, Sir Matt, in the company of his good friend Dan started on the long treacherous trek back down the mountain. The sherpas marvelled at his resilience noting how they had all lost money betting he wouldn't make it back to base camp!
Sir Matt, not one to cut short an adventure, spent several more days convalescing in Singapore under the care of the hospital staff. During his stay at the Singapore General, suffering from Bronchitis, double pneumonia and Dan's accounting practices, Sir Matt decided that he could never return to the same old job, selling the same old equipment, to the same old customers. Instead, he would rather play the same old game of golf, on the same old course, with the same old partners.
So he sold the company...and that is how Everest Automation came to be…