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It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Tony Fitzpatrick, the founding father of the ICC, former chair of ICC and ECML expert.

Tony was committed to the values of the Council of Europe and was heavily involved in ECML language education activities over several decades. The ECML is indebted to Tony: not only was he the coordinator of the Centre’s very first workshop on “Integrating oral skills in the classroom” (Graz, Austria, 14-18 March 1995) and of two successful projects – “Exploring cutting edge applications of networked technologies in vocationally oriented language learning” (2011) and “Information and communication technologies in vocationally oriented language learning” (2000), but he also represented International Certificate Conference e.V. (ICC) within the Professional Network Forum , and contributed to numerous ECML events and conferences.

We will remember him for his commitment to quality language education and for his energy, warmth, generosity and wonderful sense of humour.
We would like to express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends; he will be sorely missed.

My first memory of Tony is his driving. I was a junior member of a University of Westminster team in an EU project called Linguapeace and Tony, through the ICC, was doing the QA. He also set up a meeting with the German military language school in Bonn. So we arrived in Frankfurt – myself, Jack Lonergan and an ex naval officer. And we had not a lot of time to get to Bonn… Of course we did – at speeds I can’t quite recall, but I have a vivid memory of our military companion’s face turning whiter and whiter… An example of Tony’s drive to get things done..

My second memory is the ‘Parliamentary debates’ that Tony arranged as a final activity in a number of our conferences. Always good theatre – Tony could always identify a good debater when he saw one – and Tony showed his humour and his mastery of turns of phrase, plus a worryingly truthful portrayal of a politician in full flight…

But perhaps my fondest memory is hours spent in his flat in Obereusel, talking about languages, talking about plans for the future of education and of the ICC’s role in this and sometimes just talking nonsense. He was always curious and hugely kind in welcoming me into his home. This is what will stay with me.