It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Tony Fitzpatrick, the founding father of the ICC.

Tony was one of the driving forces behind developments in language teaching and most significantly language testing from the second half of the last century right up until the last few years when he took a step back from the ICC Board.

His indefatigable energy and single-minded vision saw the ICC grow from a testing and validation body in Germany to gaining an international profile through the Council of Europe, the European Centre for Modern Languages and involvement in countless EU funded projects.

Under his watch the ICC first developed a teacher training framework that has now become EUROLTA. Fundamental to the success of this was the close relationship Tony set up with the Swiss company Migros, who continue use EUROLTA in their internal teacher training.

Under his watch the ICC developed benchmarks for evaluating the quality of language testing systems and materials.

Tony was a tireless worker. He took on many roles in the association – from Director to board member and co-chair. He always sought practical solutions – often highly creative – to all manner of challenges.

He was also active beyond the ICC as author, speaker and consultant. He was involved in the BBC ‘Follow Me’ TV and video course that had a huge impact on ELT in China. He was regularly involved in the ECML in Graz, and a speaker at numerous events and conferences.

Those of us privileged to work alongside him will remember him for his energy, constant curiosity and generosity of spirit. He had a very linguistic sense of humour, and couldn’t resist a flow of gentle puns and linguistic jokes. He was gregarious and sociable, as those of us who attended many an ICC conference or board dinner in Offenbach, Mainz or Ober-Ursel can attest.

In the ICC he leaves behind an organisation that hopefully embodies his passionate belief of language education as a means to bring people together and a force for good.

ICC sends its deep condolences to Tony’s wife Pat and his daughters.