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Dear colleagues,

During my term as IALSP President (which came to an end in June, 2012), we organised ICLASP 13 and set in motion various other projects, seminars, conferences and partnerships (taskforces, links and symposia with/at other associations). I am indebted to the many active voluntary IALSPers and others who made all this happen – thank you.  I especially want to thank all the outgoing IALSP Executive members who helped me accomplish my tasks efficiently, with great support (personal  and organisational) and great humour and panache throughout – they kept  IALSP and me on track diligently and with ease. The monthly virtual Executive meetings, spanning continents and time-zones were very productive and great fun, engendering a strong sense of a vital academic community. 

It was so wonderful to see so many of you for ICLASP 13 in Leeuwarden – thank you for coming.  Nearly 200 people attended the conference characterised by stimulating keynotes, symposia, individual paper presentations and discussion in a warm and convivial atmosphere.  A diverse array of social events included a gracious and generous reception hosted by the Mayor of Leeuwarden,  the conference dinner, and  cycling and walking tours (including a ‘smiley’ tour), aimed to actively engage with the contexts and flavours that are distinctive to Frsylan and the Netherlands.  There were many different “firsts” ranging from, first time visitors to Fryslan;  to those attending and presenting for the first- time-ever, including at an ICLASP; through a YouTube greeting by John Edwards, the recipient of the 2012 Robert Gardner Award; to the election of two IALSP Fellows – Cindy Gallois and Sik Hung Ng.  Not only were the presentations and events dynamic, but for the first time ever even the setting for our sessions was mobile! The Presidential Address,  our Annual General Meeting and a session were delivered/conducted over several hours while gently floating through Frisian lakes on a large boat-full of  ICLASPERs.   A lovely visual record of ICLASP 13 in the form of photos has been posted on the MERCATOR website at:

Perhaps one of the most significant ‘firsts’ was to have had such an active official partner in the design, organisation, hosting and implementation of our bi-annual conference: MERCATOR and the FRSYKE AKADEMY.  I would like to thank all members of the team at MERCATOR, led by our conference co-Chair, Dr Cor van der Meer,  for their great efforts  in making this a most successful conference. They worked very hard, were always warm, welcoming and fun.. many many tige tank! (‘thank you’ in Frisian).

Finally, I thank and welcome new members and look forward to working on the many exciting plans and opportunities with members of the new Executive led by our new President, Bernadette Watson.   

Warmest regards to all

Itesh Sachdev, 14.10.2012, (Past/Ex-President, IALSP)