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30 years of the FIDI Academy

May 22, 2018

Freddy Paxton, took the opportunity of celebrating 30 years of the FIDI Academy at the San Diego conference saying that it changed the perspective of who we are.  He had also invited Michael Scott, the first headmaster of the Academy as a special guest to address the group. 

Michael paid tribute to Jean Pierre who first organised the FIDI Institute, as the Academy was originally called, and Lars Ösman and Colin Quarrington who wrote the FIDI manual.  He spoke of the FIDI Academy history including the development of the courses and told of how the students were put under extreme pressure to bring them together and help them learn from each other.  “You could tell we were the instructors, because we wore a tie,” he said.  

Ernst Jörg has been working with the Academy for 29 of those 30 years and now retired as the Dean.  Freddy joked that it was taking five people to replace him. Ernst spoke of how he and Michael had trained many people and how they had shared ideas.  He paid tribute to Gwenda van Rompey, the Academy manager who was, he said, its soul and died far too early, just 10 years ago. He also thanked the FIDI board who had provided the finance to develop new programmes, the Academy trainers, the students and the companies who supported them. 

For him the Academy had provided personal and professional growth and the opportunity of meeting a lot of fabulous people. “It was a privilege to meet these people and be involved with the younger generations because that’s when you find out things are changing,” he said, urging everyone to embrace and listen to young people because they have the ideas.  

He said he would not give advice but wished that the Academy would keep going, keep passionate, keep energetic and dynamic, make sure the trainers were happy, engaged and dedicated, and continue to develop new programmes and  new ways of delivering them.  He said it had been a pleasure and an honour to serve the Academy for so long. 

FIDI presented Ernst with a commemorative book of memories on behalf of the FIDI Academy.   

Photos: Top right: Michael Scott addresses the FIDI Academy, Bottom left: Ernst Jörg receives a book of commemoration from FIDI.

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