Anna Rutherford


I feel very privileged to have been asked to introduce to you all today Professor Lloyd Fernando. Our friendship goes back a long time, just over thirty years to be exact, when many of the young people in the audience were not even born. Our original meeting took place at the very first conference of ACLALS which was held at the University of Queensland in 1968. The Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies had been formed several years before by Professor A.N. Jeffares. I should add here that I have always had problems with the word Commonwealth — Common Wealth? But here is neither the time nor the place for a discussion of the word. It was a very rich and exciting meeting where we were able to meet writers and scholars from all around the former Empire — yes, we could all recite Wordsworth! None of us at that conference would have gone away not enriched. There was a great sense of a common bond, books and ideas were shared and friendships made that would last for many years. At the end of the week we packed our bags and took ourselves off to the four comers of the world hoping to meet again in three years time at the next international conference which was to be held at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.



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