It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we remember our friend and colleague Igor Drecki who, with his wife Iwona, met an untimely end in a car accident on July 26.
Igor was the official New Zealand representative at the general assemblies of the ICA since 1999. He was organizer of numerous ICA events in New Zealand, including the ICA Commission on Visualisation and Virtual Environments Meeting “Geovisualisation on the Web” (Taupo 2001), ICA Internet Cartography Seminar (Auckland 2005), ICA Internet Cartography Workshop (Auckland 2006), and ICA Regional Symposia on Cartography for Australasia and Oceania (Auckland 2010, 2012, 2014 and Wellington, 2016). He was also co-organizer of the 8th ICA Mountain Cartography Workshop (Taurewa 2012). In addition to being an ex-officio member of the ICA Executive Committee (since 2007), he was probably best known to many within and outside the ICA as editor of the ICA News, the official newsletter of the ICA. For his many notable contributions to the ICA, he received the Diploma for Outstanding Services to the ICA in 2017.
His passion for cartography started with his master studies in geography and cartography at the University of Warsaw, and it continued after he settled with his wife Iwona in New Zealand while pursuing a master’s of science degree at the University of Auckland on “Visualization of Uncertainty in Spatial Data”. His research and work experience included professional positions in academia, industry, public administration and most recently libraries and learning services. He was the responsible curator of cartographic and geographic resources of the University of Auckland Library, then latterly curator, Cartographic and Geospatial Collections at the Alexander Turnbull Library, housed within the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington.
Igor was instrumental in the success of the New Zealand Cartographic Society (NZCS). He was a member since 1989 and a life member since 2011; president from 2013 to 2018; NZCS’s (as national member) liaison to the International Cartographic Association (ICA); and director of the biennial New Zealand national cartographic conference, GeoCart, since 2001.
Despite his impressive professional record and accomplishments, Igor was “authentic”. He had strong opinions and was ready to stand up for them; he was passionate about cartography and maps; and was a staunch advocate for cartography. But more than this, he was a person who could relate to others. He was interested to learn, discuss, exchange as well as interrelate, give, serve, help, and contribute. This was certainly true for his colleagues and his family, but also for those of us who considered Igor a friend. He was a noble man at heart.
We will miss you, Igor.
Aileen Buckley, Anthony Moore, Dusan Petrovic, Georg Gartner