In 1982 Professors Jarda Ruzicka, Gary Christian and Gilbert Pacey decided to initiate a series of so-called Winter Conferences on Flow Injection Analysis (WCFIA), which, in order to entice and attract participants, were to be held in the southern part of the US every January. Aimed primarily at American participants, the first conference took place in Orlando, Florida, where I happened to have the honor of being the very first speaker. Following this very successful meeting a series of conferences were held as detailed in Table 2. After some years, a formal cooperation with the Japanese Association of Flow Injection Analysis (JAFIA) was forged, which entailed that the conferences changed their name to ICFIA/JAFIA, where the "W" was replaced by "I" denoting International. In the beginning, the conferences were held annually (with the exception of 1996), yet from 1999 it was decided to do it biannually. In the early years, no proceedings were compiled, neither were reports published in the literature. Yet in 1992 Gary Christian wrote a report of the Scottsdale meeting in Journal of Flow Injection Analysis which was followed by a report in Trends in Analytical Chemistry in 1994 of the San Diego meeting. And from 1995 it was ensured that proceedings from the ICFIA/JAFIA conferences became compiled in special issues of Talanta as duly overseen by the journal's Editor-in-Chief, Gary Christian. References to reports from many of the meetings have been compiled in the paper by Gary Christian mentioned above .
In fact, Professor Gary Christian has on several occasions reiterated the history of the FA and ICFIA conferences, both at conferences and in the analytical chemical literature, and the readers are recommended to familiarize themselves with his accounts (see for instance [1,2]). I am in great debt to Gary Christian for his conscientious descriptions, which have been of much help in writing this summary.
I have had the privilege to attend all the FA-conferences over the years (in fact, I believe that I am the only one to have done so), and I have participated in many of the WCFIA/ICFIA meetings as well. Sitting writing this account, a lot of memories come to my mind. Most of them are happy ones, because the various conferences implied the reunion of old friends, meeting new ones, and, most importantly, facilitating the exchange of ideas and thoughts of common interest. But, unfortunately, also a few sad ones. Thus, it was a shock to all participants of FA V in Kumamoto, Japan, that the organizer, Professor Nobuhiko Ishibashi, suddenly died during the meeting; and it was equally sad that Professor Henrigue ("Berga") Bergamin Fo (who at one time with his family spent one year in Denmark at the Technical University of Denmark with Jarda and me, and thus became a dear good friend to both of us), who was the organizer of FA VII in Piracicaba, Brazil in 1997, suddenly passed away in December 1996, which implied that the torch was passed to Elias Zagatto and colleagues. They did a splendid job, which would have made Berga most proud.