For the history of pacemaker development in Europe, Professor Hugo Ector will remain one of the wise, diplomatic and determined architects of what is today the association for science and teaching rhythmology, the European Heart Rhythm Association: EHRA.
We met in the early eighties, when cardiologists with an interest in pacemaker therapy were starting to collect data for scientific documentation of this domain in which he was a pioneer. He focussed on the stability and reliability of pacemaker leads. His rigor in documentation, knocking many times at the door of national cardiac societies or working groups, made him a respected scientist and reliable partner at work. At that time the registries for pacemakers were a major concern of national working groups and Hugo realised how crucial it was to bring this on a European level. With his charisma, his determination and his perseverance he became a widely recognised authority and respected colleague. But collaboration rapidly converted into a deep friendship. We shared not only our year of birth but many moments of concern and joy in bringing forward a scientific knowledge and its social organisation.
Of the innumerable meetings he organised or chaired, the Congress in Ostende in 1993 was memorable for our generation. In turbulent times he was an energetic and diplomatic leader that brought different opinions to symbiotic energy and with this he paved the road for the creation of EHRA. It will be in Hugo’s spirit and in his “professoral” legacy, that we transmit these historic steps to the young generation and remember where it all came from. History was his passion and the brave Hector of the Ilias one of his favourites. We will remember his essential contributions to Cardiology and to the foundation of our association. In our hearts, his rhythm will always be with us.
First president of EHRA