Under the initiative of Henry Osmaston, the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) was formed, with an international committee of distinguished scholars, in the wake of the third Colloquium at Herrnhut, near Dresden in east Germany, the headquarters of the Moravian church whose representatives founded the discipline of Ladakh Studies in the late 19th century. Henry served first as Honorary Secretary and then – from 1997 until his death – as President of the Association. His life is commemorated online at henryosmaston.co.uk, the site contains tributes, obituaries and a set of pictures. These include two iconic photographs from his time in Ladakh and – even more revealingly – a picture of Henry in his study in the English lake district, surrounded by papers piled several feet deep. The website will be of interest to friends who knew Henry in the IALS, not least because of what it tells about his many other activities as a forester, farmer and university lecturer.
As Honorary Secretary, Henry ran the Association virtually single-handed (helped only by Francesca Merritt who handled membership & subscription matters) till 1997, when he accepted the position of President, and the running of the Association devolved onto a small Executive Committee consisting of John Bray (Hon. Secretary), Francesca Merritt (Hon. Treasurer & Membership Secretary) and Martijn van Beek (Hon. Editor). After Henry's death in 2006, elections to the above posts, as well as the Presidency, were held under an interim constitution at the 13th Colloquium at Rome in 2007.
The IALS Constitution was ratified at the Leh Conference in 2009, and the present Executive & Advisory Committees are the first to be elected under this new Constitution and forthcoming committee members will be elected as detailed in the Constitution.