The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) held its Annual Service yesterday (5 October), during which the new Master and Wardens for the year take up office.
There is always a mix of skills and experience within each team of Master and Wardens and this year is no exception. The new Master, Felicity Harding, has a background in social care and charity work. She was a trustee, and then chair, of Vision Aid Overseas until 2010 and a non-executive member of National Victim Support until 2007. She remains actively involved as an ambassador for Samaritans, the charity founded by her father, The Reverend Dr Chad Varah, in 1953. She joined WCSM as a Freeman in 2008, was clothed as of the Livery in 2009 and became a Court Assistant in 2012.
The Upper Warden, John McGregor, is a chemist by training who founded his own business, Contamac Ltd, in 1987. Contamac is now a globally important business producing contact lens and intra-ocular lens materials and has won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise. The Renter Warden, Huntly Taylor, is a dispensing optician with more than 30 years’ experience in his own practice and is a former chairman of the board of trustees of ABDO College.
At lunch following the installation service, Past Master Professor John Marshall introduced the winners of the Company’s 2017 bronze medal competition awards for research. Geraint Williams PhD FRCOphth, a consultant ophthalmologist working with a team at the University of Birmingham, was awarded the Ruskell medal for his paper on developing a predictor for scarring in ocular mucous membrane pemphigoid, a blinding form of conjunctivitis, whilst Deanna Taylor, of City, University of London, won the Master’s Medal for her paper on the real life impact of dry age-related macular degeneration.
The Company received a record number of applications for membership in the last quarter. WCSM welcomes professionals of all ages and all backgrounds who are committed to better vision for all. Contact the Clerk, Mrs Helen Perkins, on 020 7236 2932 for more information or download application forms from the website www.spectaclemakers.com/membership.