Anniversary of the Vancouver Eye Clinic – 15 years!
A Short History of the Order Of Malta’s Eye Clinic in Vancouver
It was our confrere Dr. David Neima, a leading ophthalmologist in Vancouver, who first thought of the idea of the eye clinics. In British Columbia only children under 16 and adults over 65 are eligible for free eye examinations, and no one gets their glasses paid for by the Health Ministry. David wanted to provide these patients, particularly those from poorer parishes, with complete eye care, and we all enthusiastically agreed.
Our first event was at the Cathedral where we had an instant and gratifying response. Our first patient was the lady who was no longer able to repair the Cathedral vestments because of her failing eyesight and would not be able to resume until she had appropriate eye glasses. We knew we were on to something worthwhile.
We soon developed a drill. Pastors would get in touch, seeking a clinic for their parishes – some were leery at first: free eye examination? free glasses when needed? Really?