12 September 2019

Charles Ingram McPherson FCOptom: 1937-2019

We are sorry to announce the death of Charlie McPherson FCOptom, a former President of the College.

Charlie McPherson FCOptom, a former President of the College, was a proud Scotsman, often to be seen at official functions in a kilt. He was inspired to enter optics, aged 17, by the Aberdonian ophthalmic optician Ronald MacMillan and travelled south in October 1955 to study at the Northampton Polytechnic in London. Thereafter he qualified as Fellow of both the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (1959) and the British Optical Association (1960), just in time to be included in the inaugural Opticians Register of that year. He returned to practice on King Street, in his native Aberdeen, and served as Chairman of the Scottish Committee of Ophthalmic Opticians (SCOO) from July 1986-December 1988, during which time it officially changed its name to the Scottish Committee of Optometrists. He served on the Council of the College of Optometrists for fifteen years from 1987-2002, becoming President in May 1994. At the start of his presidential year he wrote of his strong belief in the benefit of educating the patient during the eye examination, for example by sharing with them the result of tonometry readings. In recent years the practice had been taken over by his two sons, Stephen and Malcolm, the latter of whom also went on to serve on the Council of the College and his daughter, Fiona who is Practice Manager.

Outside of optics Charlie had many pastimes which he greatly enjoyed including fishing and sailing - he was never happier than when he landed a salmon and immensely enjoyed sailing around the coast of Scotland on his yacht, Stravaig. He fought his illness with courage, strength and dignity and remained positive and optimistic, traits which had served him well his whole life. He will be sorely missed by his wife of sixty years, Vera, his children and seven grandchildren.