A tribute to Tim Bowden

Along with countless others I was deeply shocked by the sudden death of our good friend and colleague, Tim Bowden.

I am certain that others will write eloquent and appropriate obituaries, but I would like to pay tribute to Tim’s contribution to contact lens education. 
Tim joined the contact lens team at City & Islington College as a Visiting Lecturer in 1998, and he quickly proved to be a great asset, particularly in the practical sessions. His ability to communicate effectively with students of all ages, and share his knowledge, enthusiasm, and practical experience was invaluable. 
Over the years he also took a very active part in numerous projects and questionnaire based patient studies, and with other members of staff and students, co-authored 17 published papers, articles, and posters, many in peer reviewed journals.

His book ‘Contact Lenses – The Story’ was published in 2009. This meticulously researched, fascinating, and unique history rightly received international acclaim.
Tim’s enthusiastic support of the BCLA is well known, and in due course he achieved Fellowship of the Association. He always actively encouraged students to become members, and to attend scientific meetings and clinical conferences. He also became an ABDO Contact Lens Examiner.

At College he always supported other members of the contact lens team, and never failed to come up with suggestions, ideas, and encouragement when needed. There were many very difficult times for the contact lens staff, not least being four moves from one location to another since 2000! Each time involving the dismantling, packing of equipment and instruments, then unpacking and re-establishing the department in less than ideal premises. His steadfast ‘can do’ attitude, good humour, energy and unfailing support was greatly appreciated.

There will be a very large number of Contact Lens Opticians, many of whom went on to qualify as Optometrists, who will remember Tim, and appreciate the role he played in helping them achieve their specialist qualification. Many will recall his silly jokes – not all of which they understood – but they dutifully laughed anyway!

So farewell Tim, you were a great credit to our profession, and you made a very significant contribution to contact lens education.

August 2017