In Memorium - Giles Butler

26 February 2016

It is with the greatest sadness that we inform readers of the death of Optical Confederation staff member Giles Butler. 

Giles managed the Optical Confederation Domiciliary Eyecare Committee in the UK for the past seven years. He was the first manager of National Eye Health Week in the UK and the Healthy Eyes campaign in Ireland. 

Giles was a man who was passionate about everything he did, not least supporting Chelsea football club. As someone who lost his vision later in life he was passionate about better access to eye health services to prevent avoidable sight loss and was an advocate for better information and support for those affected. He pursued these aims in everything he did in the UK and Ireland.

Giles and his trusty sidekick Elvis the guide dog quickly became the ‘rock’n’roll stars’ of community optics, both known for their larger than life personalities and on occasion anarchical presence in the sometimes stifling world of professional rivalries. His determined nature made him instantly likeable and helped him achieve things in optics a less larger-than-life character simply could not.

He was a man of hidden talents - with his varied background as a bigshot in TV production and as a Russian language teacher just after the end of the Cold War adding to his mystique. Such a special character will be sorely missed by his colleagues, the sector, those that knew him and those that will benefit from his work in the future.