Lifetime award for optometrist Donald

Donald Cameron had a career spanning 35 years. Picture: Mike Wikinson
Donald Cameron had a career spanning 35 years. Picture: Mike Wikinson
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Donald Cameron, a long-serving optometrist in Edinburgh, has been awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Optometrists.

Born in Galashiels, Donald Cameron moved to Edinburgh at a young age and went to George Watson’s College. His father was a dispensing optician with shops in Kelso, Dalkeith and Edinburgh.

Donald went to Glasgow Caledonian University to study optometry and started work with Murray McGrath at Randolph Cliff, near Dean Bridge.

The business moved to St Vincent Street in 2004 and changed its name to Cameron Optometry.

During his early years in the profession, Donald developed a keen interest in contact lenses which went on to be his area of specialism. He worked closely with the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh, taking referrals from them for patients requiring specialist contact lenses.

Donald was a founding member of Optometry Scotland, which represents the views of the sector to the Scottish Government. The organisation has successfully lobbied on a number of key issues resulting in a world-leading contract for eye examinations in 2006 and Scottish Government funding of £1 million per year for the development of an optometry education programme through NHS Education for Scotland, where he now serves as programme director.

He was also a founding director of Optometric Educators, an organisation that focused on high quality education in the profession.

Donald retired as managing director of Cameron Optometry after a career in the profession spanning more than 35 years,

The company, currently the largest independent optometry and contact lens practice in Scotland, is now run by his son Ian. Last year it was awarded the title of UK Practice of the Year by the Association of Optometrists (AOP).

Donald, now 60, said it was a great honour to receive the AOP Lifetime Achievement Award. He added: “I see it as recognition of not only the work I have done, but also the work of my colleagues and fellow professionals in Scotland.”

Ian Cameron said: “On a personal level, my dad has always been an inspiration and someone I have greatly admired. I’m delighted that through this award his impressive career has been acknowledged. I have learnt a huge amount from him and through the establishment of the NHS Education for Scotland programme, many others will also benefit from his work in education for years to come.”

Donald’s wife died in 2012 and he recently remarried. Between them, he and his new wife have ten grandchildren.

Outside his professional work, Donald is organist and director of music at Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Rose Street.