Obituary: Alastair Howie

The optometrist died on 15 January

Alastair Howie

OT is sad to report the recent death of Alastair James Howie, a retired optometrist from Sway in Hampshire.

Remembering his friend, Brian Harvey shared: “Alastair was born in Strawberry Hill in 1929, educated at Maudling College School in Brackley and served in the Royal Armoured Corps in the Canal Zone in Egypt during national service from 1947–49.

“He studied ophthalmic optics at Northampton Polytechnic between 1949 and 1952, making him one of 50 students who embarked on the first three-year course of study, which later became the Bsc in Optometry.

“He became a fellow of the British Optical Association, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and the College of Optometrists, serving his pre-CPC year in the City of London with Fred Hawkes. 

“He opened his own practice in Highcliffe in 1959 and another in New Milton in 1964. These practices continue today under the name of Howie & Tickner.

“Alastair met his future wife Jean on an outward bound course at Loch Morlich in Speyside and they married in 1967.

“Alastair epitomised the young, emerging post-war practitioner, committed to raising the status of the ophthalmic optician. He served as chairman of the Dorset and Hampshire Local Optical Committee and as the region’s local councillor in the Association of Optical Practitioners, attending general council meetings in London regularly under the secretariat of Reg Pine and Ian Hunter.

“The qualifying year of 1952 christened itself ‘The first of the thirds,’ holding well attended reunions on many important anniversaries, to which Alastair contributed hugely by his personality and individual sense of humour. He will be greatly missed.

“Our sincere sympathy goes to his wife Jean, daughter Shena, son Robert and his three grandchildren.”