Death of Tony Gross

Tony Gross, of the pioneering optician and frame stylists Cutler and Gross, has died peacefully at the age of 78. He suffered from a severe stroke 11 years ago.

He met his business partner Graham Cutler at Northampton College while studying optometry. On graduating in 1963 he went into practice but saw an opportunity to make spectacles more exciting.

Cutler and Gross began selling hand-made fashion frames in 1969 and opened a Knightsbridge practice in 1971. The duo quickly became famous for providing eyewear to Icons such as Elton John, Princess Diana, David Hockney and Grace Jones.

Cutler and Gross flourished during the 1980s as the ‘yuppie’ culture grew and in 1983 the pair launched their first ready-to-wear collection from the Italian region of Cadore.

After suffering his stroke, he sold his stake in the business to pay for his health care.

By | April 2nd, 2018|People|

Ulysses comments …


Honest as the day is long

Some years ago, Hoya was hit by a serious flood in Bangkok that knocked out its big prescription-lens laboratory there for a considerable time.

As a result the company’s laboratories across the world tried to make up for the lost production volume, but, had as they all tried there were delays, causing some clients to take their lens business elsewhere, Australia being no exception.

As a result, competitor laboratories here (ones that actually surfaced and/or fitted lenses locally or had their overseas colleagues do it) received a pile of work, so much so that at the end of it all (when Hoya’s Bangkok laboratory re-opened some months later) one overseas-owned company sent a substantial bonus to be shared by its staff in Australia to thank them for their efforts during the bonanza.

A much-appreciated gesture.

The only problem was that the head of the company here kept the bonus intended for the staff!


The ‘Rt. Hon.’ chairman

Former federal health minister Nicola Roxon has been appointed chairman of large private health insurance fund in Australia and New Zealand, Bupa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of t British United Provident Association Limited.

Let’s hope for Nicola Roxon’s sake she makes a better fist of her new job than what she made of her part in

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By | April 2nd, 2018|Comment|

Attack on RANZCO over training numbers; two presidents refute press claims

An attack on The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists on the front page of The Weekend Australian newspaper on 24 March over training numbers has been refuted by two presidents of the college.

• The article claimed RANZCO limited the number of new ophthalmologists, causing excessive waiting times for elective surgery and high ‘gap’ fees, as well as claiming certain services, including cataract surgery, are being performed too often in some areas and not enough in others..

• t quoted the findings of a part-completed report from the National Medical Training Advisory Network which said the number of new RANZCO fellows declined 13.8 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

• Also, that 89.5 per cent work in the private sector and 83.6 per cent work in major cities.

The current president of RANZCO, Associate Professor Mark Daniell said the college is keen to train as many new ophthalmologists as required to meet the current and future needs of the Australian and New Zealand population and that the number of new ophthalmologists has risen from 28 in 2010-11 to 42 in 2015-16. Last year there were 1,013 RANCO fellows.

Current president’s response

Professor Daniell said RANZCO is keen to train as many new ophthalmologists as required to meet the current and future needs of

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By | March 25th, 2018|Training|

Hoya to close its Sydney Rx surfacing laboratory

Hoya Lens Australia Pty Ltd is to close down its prescription lens surfacing laboratory in Sydney at the end of this month.

The company’s purpose-built headquarters and lens laboratory is due to be demolished, following the sale of the property in Bourke Road, Alexandria, to make way for a road extension to be built by City of Sydney Council.

More than 80 staff (employees and contractors) in lens grinding and fitting, lens coating and warehouse have been given notice, and machinery and equipment will be packed up and shipped to Tokyo-based Hoya Corporation’s massive laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand.

Hoya Lens Australia will be sourcing coated prescription lenses from the laboratory in Bangkok, in common with some other Australian-based companies sourcing from Asian laboratories.

Lens fitting, largely through outside contractors, will continue to be provided in Sydney in nearby premises at Botany where the greatly-reduced company will re-establish.

When Hoya Lens Australia arrived in Australia in 1976, it brought high-tech lenses, including those with multi-coatings and a wide range of designs, before long developing a strong reputation for its products.

In its heyday, Hoya Lens Australia had 100 staff at its Alexandria laboratory and was producing about 2,000 high-dollar-value lenses per day.

By | March 19th, 2018|Business|

‘Collectively we can eliminate glaucoma blindness’: Glaucoma Australia CEO

Together, we can eliminate glaucoma blindness, the chief executive officer of Glaucoma Australia, Ms Annie Gibbins, said at a ‘Beat Invisible Blindness’ breakfast at Studio Sydney Tower on 12 March.

The breakfast was held to mark the launch of this year’s World Glaucoma Week being held on 11-17 March.

• “Our mission is to eliminate glaucoma blindness. It almost sounds impossible. Can we really do it? Ms Gibbins asked.

• “Yes, I believe, that collectively, we can. In my early 20’s, I had two sets of twins 26 months apart; I’ve trekked on remote mountains up to 6000 metres high; I was a nurse for 25 years and saw miracles happen time and time again.

• “Anything is possible if you focus on the positives, look for synergies and dedicate yourself to making the extraordinary happen.

“Imagine a world where preventable sight loss from glaucoma was eradicated?

“We can make that happen in Australia through increased awareness, early detection and greater treatment adherence.

If treated early, 90%of all  blindness is  avoidable

“If treated early, approximately 90 per cent of all blindness and vision impairment is avoidable or treatable.

“Considering more than 60 per cent of Australians say that going blind is worse than having a heart attack or losing a limb, we should have a very receptive audience.

“We all know the

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By | March 19th, 2018|People|

Share-bikes hazardous for vision-impaired people with guide dogs

Share-bikes are hazardous for vision-impaired people relying on guide dogs for their mobility.

Guide dogs are trained to take their handler to traffic poles to be in a position to safely cross a road, however when share-bikes are abandoned carelessly against a pole or elsewhere the guide dogs may not see them and their handler may become entangled and have a fall.

It isn’t only when riders carelessly let their share-bikes be strewn across; even leaning the bikes against a wall can be a major hazard for people who are vision impaired.

By | March 19th, 2018|People|