John Conway RIP

It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of John Conway, an esteemed veteran of the optical industry, at the age of 60.

The photo shows John, on the right, receiving Honorary Life Membership of the FMO from Kingsley Sleep and Barry Dibble in 2017.

Born in Gloucester, John’s first job was working at the Norville Optical Group, before moving onto Seiko Optical UK, where he was appointed Managing Director in 2004. Promotion to MD of Seiko Europe followed in 2015.

At FMO John served with distinction, as Chair of the Lens Focus Group and Board Director before being elected Chair of the Board in 2011.

Current FMO Chair Andy Yorke commented ‘John was a unique individual with a work ethos that was truly exceptional. His ability to communicate, motivate and inspire was second to none and all who knew him will be extremely saddened by his passing. The optical community and more so his family, has been robbed of one the great ambassadors of the industry.

Personally for me John was an inspiration and as a fellow West County man he will be very sadly missed. My condolences go out to his family and all of those in the optical community who knew him.’

John’s funeral took place at 12.00 noon on 20 August at St Peters Catholic Church, London Road, Gloucester GL1 3EX

Paul Walden RIP

In June we learned of the untimely passing of Paul Walden at 53 from a rare form of sarcoma.

Paul was a genuine industry stalwart, working for the Norville Group for over 30 years before moving onto Lenstec Optical Group as Technical and Sales Director for the last 4 years. Nigel Castle, Lenstec Optical Group MD commented ‘Paul will be sadly missed for his contribution to Lenstec and the wider optical community’.

Julian Wiles, owner of Performance Lenses, commented

‘Always front and centre of technical developments and latterly front and centre of education, Paul was both a colleague and client. We will miss the contribution he would have made in the years ahead.’

Julian pointed out that in the last 12 months Neal Grimason, Paul Hadwin, Drew MacDonald and Peter Beaumont have all left us. All were gone ‘too early’ and were all working hard at the time of their passing.

‘Lens makers at heart and FMO members as well. Looking back is never a great idea when you are moving forward, but stopping and taking time to look around you is always fulfilling.’

FMO have taken up Julian’s suggestion to inaugurate an In Memorium album for those who that have served Optics for many years. The album will be available for members to review at the Annual General Meeting in December. Please contact if you would like to contribute to the album.