Our History

Our building was completed in late December 1949 and opened the doors to patients for the first time on January 2nd 1950. The first owner, Dr. Robert Demmery, worked for approximately 25 years, at which point Dr. Donald Hunter took over. Dr. Hunter then hired Dr. Robin Simpson as an associate Optometrist in the mid 1980’s who became the next owner.

Dr. Kevin Mowbray first met Dr. Simpson in the late 1990’s at a function for newly graduated optometrists. Although Dr. Simpson wasn’t officially advertising the position, he was looking for an Optometrist to take over the clinic and felt that Dr. Mowbray was the right fit for the clinic and neighborhood. Dr. Mowbray became the sole proprietor of the clinic in 2006 and proceeded to renovate the interior, expand the staff and hours, and embrace social media to help spread the positive word-of-mouth the clinic already enjoyed in the community.

Dr. Simpson continued on working as an associate optometrist for Dr. Mowbray until June 2009. Dr. Simpson, however, is still very dedicated to the profession of optometry, and was previously the Registrar of the College of Optometrists of BC, which is indeed a very great honour to us all here at the clinic!

Now, Mr. Bob Butler deserves as much of a mention here as anyone, as he has been with the clinic since the first day we opened in 1950. Bob’s career spans 4 owners, now 6 decades of service, and is understandably very well-known in our industry and neighbourhood. Bob is truly someone who enjoys his craft and has been an expert teacher to all of our Optical and Dispensary Team Members over the years. We all continue to learn new skills from Bob regularly!

As of 2020, Dr. Mowbray has stopped seeing patients and is focusing his time on managing the clinic and the related administrative duties. He can still be found around the clinic on the regular, where he enjoys meeting and catching up with our patients and long-term supporters.

After over 70 years in the same location, our mission continues to be dedicated to providing the best quality eye exams we can, and to helping patients make informed decisions for any products or services they may require. 

Mortimer The Spirit Bear

In The Summer Of 2006, The BC Lions Society For Children With Disabilities Had Undertaken A “Spirit Bears In The City” Art Initiative, With 106 Spirit Bear Statues Spread Throughout Vancouver, The Lower Mainland, And Vancouver Island.

Each 7 foot high bear was assigned to a local artist, who in sponsorship or partnership with a local business or organization, produced their own artistic take on the bear. After a year or so of display around our beautiful cities, the bears were auctioned off and all proceeds went to the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities charity.

The ‘Spirit Bears in the City’ went on to raise over $1,000,000 at the Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Prince George, Terrace, and online auctions. Dr. Mowbray bid for our bear who we have affectionately renamed ‘Mortimer’ as our clinic mascot. Over the years the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities has brought us the Orcas, the Bears, the Eagles, and the Terracotta Warriors under their ‘Art in the City’ fundraising program. You can find a nice gallery of 50 of the 106 Bears photographed here: 50 bears.

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