Rotarian blinded by a mountain of specs

Joseph Bulmer

It would hardly seem possible that a man with over 300 pairs of spectacles would not be able to see.

But that is exactly what happened to Braunton man Alan Curtis, a member of the Barnstaple Link Rotary Club.

Alan is on the international committee that makes regular collections of spectacles from health centres, opticians and members of the general public, which are then repaired, refurbished and polished before being sent all over the world to help less fortunate people to see.

Alan had collected a huge box of glasses, but as he was sorting them out, his own glasses fell off into the box.

He said: “ I felt them sliding off my nose, but was too late to catch

Them. I am blind as a bat without them. I thought they are bound to be on the top, but no such luck. It took absolutely ages, trying on each pair before, at last, I found them.”

For years Rotary clubs have collected glasses and sent millions overseas. They work in unison with Specsavers and other organisations to collect and deliver the glasses in the first instance to prisoners, who repair and polish the lenses before the glasses are sent abroad. “Millions have been sent, but there seems to be a never-ending need for more,” said Alan.

He is hoping people will help by dropping off any unwanted glasses at the Rotary Charity Shop in Boutport Street, Barnstaple.

The Barnstaple Link club usually makes collections three or four times a year. In future Alan will be making sure that his own specs are secured firmly to his head before attempting to sort out the next batch!