Registrar of the College of Optometrists of Ontario 1967-1996
With sadness, the College announces the passing of its long-time former Registrar, Dr. Irving Baker, on Thursday, November 8, 2018 in his 98th year. Dr. Baker was a visionary whose tireless dedication to the public interest and the profession moved optometry to be recognized as the respected health care profession it is today.
Dr. Baker graduated as an optometrist in 1943 from the College of Optometry in Toronto. He enlisted in the Army, serving as an optometrist in the Medical Army Corps for three years until 1946. Following his return from the war, Dr. Baker practised in Toronto and was appointed to the faculty at the College of Optometry in 1948. In 1967, when the College became the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, he was appointed Adjunct Professor. Dr. Baker was president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists in 1950, and in 1960 he was named to the Board of Directors of the College of Optometrists of Ontario. He was appointed as Registrar of the College in 1967 and held this position until his retirement in 1996.
During his time as Registrar, Dr. Baker drafted many of the regulations and policies upon which the profession became defined in Ontario and across the country. In 2004, the University of Waterloo recognized Dr. Baker’s tremendous contribution to the professional development of Optometry within Ontario and Canada by conferring upon him an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD).
Dr. Baker is survived by sons Jim and Mitch, their spouses, and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, the late Helen Baker. The College extends its sincere condolences to the entire Baker family on their loss.