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Dr. John Pyper
Dr. John Pyper was born in Wolverhampton, England in 1920 to the Rev. Jack and Lucy Pyper, and raised in the seaside town of Portrush, Northern Ireland. John’s early education was at Campbell College, Queen’s University Medical School, Belfast, and later specialized in Ophthalmology at the Moorefield Eye Hospital, London, England. He immigrated to Canada in 1954 “with 15 dollars in my pocket,” few contacts and uncertain where he would ultimately settle. But after his beloved Olive, the pretty R.N. who caught the young surgeon’s eye, arrived a year later, John spent his entire career in Stratford, and was always grateful of his great luck to land in such a wonderful place to raise a family.
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John extracted the first two eyes ever donated to the Eye Bank of Canada in 1955, and continued to perform this procedure for decades. Proud and devoted Rotarian for over 50 years, he was a recipient of the distinguished Paul Harris Fellowship. During his time as President, John was Founder of the Stratford Rotary Minor Hockey Tournament in 1973, a tradition which continues to this day and for which he was honored as Sportsman Of The Year in 1977. He was an active volunteer at the Stratford Art Gallery, St. John’s Ambulance, Salvation Army and the Perth County Museum. John was an avid sportsman, playing golf and field hockey for Queens and Ulster (and captained both teams for his university).
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He cherished his time growing up in Portrush, particularly the lifelong friendships developed through golfing on the “holy ground” of Royal Portrush Golf Club, where at 78 years he was the longest standing member. An honorary lifetime member of the Stratford Country Club, John loved the fellowship of friends made on the links, and particularly enjoyed playing in the Father and 3 Sons tournament with his boys. A lover of stories, song and limericks, John relished gatherings where people could share humor, jokes and memories of the Old Country. But above all, he cherished time with his family, and often said it was his proudest achievement.
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