14th February 1944
Specsavers’ Mary Perkins was born
Bristol-born Mary Perkins founded a chain of opticians with her husband Doug. The first store, which opened in the 1960s, spawned several others over the next few years, until they had a chain in and around Bristol. Within 20 years, they had sold their stores for £2m, and brought the money with them to Guernsey.
In 1984, she and Doug founded another optician called Specsavers. The Guernsey Registry of companies shows a registration for Specsavers Optical Group Limited, which was made on 10 October 1983.
Headquartered on Guernsey, with premises close to the airport, it has become one of the largest optical chains in Britain. It also had branches in Australia and across Europe which, combined, bring in around £1.5bn annually.
In 2007, Mary became a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. It was a good year for Guernsey, with two others recognised for their contribution.
The island’s Police Chief, George Le Page received the Queen’s Police Medal, and Judith Le Tissier became an MBE for services to the community.