I lost my right eye through a ‘measles’ germ I as told, when I was only about 18 months old, before the time I can remember. So I’ve grown up only knowing what the world looks like with one eye, and I guess have lived happily with that for the last 64 years of my life.
My earliest memory was of having a glass eye, which I don’t think was very comfortable, and had the habit of falling out. I remember this happened on one very memorable occasion, which was my First Communion Day. There were a number of times I remember when my glass eye fell to the floor and broke (you’d wear an eye-patch until another one could be made). I must have been a horrible child, because I used the glass eye as a sort of ‘bargaining chip’. Apparently one day, at an early stage of life, I fell into a tantrum because I couldn’t get my own way, so I took out my eye and threw it on the floor – not a very appropriate way of making a point.
However, I grew through all this, until Mr Alec Posell came along with the newly discovered idea of a ‘plastic’ eye. Alec was a great friend to me and I felt always gave me special attention. He was a very compassionate and religious man and when he retired he gave many years as an organist and choir leader in his parish church at Rockingham. I sometimes dropped in to see him down there and as a Catholic priest I had the privilege of celebrating at his funeral service.
A question people often ask is how does having an artificial eye affect your everyday life. Well, most of the time you don’t think about it, and most people don’t know anyway. Strangely enough, when I was ordained a priest, having only one eye was considered to be what was called in church law an “impediment”, mainly I think because it was seen as an obstacle to reading a book or ‘missal’ from an angle across the altar. It seems rather odd now, and since then the rule no longer applies