It’s a time for celebration and reflection at ABDO. This month 20 years ago Sir Anthony Garrett CBE joined ABDO taking up the post of General Secretary. There has been much change in the Association during the past 20 years and Tony has been instrumental in this successful journey.

Shortly before Tony joined the organisation Thurailingam Pavanakumar, known as Pavan, had taken up the post of chief finance officer. They very quickly formed a working relationship which continues to this day. Credit to all that has been achieved must be attributed to both these great men and the team they have recruited to work alongside them.

Twenty years ago, ABDO did not employ any dispensing opticians, a stark contrast to today when most of the senior team are DOs, along with two optometrists.

Since joining ABDO Tony and Pavan have overseen the relocation of the Association’s HQ to 199 Gloucester Terrace from Hurlingham. The move provided the Association with prestigious Central London offices co-owned with FODO and the FMO. The BCLA now also occupy the building.

We have seen the formation of ABDO College at Godmersham, Kent, which opened its doors to students in 2001. Today 50% of all student DOs train via blended learning at ABDO College. Credit must be given to Jo Underwood, principal of the college since the start, and her incredible team.

Most recently we have seen the opening of the National Resource Centre in Birmingham, the new home for ABDO examinations and training. ABDO has also seen many organisational changes, importantly the move from an ABDO council to the current nationally elected board.

While we reflect and celebrate, I know Tony and Pavan are always forward thinking. Watch this space.