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.

Contribution recognised

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.


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Other events that occured in February

Mail ship wrecked on Black Rock 1st
Oil rig stranded at Grandes Rocques
Birth of Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann 2nd
Death of Sir Charles Hayward 3rd
St Martin’s parish church consecrated 4th
Guernsey suffers its worst storm in 35 years 5th
Guernsey watchmaker helps Stone of Scone manhunt 6th
Guernsey Language Commission formed 7th
Queen Mary executed while wearing Guernsey stockings 8th
Guernsey gets its first postbox
Guernsey Society celebrates its 70th anniversary 9th
Guernsey’s last execution didn’t go according to plan 10th
The last issue of GUNS was distributed 11th
Alderney gets its first full-time radio station 12th
Guernsey’s last duel 13th
Specsavers’ Mary Perkins was born 14th
Blue Islands takes to the skies
Guernsey gets its own flag 15th
Birth of concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houedard 16th
HMS Guernsey launched in Aberdeen 17th
Guernsey’s first Methodist minister arrives 18th
Aurigny Air Services founded 19th
Guernsey Railway Company runs its first services 20th
The Channel Islands were cut off from the outside world 21st
St Sampson was ordained a bishop 22nd
Death of Thomas Fiott de Havilland 23rd
Murder inquiry ends with suicide 24th
Death of occupation resister Marie Ozanne 25th
Guernsey’s first banker dies 26th
Release of Reverend Harry Samuel 27th
Plans for St Sampson power station approved 28th
Second World War bomb detonated 29th