Dr. Jean-Louis Blanchard, Co-Founder of Blanchard, Passes on Feb. 18th
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Jean-Louis Blanchard, co-founder of Blanchard Contact Lens, on February 18th.
Passionate and devoted to his profession, Dr. Blanchard was one of the pioneers of “contactology” in Quebec. In 1963 his passion for the corneal lens gave rise to VERACON, the very first manufacturing laboratory of corneal lenses in Canada.
It was in 1975 that Blanchard Contact Lens was founded, by its two long-time employees, Mr. Gilles Castonguay and Mr. Pierre Blanchard, son of Dr. Blanchard. Over the years Jean Castonguay and Jean Blanchard, the second son of Dr. Blanchard also joined the team at Blanchard. Throughout the evolution of Blanchard Laboratories, Jean-Louis was present, passing on his knowledge, values and passion. The influence of Dr. Blanchard led to the succession of Blanchard, with the third generation having joined the ranks. This includes Dr. Blanchard’s granddaughter Marie-Christine Blanchard, and Gilles Castonguay’s daughter, Julie Castonguay.
Passionate about his profession, Dr. Blanchard travelled the world to learn and share his knowledge of contact lenses: “I believed that I had the responsibility to share my knowledge with my peers, whether they were partners or competitors. What was important was that as many patients as possible could benefit” recounts Dr. Blanchard, who took pleasure in sharing this passion during his career, especially during his time as an Optometry professor.
The contribution of Dr. Blanchard in the contact lens manufacturing industry has been recognized several times during his lifetime, including as a founder of the profession of optometry by the Optometry School of the University of Montreal. He also received the American Academy of Optometry Founder Award in the United States.
In honor of his desire to share and advance the science of contactology, The Jean-Louis Blanchard Foundation was founded. The mission of the foundation is to encourage students to develop their knowledge of specialty contact lenses, and to give the opportunity for a different student each year, by way of a scholarship, to travel and participate in specialty contact lens conventions.
Jean-Louis is the rock on which our company was built. Still today, we are committed to perpetuating his values and his passion. Jean-Louis will remain forever present with us all.
The Blanchard Contact Lens Team