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"ORB" 2005 Obituary


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ORBAN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-05-02 published
PURDY, Dorothy Anne (née BIRD)
Peacefully, after a long illness at the Bowmanville Hospital, on Friday, April 29th, 2005 in her 83rd year. Beloved wife of the late Leonard PURDY Sr. Loving mother of Leonard PURDY Jr. and daughter-in-law Dianne of Oshawa. Loving and devoted companion of Roy NICHOLS. Dear grandmother of Bill (Lisa) and Rob. Great-grandmother of Sarah and William. Survived by two brothers Bill (Helen) BIRD, Melvin (Marg) BIRD and four sisters Shirley (Mel) LAWRENCE, Leona DANDURAND, Patricia (Gus) MORRISON and Phyllis SLADE. Predeceased by three brothers George, Eldon, Robert and two sisters Betty CLEARY and Eileen Helen ORBAN. Sister-in-law of Flora PIETRACUPA. Dear aunt of many nieces and nephews. The family will receive Friends at the Karl A. Hammond Funeral Home and Chapel, 26 Ormond Street South, Thorold on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at Church of the Transfiguration (320 Glenridge Ave., St. Catharines), on Tuesday, May 3rd at 11: 00 a.m. with Rev. Canon Robin GRAVES officiating. Cremation to follow. If so desired, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or Kidney Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

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ORBANIC o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-08-15 published
SMITH, Helen Shepherd
Suddenly at her home on Friday, August 12th, 2005. Predeceased by her parents Duncan and Mary SMITH, her beloved sister Jean PATTERSON and brother-in-law James PATTERSON. Will be missed by cousins David Wm. YOUNGER and Jenifer MOORE. Many thanks are extended to the Sherman family, Nora and Lindy BRETT, Dorothy Forbes JOHNSTONE and Mr. and Mrs. Ivan ORBANIC for their kindness and compassion over the years. At her request there will be no service. Cremation to take place. If desired, donations to Sharon House, 24 Montgomery Road, Toronto, Ontario, M8X 1Z4 would be appreciated.
R.S. Kane 416-221-1159

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ORBANIC o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-08-15 published
SMITH, Helen Shepherd
Suddenly at her home on Friday August 12th, 2005. Predeceased by her parents Duncan and Mary SMITH, her beloved sister Jean PATTERSON and brother-in-law James PATTERSON. Will be missed by cousins David Wm. YOUNGER and Jenifer MOORE. Many thanks are extended to the Sherman family, Nora and Lindy BRETT, Dorothy Forbes JOHNSTONE and Mr. and Mrs. Ivan ORBANIC for their kindness and compassion over the years. At her request there will be no service. Cremation to take place. If desired, donations to Sharon House, 24 Montgomery Road, Toronto, Ontario, M8X 1Z4 would be appreciated.

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ORBIS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-12-14 published
Garth TAILOR/TAYLOR, Doctor And Humanitarian (1944-2005)
As president of ORBIS Canada, the ophthalmologist from Cornwall circled the globe in a flying eye hospital to personally treat thousands of Third World patients
By Ron CSILLAG, Special to The Globe and Mail, Wednesday, December 14, 2005, Page S9
Toronto -- The call to Ontario in 1982 came from Garth TAILOR/TAYLOR's beloved native Jamaica. Did Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR, an ophthalmologist in Cornwall, Ontario, know of a new flying eye hospital committed to curing blindness and eye diseases in developing countries? He had never heard of such a thing, he replied, but he would look into it.
Two years later, Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR was president of ORBIS Canada, and a quiet practice in a quiet town was supplemented with a calling: eliminating preventable blindness around the world.
It was all aboard the state-of-the-art ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a converted DC-10 with a high-tech mobile surgical suite and lecture theatre that's billed as the world's only airborne eye hospital and training facility.
ORBIS is an international non-profit humanitarian agency that grew from a vision that Houston ophthalmologist David Paton had more than 20 years ago. More than one million people have received direct medical treatment, and some 93,000 health-care professionals have received training through its programs in more than 80 countries.
At the time of his death, Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR had completed 111 missions with ORBIS, the last to Changsha, China, in September. As the organization's busiest volunteer eye doctor, he treated thousands of patients and trained many more doctors and surgeons in cornea, cataract and refractive procedures, including the treatment of ocular parasites, in more than 40 countries.
"ORBIS doesn't go to get rid of all blindness; it's developmental," Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR said in 1997. "We teach them to do the surgery, or we teach them to teach others in their country."
The philosophy jibed well with his, a Chinese proverb he was fond of repeating in his Jamaican lilt: "Tell me and I will forget show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand."
Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR's maiden mission in 1982 was to his birthplace, Jamaica. "I found my nirvana aboard my first ORBIS flight," he would recount. "By treating avoidable blindness, people don't just get back their sight, they get back their self-esteem."
He also credited the organization with making him a better doctor.
"He was this skinny kid from Montego Bay with a big, easy grin," remembers the current president of ORBIS Canada, Ottawa retina surgeon Brian LEONARD, who interned with Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR at Ottawa Civic Hospital. "We considered him a legend. No one knew more about global blindness."
Sadly, there's much to know. The World Health Organization estimates there are 45 million blind people on the planet, and 135 million with low vision; 90 per cent of the world's blind live in developing countries, with nine million in India, six million in China, and seven million in Africa; every five seconds, someone in the world goes blind. A child goes blind every minute. A 2003 report warned that global blindness is set to increase over the next 20 years, to 76 million individuals. What fuelled Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR was the sobering fact that as much as 80 per cent of global blindness is avoidable -- 60 per cent treatable and 20 per cent preventable.
Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR first landed in Canada at the age of 20, on a scholarship to the East Ontario Institute of Technology in Ottawa to study biochemical technology. "We all had to work on frogs," recalls his wife, Beverley, who met Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR at the institute in the mid-1960s. "You could tell he had a talent for surgery. His frog was always perfect."
But he quit the program when a spot he had applied for earlier at the University of the West Indies' medical school opened up in Jamaica. He graduated in 1970 and returned to Ottawa, followed by a residency in ophthalmology at Queen's University in Kingston.
In 1976, after becoming the first black ophthalmologist to graduate from Queen's, Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR planned to return to Jamaica to set up practice, but political turmoil forced him to reconsider. Instead, he hung out a shingle in Cornwall, where he honed his expertise in microscopic eye surgery, cornea transplants and laser eye surgery, became chief of ophthalmology at Cornwall Community Hospital, and taught ophthalmology at Queen's, a 90-minute drive away.
With ORBIS, Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR spent up to 14 weeks a year volunteering in the Third World, and he recruited other Canadians as volunteer surgeons and staff. As for the plane, it took the 25 crew members doctors, nurses, pilots and technicians -- nine hours to convert it into a hospital each time it landed. "I have done everything except fly the plane," Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR said a few years ago. "I've cleaned toilets, done surgery and washed the plane."
In Third World countries, the aircraft must provide power (with its own generator), clean water (through a sterilization system) and clean, filtered air. A satellite dish permits communication with anyone in the world. In many countries, security is ensured by soldiers with machine guns who patrol the tarmac around the plane.
As well, 17 cameras, eight microphones and 54 video monitors permit viewing surgery for 50 observers in the plane's theatre (with potentially hundreds more in a remote location) and allow for interaction with the surgeons in the operating room. Surgeries are also recorded, edited and burned onto Digital Video Disks for distribution in the host country's ophthalmic community.
Instead of the studied calm of a normal operating theatre, the atmosphere aboard the plane was "bedlam," said Dr. LEONARD, who accompanied Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR on 14 missions. "There were engineers, technicians, translators running around, and questions flying. We could feel the jet blasts from other planes taking off. And Garth would push people to their limits." But he never saw Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR lose his cool.
Well, maybe once. It was in Africa, and a local official refused to board an internal flight until his palm felt a crisp $100 bill. "Garth couldn't stand that," Dr. LEONARD recalled. "He had a little chip on his shoulder, which we loved. But he would never rant about a personal problem."
Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR loved to play dominoes and consume, as well as bake, rum-soaked fruitcakes (his parents had a bakery in Jamaica). To anyone not used to meeting an eye doctor who was black, he offered a great icebreaker: "Hi, I'm Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR, in living colour."
The ice didn't always break. Once, in Swaziland, a white man from South Africa balked at having Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR operate on his son. The man eventually gave in to his pleading son, and the boy's sight was restored. "I welcome the uninformed, the misguided," Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR told Maclean's magazine, which named him to its honour roll last year. "It gives me the opportunity to set them straight."
This year, he was awarded the Order of Jamaica. In October, he was the keynote speaker at Eyes on Jamaica, a program to support ORBIS Canada's plans to build an eye-care facility at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston, the country's capital.
Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR was also a co-founder of Can SEE, the Canadian arm of the aid agency Surgical Eye Expeditions, and he donated a week annually aboard the Canadian National Institute for the Blind's Eye Van, a mobile clinic designed to bring eye care to remote areas of Northern Ontario.
Friends and colleagues recall a man who accepted many kudos with humility. One simple letter from a patient touched him deeply, though, because it so sublimely expressed the impact of Dr. TAILOR/TAYLOR's work: "I write this letter to you because prior to meeting you, I couldn't see to write."
Garth Alfred TAILOR/TAYLOR was born on April 29, 1944, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and died on November 19, 2005, after emergency surgery at the Ottawa Heart Institute. He was 61. He leaves his wife, Beverley, and children Leanne and Gregory.

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