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BCA News: Fall 2021
 

BCA bids farewell to long time member Ron Irvine

Ronald F. Irvine, RBP, FBPA, was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1927 and passed away on June 21, 2021 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada at the age of 93. He was a mentor and friend to many and an example to all.

Ron immigrated to Canada with his wife Hazel and their young son Martin in the summer of 1957. He was working as a chemist for Dupont in Kingston, Ontario when he proposed the creation of a medical photography department at the Kingston General Hospital which is part of Queen's University faculty of medicine. His proposal succeeded and Ron's career as a medical photographer began.


Ron Irvine (right), seen here with Yousuf Karsh (left) at the 1971 BCA annual meeting in Ottawa, Canada.

At a point in his career Ron was offered a chance to work with the famous portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh at his studio in Ottawa but Ron declined the offer and stayed the course as a medical photographer.

Ron became involved with the Biological Photographic Association (BPA) on local, regional, and international levels, often hosting regional meetings at Queen's University. Ron and his friend Charlie Hodge were regular fixtures at the annual Biological Photographic Association and at The Institute of Medical Illustrators meetings. They sometimes referred to themselves as the Canadian contingent. The bottles of Canadian Club whiskey always appeared at social events to "improve international relations".

Seldom would a meeting occur that Ron did not present a paper. He served on the Board of BPA, the Board of Registry and numerous committees. He co-chaired the annual meeting in Toronto in 1981. The meeting brought people from six countries, ran four simultaneous program tacks and generated the highest revenue of any previous meeting.


President Cliff Pollack presents Ron Irvine with the 1997 Louis Schmidt Award.

Ron was presented with the Louis Schmidt Award in 1997, of which he was tremendously proud. He saw the Registered Biological Photographer as among his greatest accomplishments and The Louis Schmidt Award as his greatest honour.

He became an associate professor in the Queen's Art Conservation department, teaching photographic techniques and theory. Even after retiring from medical photography he continued to teach for the Art Conservation program.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Hazel Margaret. Survivors include his two sons Martin and Christopher and their families, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


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