Dr. Valentine Guy Criswick Scholarship

Dr. Valentine Guy Criswick (1926-1992)

When Valentine Guy Criswick settled in Victoria in 1969, not too long after earning his
doctorate in medicine, his life and interests had already taken him through many countries
and a variety of work places.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Dr. Criswick was raised in London, England, where he attended Christ's Hospital Public School in Horsham, Sussex. At the age of 18, he joined the Royal Fusiliers (Grenadier Guards) and served as an officer in Greece and the Middle East for the next four years.  Following this he was employed with Shell Oil and his work took him back to London, then to Borneo, then on to Canada in 1953.

He married in Regina two years later and enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan in 1957, graduating as an M.D. in 1963.  His internship brought him to British Columbia, where he completed a three-year residency in ophthalmology at Vancouver General Hospital.  During a subsequent residency at Harvard University in Boston to pursue his specialty—diseases of the retina—he investigated an uncommon inherited ocular syndrome, which came to be named the Criswick-Schepens Syndrome as a result of his collaboration with his supervisor, Dr. Charles Schepens.

Dr. Criswick moved his young family to Victoria in 1969 to establish BC’s second only ophthalmology practice.  Prior to this, Island patients had to travel to Vancouver for treatment.  He had a distinguished 20-year career as a retinal specialist and surgeon in Victoria and became a respected lecturer in his chosen field, delivering classes to nursing students at the University of Victoria.

His interests outside of his work and family included sailing, fishing, skiing, golfing, painting and ornithology.  This scholarship was established in his memory by his wife, Betty Criswick, and their three children, all four of whom attended the University of Victoria.

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