Professor Bernard Clerc died on Tuesday, the 8th
of November 2016, at the age of 75 years old, following a courageous battle against cancer.
He was diplomate as a veterinary surgeon from the National Veterinary School of Alfort (France) in 1965. After some years, he rapidly dedicated his career to the teaching, at first at the National Veterinary School of Alfort, then at the National Veterinary School of Lyon for 10 years before coming back to his school of origin. In 1993, he created the Ophthalmology unit in Alfort which knew a marked development due to Bernard Clerc’s brilliant renown.
Bernard Clerc was strongly concerned by the transmission of knowledge in the field of Ophthalmology, one of his passion, not only to his students who appreciated his kind nature and his generosity, but also to practionners who appreciated his spontaneity to share his experience. He founded with success first the Ophthalmology group of the French Small animal veterinary association (GEMO, 1981), then a French course in Veterinary Ophthalmology which was attended by French but also European veterinarians in Alfort (1995). During the last years of his career, he was the first French ECVO diplomate to open European residency in Alfort. Thanks to him, several colleagues are now working as specialists in France, in Europe, in the United States and in Canada.
Bernard Clerc was involved in numerous French and international associations and societies and through all his actions in these institutions, he strongly contributed to the development of Veterinary Ophthalmology. He was one of the eight founding members of the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmology and served as President from 2001 to 2003.
The ophthalmology was not the only passion of Bernard Clerc. He was also a passionate bibliophile, his personal library overflows with antique books in the field of veterinary medicine.
He retired from the Veterinary School in 2007. Despite his illness, he remained very active in the professional field but he also took the time for nice projects with his family who was very close to him and who helped him to cope with the difficult treatments with an exceptional courage.
The numerous messages of good wishes that we received these last days are evidence of the great consideration and the gratitude of all the persons who had the chance to meet this brilliant and humble Professor.
Sabine Chahory and Gilles Chaudieu