Eyeglass Assist

Solomon Islands Project






What's New !

As our 2018 project has been completed any updates relating to how the project went once we left Australia can be viewed on our blog at www.sailblogs.com/member/monkeyfist.  There are some very good stories.


  • 19th May, 2018

    With Monkey Fist back in the water we painlessly navigated the tricky channel from the hardstand IN THE DARK! Unfortunately a night transit was necessary so as to utilize the higher tide. However we had hedged our bets by surveying the channel previously with a dingy and portable depth sounder.

    And the very good news is..... we've managed to fit all 16,000 pairs of specs and sunglasses on the boat. Our calculations said we should be able to, but theory and practice sometimes don't always agree. Phew!, what a relief.

    But we are thrilled to have taken this latest step. Then Frances turns to me and says " I think we can fit some more in". We'll see...


  • 5th May, 2018 
    3 weeks until D (departure) Day

    What's happening in the photo is our calibration of a pair of spectacles which are equipped with adjustable strength lenses (in this case negative lenses). They were designed originally as easy-to-fit vision correction spectacles for people in developing countries. However, they are a) expensive and b) not particularly stylish. So we've taken a pair of these and, using the lensometer at Lions R4S headquarters in Brisbane, we've calibrated them. What this means is that when we assess someone as being myopic, we'll have them wear them as they would normal glasses, then they will rotate the adjustable knob (one for each eye) until they assess that their vision is clear. We should then be able to read from the dial the strength required and provide them with a more cost effective and stylish option. Assessment of distant vision issues is often a time consuming part of our work so this idea has potential to save significant time = more people we can help.

    And also - after many, many hours of work, Frances has finally finished counting and sorting the glasses today and we now have a final, grand total of 16,002 - this being comprised of 10,777 pairs spectacles and 5,225 pairs of sunglasses. Sorting the glasses is critical in allowing us to access what we need, when we need them. Having so many glasses on board would be pointless if we could not easily replenish our daily requirements. Hats off to Frances.

    The next challenge is fitting them on board. ... mathematics say... ummm... probably. But of course it's not's that simple, so stay tuned!  You can't leave feedback here but you can if you go to our blog HERE or our Facebook Page HERE. We'd love to hear from you.


  •   2nd May, 2018

    Less than 4 weeks to go until D (Departure) Day

    In many a movie there's often a time when metaphorically "the cavalry comes along"....and against all odds, everyone is saved - and that's what exactly what's happened to us.

    With Lions Recycle For Sight only able to fill less than half of the spectacles we had requested, it put the Eyeglass Assist Solomon Islands project in jeopardy. Without sufficient time left to sort enough recycled spectacles we turned our focus towards new glasses, expecting that we would need to purchase them. We were hoping that companies - suppliers, distributors or importers would have "old stock" that they would be prepared to sell at a price we could afford. So, deep in the depths of despair, we started searching for a solution to this our latest hurdle. But we had come too far to give in at this late stage and we believed that we might still be able to cut enough corners to make the project viable.

    That's when the first of the cavalry stepped in, Paul Kelly from PKA Products in Brisbane (www.pkaproducts.com.au). He spoke to his importer (auslinktrading.com) and they managed to find 800 pairs of old stock (but new and perfectly serviceable) and they were happy to supply them to the project without any cost. Frances and I were taken aback by Paul's generous offer, it's not something we had expected. With Paul's help we had made a promising start to this new challenge.

    Over a period of many days making many phone calls and sending emails to companies involved with eyeglasses, we stumbled across Chris Boydell, managing director of a company called "On The Nose" (www.onthenose.com.au). A few emails passed back and forth and one thing led to another, and Chris told us that he could supply us with the glasses we needed (he had 5,800 pairs available) and he said "from our point of view, if you are giving these to needy people, then we don't want to charge you". We were speechless. It's not something we expected - we hadn't approached any business to donate spectacles to the project, time was not on our side, but here were two businesses - On the Nose and PKA products who, out of kindness and compassion, were doing just that.

    Their generosity will be a major factor in the Solomon Islands Project becoming a reality and giving 10,000 people in remote places there better sight. We'd appreciate if everyone visit their Facebook pages and "like" them. And if in anyway you can support them personally or via your business, you know that you are dealing with companies and people who want to help make a difference. If this story doesn't make you feel good then we're not really sure what will. Our sincere thanks again to OnTheNose and PKA Products.


  • 28th April

  • l 


  • 12th April, 2018
    Only six weeks until we depart for the Solomon Islands

    We're back in Brisbane and moving on to the next phase of the project –  preparations before departure for the Solomons. I've heard it said that nothing said in a sentence before the word “but” is not important, however...that is not always the end of the story, as far as we are concerned.

    The good news is that we have received the official Immigration Department documentation that grants us permission to enter the Solomon Islands, a process we instigated many weeks ago but has finally been procured. We now must move onto Customs and Quarantine clearance, which, in theory should be easier. In theory...but... (there we are again), we are quietly confident.

    On the BUT side: Since March, 2017 we have been working closely with both the Solomon Islands government and Lions Recycle For Sight Australia to enable the project to achieve it's goal of fitting and supplying 10,000 pairs of spectacles to people living in remote regions of the Solomon Islands. This support is essential for the project to succeed - the Solomon Islands Government: in order to recognize and support a need in their country and to facilitate arrangements to allow us to do what we said we would; and, also Recycle For Sight to supply us with the spectacles.

    Only within the last 48 hours Recycle For Sight has advised us that they will not be able to supply us with all the glasses we have previously requested. They recently filled a large order and our request had not been taken into consideration. What this means is that there is now insufficient time left for them to accumulate and sort the number required for our project.

    Of the 10,000 pairs requested we have just been provided by Lions with approximately 4,000 pairs and we will hopefully be supplied with another 1,000 before our intended departure date, but there are no guarantees. We have worked tirelessly to make this a reality over the last year and so we are not prepared to give up. We sincerely thank the people who have supported us and understand and appreciate the program's goals, you have our heartfelt gratitude.

    In order to undertake the actual voyage to the Solomon Islands and thus embark upon the on-the-ground phase of the project, we must now determine the minimum amount of spectacles needed in order to make the investment of time and effort worthwhile. We have therefore decided that we need to source at least another 3,500 pairs of reading glasses and, because of the time limitations, they will most likely need to be new rather than recycled. We are hoping that a company will see the value in what we are doing and come to our rescue but at the same time we are trying to source superseded styles from wholesale outlets or importers in Australia and hope that they will supply them without charge. We realize that this is probably unlikely and therefore we may need to buy them. So, we will attempt to raise further funds to cover the unexpected extra cost of the glasses. It is a tall order but we are doing this because we believe it is a good thing and we will do whatever is within our power to ensure the project's goals are achieved. 

    If anyone has any ideas or is willing to do anything to help us overcome this unexpected obstacle then we would appreciate any help given. We are asking everyone to please just do the best they can to spread our message and help make the project a reality. You can contact us through our website contact page or via our phone number referred to on the site. We need your help. It is very regretful that this has occurred but we must move forward and we want to stress that, regardless of the above situation, the Lions Club Recycle For Sight Program team work very hard, doing so on a volunteer basis and they deserve everyone's support. (photo is of Frances sorting the glasses on hand).

  • 21st February, 2018 - We've very happy to announce that the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission has assessed our application and we are now declared as a Registered Australian Charity and are able to use the Registered Charity Tick as an endorsement.   

  • 14th February, 2018 - We've organized a raffle with prizes donated by sponsors and friends, totalling over $3.000 in prizes.  Tickets are only $5 each and will be drawn on the 28th April at 6 pm AEST. To see details of prizes just CLICK HERE. If you would like to buy a ticket directly from us please make a direct deposit to our bank account (same as on our donations page):

    Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
    Name: Eyeglass Assist
    Account No.:10489666

    in denominations of the number of tickets  (i.e.$5,$10,etc.,.) and send us an email through our Contact page and we'll email the details of your ticket(s)

    Please note:
    due to freight costs the raffle is only open to people in located in Australia.

  • 3rd February, 2018 - Craig Bush from ABC Radio Gipplsand interview with Frances and Paul about the Solomon Islands Eyeglass Assist Project.  Frances grew up on a dairy farm at Nambrok just out of Sale, thus the local connection. Just click in the icon below to listen to the interview.
    audio icon

  • 27th January, 2018 -  We were interviewed by Greg Bayliss on ABC Radio Canberra on Saturday Breakfast. It was great fun - Just click the icon below to listen

  • January, 2018 -  Fund-raising is ticking over but we are finding it hard going to attract sponsorship or donations from organisations or companies.  The good news is that with the assistance of Redland City Marina and by making other alternative arrangements and trying to cut as many corners as we safely can, we have managed to reduce the funds we need to $30,000.  So far donations total $9,000 so we are well on the way (please see our updated Donation Gauge on the front page).  Some time ago we applied for registration as a charity organisation with the ACNC and through them DGR status with the ATO (which makes donations tax deductible in Australia) but it is an extremely complicated and time consuming process and it may not be resolved for a number of months which may be too late for us. The ability to access many grants is dependant on whether we have DGR status.

  • December, 2017 -  First live presentation of Eyeglass Assist which we undertook at the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club.  The presentation was well received and we had a number of inciteful questions from the audience at the end. Thanks to all the people who came and supported us.   If there are any groups/clubs or organisations out there who think that they would enjoy an interesting and compassionate story then please email via our Contact Page.  Our plan is to make our way south from Brisbane to Tasmania and would be more than happy to present Eyeglass Assist along the way.  We plan to return to Brisbane by around late March.  The presentation goes for about 45 minutes. 

  • November, 2017 - BCN National Television News report on EA sessions at Niue  watch it here - edited only for our segment or you can watch the entire News broadcast here

  • November, 2017 - New video link to Lions R4S project in Mexico - very moving. Watch it here

  • October, 2017 - new logo created for our website courtesy of Paterson Interiors
    New story from Fiji -
    Lucky Fiji Day

  • October, 2017 -Eyeglass Assist conducted a 4 day session at Niue with the help of other cruisers we did the entire country - our 13th ! - watch the new video here.

  • New stories coming out of the Niue program:-

    Driving Blind
    The Beautiful Niece
    Too Good To Use
    What People Are Now Saying

  • August 2017 - Eyeglass Assist conducted a session on  Palmerston Island (in The Cook Islands) - an isolated island in the South Pacific - watch the new video here.


  • Yachts Matin d'Or and Freycinet II conduct eyeglass fitting sessions in villages in Fiji in 2013 - new video release available here

  • We've just designed and produced a poster (pdf) which is available to download and we are asking all our supporters to download it, print it out and post it on a noticeboard at your workplace or sports or social club or anywhere else you consider will raise our profile.  Just click on the thumbnail below to download.

                                      poster thumbnail

  •  We've added a Donation Gauge on our Home page to show the the current state of our fundraising.  We'll update this on a regular basis.  

  • We've added some new photos from Mauphiaa and Palmerston Islands - check them out here.



This website was designed and created by Paul and Frances Tudor-Stack