Clair was born in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, and received his Diploma of Optometry in 1948 from the Ontario College of Optometry in Toronto, the predecessor to the School. During his first year of private practice, Clair began sharing his methodical, analytical approach to clinical practice with the students at the College. In fact, throughout his life, he retained a common sense, thoughtful approach to his home life and to his chosen profession. An approach he would quickly tell you, with a mischievous grin, that he learnt in a prairie town with an obscure name like Peapod, Saskatchewan.
Clair was one of the first Canadian optometrists to undertake post graduate research in vision science. For his MS degree, he studied at Ohio State University under Professor Glenn Fry. His exposure to this eminent optometric researcher shaped his view on the importance of the scientific approach to the optometric profession. Over the many years of dedicated service, Clair became instrumental in the development of a scientifically-based curriculum and research-oriented faculty in Canada.
Immediately after receiving the MS degree in 1956, Clair returned to teach at the Ontario College and continued to do so at the new School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo, until his retirement in 1982. Clair was extremely influential in bringing optometry to the University of Waterloo. His ideals were passed along to university and government officials in many influential briefs which did much to ensure the respect and funding necessary for the future growth of the profession within the University of Waterloo.
The School of Optometry building itself embodies in its interface of clinic and research facilities, Clair's concept of what the profession should be: excellence in modern vision care, built on a firm base of scientific understanding.
The Annual Clair Bobier Lecture in Vision was created to recognize and thank Dr. Clair Bobier for his vision for the future of and his contributions to optometry.