A. Doepel

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Alex. Doepel studied Photography at the Ballarat School of Mines around 1904. [1]


See also


Ballarat Amateur Photographic Association


At Craig’s Royal hotel last night, a complimentary banquet was tenderer by a number of friends to Mr Alex. Doepel on the occasion of his leaving Ballarat to fulfil the duties of State school drawing-master in the Camperdown and Colac districts. The chair was occupied by Mr W.. Binstead, who had on his right the guest of the evening and Messrs Molloy and Bechervaise, and on his left Mr Bradbury (secretary of the Iron workers’ Association) and Mr R. Nicholl. The vice-chairmen were Messrs H. W. H. Irvine and Mr A. Slack. Apologies were received from Professor Alf. Smith and Mr Morrow, both of whom agreed with the holding of the banquet, and referred in terms of high praise to Mr Doepel. After the repast, provided by Host Bentley in his usual admirable style, had been partaken of, the chairman proposed the first toast that of “The Queen” — which was received right royally and with musical honors. The next toast was that of “ Our Guest,” and in proposing it the chair man spoke in glowing terms of Mr Doepel, both as an artist and as a man fond of scien tific pursuits. He (the chairman) felt sure that all the gentlemen present would feel the loss of Mr Doepel very deeply, but they had the satisfaction of knowing that their loss would be his (Mr Doepel’s) gain. (Ap plause.) A song by Mr Slack (“Sally in our ally”) was here well rendered, aud elicited loud applause. Mr H. W. H. Irvine then, on behalf of a few friends of Mr Doepel, pre sented him with a patent camera, and expressed a wish that the gift, though not valuable, would be treasured by Mr Doepel (who was an amateur - photographer), and would serve to remind him of his Ballarat friends, not only indoors, but also in the open air. (Applause.) After a song, entitled “ Will-o’-the-wisp,” by Mr R. Nicholl, Mr Doepel rose to respond and was received with long and continued applause. He said that if ever there was a happy moment in his life it was when he felt that he had the sympathy of his friends, and the present was such an occasion. He had been associated with Ballarat since childhood, and he had always received kindness from those with whom he had come in contact. He then referred to the Amateur Photographic Association, of which he was a member, and spoke of several gentlemen connected with that society whom he thought would occupy, high positions in the future. He again thanked those present for tendering him the banquet, and, also for their kind present to him, and then resumed his seat amidst applause. The other toasts were:— “Ballarat societies (associated with our guests),” proposed by Mr R. Toy, and responded to by Mr Molloy on behalf of the Ballarat East School of Design and Public Library, by Mr Figgis on behalf of the Amateur Photographic Society, and by Messrs Lindsay and Bradbury on behalf of the Ballarat Ironworkers’ Association. “The ladies,” proposed by Mr Nicholl, and responded to by Mr R.S. Foley. “The Press,” proposed.by Mr W. E. Burbidge, and responded to by the representatives of The Star and other journals. “ The Chairman” and “Host,” proposed by Messrs Martell and Irvine respectively, were responded to by Messrs Bentley and Binstead. The toast of the “Hon. Secretary” (Mr A. Slack), was also honored amidst cheers, for to him it was said was mainly due the success of the gathering. Be cause those already mentioned, the following gentleman contributed vocal items, Mr George Herbert acting as accompanist:— Messr Wells, Uren, E. Doepel, Hall, Biddle, ...erry, Kift, Figgis, and Hartley.' The National Anthem brought a very enjoyable evening to a close at an early hour.[2]

Presentation to Mr. A. Doepel.
Mr. A. Doepel, the Government teacher of drawing in the Camperdown district, was made the recipient of a presentation on Saturday night by the pupils of his senior class in this town. The affair took place at the Camperdown State school. Every member of the class at present in the district attended, and there were also present, by special invitation, Mr. John Walls, chairman of the East Riding Board of Advice, Messrs. H. Young, F. Bae, A. Henderson, and others. Mr. Young referred to the occasion that had drawn them together, and suggested that Mr. Walls should take the chair on the occasion. The chairman expressed the great pleasure he felt at being present that night. He mentioned the gratification that was caused to all who took an interest in such matters by the announcement made some months ago that the Education Department intended appointing a drawing master for the district State schools. This feeling was enhanced when it was found that the first appointment had been conferred on one whose abilities were unquestioned, and whose genial and obliging disposition had won for him the good wishes of all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Mr. Doepel had not only been willing to perform the duties devolving upon him in connection with the department, but he had made it a point to meet all the young people of Camperdown who were desirous of gaining a knowledge of drawing and of giving them instruction, which was an additional source of gratification. While regretting that Mr. Doepel was on the eve of leaving the district, that feeling was tempered, and they became more reconciled to his departure, by the thought that it was for an easier position, and that he obtained by the transfer substantial promotion. (Cheers.) When they heard of his proposed departure his pupils resolved to meet him that night and present him with a testimonial. Apart from his strict duties as a teacher of drawing, they all knew that Mr. Doepel had made many friends in the place. No one that had come in contact with him but found him possessed of a fund of general information that made his company sought for on all occasions. He expressed the hope that Mr. Doepel would return to the district before long to fulfil a promise made by him to give an entertainment, which he (the chairman) had no doubt would be a very interesting one indeed. He would not occupy their time any longer, but would call upon Mr. Beckwith, who, he understood, was to some extent the 'father" of the movement, to make the presentation. Mr. Beckwith said he was very pleased to be present to take a part in doing honor to to his teacher. He bad been asked by his fellow pupils, as a mark of affection and esteem, to present Mr. Doepel with the following address, and the accompanying dressing-case : —
'We the undersigned members of your senior drawing class have heard of your projected transfer to Warrnambool, with mixed feelings of gladness and sorrow. We rejoice to know that the change means to you substantial and richly deserved promotion: but we deeply regret the necessity which has arisen by which we will be deprived of your much prized instructions. As your pupils for the last twelve months, we desire, dear sir, to bear testimony, not only to the value of your teaching, but also the deep interest manifested by you in all things pertaining to our advancement. Whilst being a teacher you have at all times proved a friend, and it is as both that we have to express our sorrow at your near departure from among as. We feel indeed that our loss is heavy, and that it will be most difficult matter to replace one so thoroughly competent in every respect as yourself. We ask you to accept of the accompanying dressing case as a slight token of the high esteem in which you are held by your late pupils in this district, whose heartfelt wish is that you may prosper in that new sphere of labor to which you are on the eve of being transferred. We remain, dear sir, yours faithfully, Wm. Fielder, Wm. Beckwith, C. A. Hudson, Duncan Walk, Louis Young, Jas. M'Crea, Jas. McKay, Jas. Robertson, Abbot Robertson, Wm. Whitson." Mr. Doepel, in reply, said it was a matter of very great surprise to him when he heard of this proposed presentation. He felt when he first came to Camperdown and was treated with such marked kindness, that he could do nothing but the same to the people here. He had previously associated Ballarat with hospitality or kindly feeling, but he felt that he must now change his tone, and associate the terms with Camperdown. He might say with regard to his work here that it was indeed a very great source of gratification to find that so many young men had shown an interest in the class for mechanical drawing. He felt very much indebted indeed to Mr. Young for the assistance he had given him. That gentleman had done all he could to make the class a success. He was pleased to say that all who joined the class worked as hard as they could, and with one or two exceptions, where illness or absence from the district interfered, the attendance had been really splendid. He could not help thinking that their future was just as they themselves made it. He was very pleased to know that his stay in Camperdown had been sufficiently long to give his pupils at least a fair idea of the drawing instruments. He knew of one or two little inventions that would be patented in connection with them before long. He again thanked his former pupils for the very handsome and useful present, and his friends generally for the marked kindness that had always been shown him. (Cheers.) Mr. Beckwith said he had to apologise for the absence of Mr. Fielder, who was 50 miles away that night, but who would have very much liked to have been present. The chairman expressed the hope that the work which had been so well begun would not be left alone now that Mr. Doepel was leaving them. He thought that the district was too large, and that the distances were more than ought reasonably be expected of anyone to do. He hoped that the work would be continued, as it was one of the grandest things imaginable to be able to put things before one on paper. With reference to patents for inventions it was just possible that in Camperdown there might be some young man who would yet strike out in that direction. He hoped that Mr. Doepel's successor would shortly be with them, and if of the same disposition as Mr. Doepel, he would soon draw a class around him. Mr. Doepel referred to the part taken by Mr. Young in inducing him to come to Camperdown. Referring to the possibilities in store for young men, he mentioned the case of a young friend of his who, with a knowledge of shorthand and drawing combined, had won a good position for himself. Mr. F. Rae spoke in full endorsement of the complimentary things said regarding the guest of the evening. It was his opinion that the re- gularity and punctuality displayed by Mr. Doepel had been very gratifying indeed. They always knew that if he (Mr. Doepel) had engaged to be at the school at a certain hour on any day he would be there up to time. His relations with teachers and scholars had been of the kindliest nature, and his appearance at the school was always looked forward to with pleasure. His moral power over the children was great, and he had never to use harsh treatment to enforce obedience. Mr. Young referred to the effort he had put forward to induce Mr. Doepel to ac-cept the position of drawing master to this district. The difficulties of covering the district were great, especially for the drawing master; but it was very evident that Mr. Doepel's heart was in the work. He felt that the class for mechanical drawing was one of the best ever established in the district. Mr. A. Hendersonreferred referred to the loss the community would sustain from the departure of Mr. Doepel. Mr. Beckwith. on behalf of the pupils, thought too much could not be said in praise of their teacher for the trouble he had taken with them. He moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Doepel. The vote was carried with acclamation, and Mr. Doepel briefly replied. All present then partook of refreshments provided by the thoughfulness of Mrs. Young. On the motion of Mr. Doepel seconded by.Mr. Young a hearty vote of thanks was passsed to the chairman. A similar compliment was tendered to Mr. and Mrs. Young. Verses of "Auld Lang Syne" and the National Anthem having been sung, and sundry cheers vociferously given, the procecdings terminated, and a very pleasant meeting was brought to a close.[3]


  1. Ballarat School of Mines General Register, 1904. (cat. no. 10239.1)
  2. Ballarat Star, 02 July 1887.
  3. Camperdown Chronical, 16 October 1888.

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--Rachelle Vanderlinden 16:10, 28 May 2015 (AEST)

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