Letters of resignation from the Victorian Optical Association

Catalogue Number: 1350
Letters of resignation from the Victorian Optical Association
Category: Papers
Sub-Category: Letter, notes, memos
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1937
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Description Of Item: (1) Typed letter on quarto sized grey paper with letterhead 'Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd Consulting Opticians' dated July 30 1937 signed by H E Coles tendering his resignation from the Association because of his disagreement with the action of the Association in voicing an adverse opinion about the medical profession in 'Smith's Weekly'. (2) Typed letter on quarto sized cream paper with letterhead 'John Browning Pty Ltd Opticians Established 1765' initialled per John Browning Pty Ltd dated August 31 1937 returning annual subscription account because Mr S Raphael had resigned some time ago. (3) Carbon copy of a typed letter on quarto sized red paper dated September 10 1937 addressed to HE Coles from the Hon Secretary acknowledging and accepting his resignation
Historical Significance: The Optician's Registration Act had been passed by parliament in 1935 after many years of medical opposition that delayed the passge of the Bill while other Australian States had registration for optometrists. The medical profession also hampered efforts to establish a four-year university-level optometry course and refused to teach optometrists. See Cole BL (2009) Bertram Nathan FIO FSMC Key figure in the history of optometric education Clin Exp Optom 2009; 92 (6):511-518 for an account of this period. In 1937 the Registration Board was battling the medical profession on the form of the optometry course. It seems that the Association took some of these issues to the press. Earle Coles (pictured) was the owner of a large firm of optometrists Coles and Garrard which was commercial in its business practices and tended to oppose the enhancement of optpmetric education (there would be too few optometrists and they would be too expensive) and also opposed restrictions on professional behaviour (eg advertising). His business did eye examinations but also did a great deal of dispensing of ophthalmologists prescriptions and did not want the medical profession off-side. S Raphael was the owner of another sizable optometry firm, also commercially inclined. Both Coles and Raphael were members of the first registration Board of Victoria (see photo Cat No 111).
Condition: Good
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 2

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