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Topp, Charles Alfred (1847–1932)

Widespread regret will be felt particularly by those associated with the older generation of the Victorian public service, at the death of Mr. Charles Alfred Topp, which occurred yesterday at his home in Beaver street, East Camberwell. Mr Topp, who was born in Huddersfield, England, was aged 85 years, and was the last of three brothers, one of which the late A. M. Topp, was a leading member of staff at The Argus and the third son of the late St. John Topp, a well known member of the Bar in Victoria. Educated at the Melbourne Grammar School and at Melbourne University, Mr Topp graduated LL B, and was called to the Bar. He did not practice, however, but joined the Victorian Education department as inspector of schools in 1869. He became superintendent of the Training Institute, and in 1884 was principal of the Training College. Two years later he was warden of the University Senate.

Mr. Topp was appointed chairman of the Board of Public Health in 189o and in 1894, under-secretary. It was as under-secretary that he was associated with the first Federal elected constitution in Victoria, work which he did with distinction. Mr. Topp was awarded the Imperial Service Order created after Federation. He occupied consecutively the posts of audit commissioner member of the Public Service Commission, and public service commissioner, and he was in fact, the first single public service commissioner. After retiring he served on wage boards and on the indeterminate sentences board. Older members of the service recall his influence upon their careers and his zeal for the highest ideal of public service. For many years he was a member of the committee of the Melbourne Atheneum. He resigned only six months ago. He was formerly president of that institution.

Mr. Topp leaves a widow and one married daughter. His only son, Mr. Frank Topp, died in 1908. His funeral will leave St John's Church of England, East Malvern, for the Boroondara Cemetery at half past 2 o'clock this afternoon after a service which will be conducted by the Rev. J. H. Dewhurst.

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'Topp, Charles Alfred (1847–1932)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/topp-charles-alfred-4735/text27276, accessed 25 November 2017.

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