Vale – Jim Doyle
Described as idiosyncratic, cryptic, wise, contrary, well read, gentle, generous, honest, and compassionate, yet these still in no way capture the attributes of Jim Doyle, beloved teacher, House Master and coach from 1970 until 1998.
Those who engaged in conversation with Jim likened it to an odyssey without a destination – the terrain at times fascinating, the detours frequent and the direction seldom predictable. His English lessons were much the same, which is why they were so fondly remembered by generations of Mentonians. Jim’s pedagogical method commanded the attention of all students from the recalcitrant to the intellectual because of his humour and gifted storytelling.
He had the capacity to carry out many challenging responsibilities without fuss, or fanfare. One year he was Acting Head of English, House Master, teacher of religious education, hockey coach, tennis coach, and responsible for a full complement of English classes.
He did it all with good humour and composure. Finlay Anderson House embodied Jim’s standards. They were always competitive, but never obsessed with winning. Consistently good natured even in the heat of the battle, and generous in acknowledging the efforts and feats of their opponents, it was as if they had internalised Jim’s attitude.
He coached hockey for 29 years with some success, coaching several Knight Trophy teams, and many State league players in Victorian teams. His quiet, encouraging style of positive coaching has brought the best out of hundreds of budding hockey players over the years.
Jim’s three sons, Tim (Class of 1977), Greg (Class of 1979) and Malachi (Class of 1988), all benefited from Jim’s wisdom and a Mentone education. For all that Jim achieved, the facts, statistics, length of service, or the expert execution of the roles he fulfilled; he will always be remembered for his decency and dignity.
Labore et Honore.