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Reverend Daniel Draper : 09-December-2011
Reverend Daniel Draper : 09-December-2011
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A memorial tablet commemorates Reverend Daniel Draper, who influenced the choice of a Gothic design for Wesley Church while chairman of the Victoria district, was a minister of the church, and died along with his wife and 240 other people in the sinking of the "London" in the Bay of Biscay in 1866.

Draper's thirty years of ministry in Australia were divided almost equally between the colonies of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. A genuine Wesleyan minister, he distinguished himself by his sagacious leadership, his practical bent showing itself in the building of churches and schools and in the establishment and consolidation of Methodist societies not only in urban areas but on the goldfields and in rural communities.

In 1855 the Australian Wesleyan Church, having been granted independence of the British Conference, held its first Australian conference, and appointed Draper to Melbourne as chairman of the Victoria district. There he paid regular visits to the goldfields and rural communities, encouraging the erection of chapels. In Melbourne he was largely responsible for the building of three large bluestone churches, in Lonsdale Street (Wesley Church), North Melbourne and St Kilda.

The committee of the Draper Memorial Fund have in addition to a monumental tablet at Wesley Church,endowed a scholarship at Wesley College, to be called Draper scholarship, so that in connection with this school his names shall be worthily perpetuated.The value of this scholarship will be about £25 or £30 per annum, and it will be competed for next year; but the terms and conditions annexed to it have yet to be arranged. 
Excerpt from President's Report, Wesley College
Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (Vic),
Saturday 29 December 1866.


Address:148 Lonsdale Street, Wesley Uniting Church, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.810195
Long: 144.968133
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1866
Front Inscription

To the memory of
The Reverend
Born at Wickham, Hampshire, England,
August 28th 1810,
who perished, together with Mrs Draper
and more than two hundred and forty others in the
foundering of the steam ship London,
in the Bay of Biscay, January 11th 1866.

Possessing unfeigned piety and superior qualifications, he was called into the Wesleyan Ministry in 1834 . For thirty years he laboured in the principal Circuits of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, and was in every place eminently instrumental in promoting the establishment of the Redeemer's Kingdom. Gifted with a well cultivated mind, exemplary for the union of dignity and cheerfulness, of unwearied zeal, uniform courtesy, & great practical sagacity and being a good Minister of Jesus Christ; he was extensively love and honoured by the Methodist people throughout these Colonies, and also by the Brethren in the Ministry, who elected him as PRESIDENT OF THE FIFTH AUSTRALASIAN CONFERENCE, and as their REPRESENTATIVE to the BRITISH CONFERENCE OF 1865. While conscientiously attached to the Church of his early choice he cordially cooperated with Christians of other Denominations in efforts for the propagation of the Gospel and the relief of suffering humanity. In relations of private life he was distinguished by gentleness, affection and fidelity. For several days before the Ship sank he was incessant in administering to his fellow sufferers, and was often heard to pray " O God may those that are not Converted be Converted now :- hundreds of them." 

THE SUBSCRIBERS to the DRAPER MEMORIAL FUND desirous of perpetuating their sense of his worth and Christian heroism in the face of dreadful death, and glorifying GOD in him , HAVE ENDOWED A SCHOLARSHIP IN WESLEY COLLEGE , AND ERECTED THIS TABLET.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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