Noel Atkins was born on the 17th October 1925 in Invermay, Launceston, Tasmania. He was one of five children (4 sisters) and spent his early schooling days at Invermay Primary then Launceston High where he was head prefect in his final year. He attended teacher training college in Hobart before returning to Launceston to begin his teaching career. His career took him to Ulverstone, King Island as Principal then in 1963 he was appointed Principal of Parklands High School in Burnie where he remained until his retirement in 1985.
He had a significant sporting career in football playing for Launceston and captain coach of North Launceston and East Devonport where he had the honour of coaching a very young Darrel Baldock. He represented the North, South and North West of Tasmania during his career and represented Tasmania on 3 occasions. In 2005 he was inducted in the Inaugural AFL Tas Hall of Fame and in 2013 he was named a Hall of Fame Legend.
As well as serving his community as a Principal he was a Rotarian for over 50 years earning a Paul Harris Fellowship Award in the 1980s and a Sapphire pin in 2015. He was also a Burnie Alderman for ten years.
Noel always had an interest in antiques and began his collection from an early age. His early pottery included Royal Worcester and Moorcroft but just before his retirement he purchased his first piece of Doulton Lambethware at an auction in Burnie and from there his passion for this style of pottery grew to eventually include over 350 pieces. He became an avid reader about Royal Doulton, its history and the history of those who produced their work. He was well known in many of the antique shops in Tasmania and Melbourne as he spent many hours searching for his treasured pieces.
Noel met Alan Carter late in 2015 when Alan came to visit him in Burnie. After having collected all of Alan’s Antique Guides over the years, he was very pleased when Alan agreed to sell his collection through Lawsons Auctioneers. Noel’s collection arrived in Sydney just before he died on December 12th 2015.