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TRIPE, William Borrowdale: Obituary


From the Evening Post (NZ), Volume LXXV, Issue 40, 17 February 1908, Page 2.

The death of Dr. William Borrowdale Tripe, which occurred at his Residence, Upper Willis-street, yesterday, although not altogether unexpected will be generally regretted. About seven months ago the deceased gentleman, while walking in the vicinity of his home, missed his footing and fell heavily on the kerbstone, breaking three ribs, and suffering a severe shock to his system. He made so light of his injury that he did not mention the accident to anyone for some days after it had occurred, and even then he did not consider it necessary that he should take a rest. A severe attack of influenza followed ; but, although he was still suffering from the effects of his accident, he would not go to bed. About the middle of December his health was far from satisfactory, and on Christmas Day he was compelled to take to bed. For some time before his death, which occurred at twelve minutes past four o'clock yesterday morning, he had suffered considerably, and morphia was administered to ease the pain. On Saturday night his condition became serious, and he passed away peacefully in the presence of his wife and family. Throughout his illness he had been attended by Dr. Fyffe, and Dr. Ewart, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital (a relative by marriage), frequently gave the benefit of his professional experience.

The deceased gentleman, who was born in London on 25th July, 1822, and was therefore 85 years of age, was the son of Dr John Tripe, who had had an interesting career, having been in his early life a captain in the British Army, and later a leading surgeon in the Royal Navy. The son was first educated at Bow Grammar School, London, and afterwards he attended the Merchant Taylors' School in that city. At the last-named School he was a contemporary of the Hon. Henry Scotland, who became a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council, and also of the late Venerable Archdeacon Arthur Stock, of Wellington. He elected to follow in the footsteps of his father, and became a member of the medical profession, and he took his degree at the London Hospital. For some time he practiced in partnership with his brother, the late Dr John W. Tripe, in the city of his birth. Hearing that New Zealand was a good friend to a medical man the deceased took passage by the ship Gloucester, bound for Port Chalmers, at which port he landed on Christmas Day, 1858. Soon after his arrival in the colony he made his way. to Rangiora, where ho practiced for some time. The settlement in his days was a struggling one, and Dr. Tripe frequently endured hardships in following his Vocation. On one occasion he was summoned to attend a case 100 miles from Rangiora, and although he had then been working all day and all night, he mounted his horse, and rode away to give the sufferer the benefit of his skill and experience. The journey, which occupied three days, was one attended with considerable discomfort, and some little danger. The weather was not of the best. Several deep rivers, which had not been bridged, had to be negotiated, and over a good part of the ground covered there was not the slightest semblance of a road.

In 1871 Dr. Tripe left Rangiora and settled in Picton, where he built up a private practice, and also carried out the duties of local health officer and immigration officer. He remained in Picton for seven years' (until 1878), and then removed to Wellington, where he resided for the remainder of his life. For many years Dr. Tripe was honorary consulting physician to Wellington Hospital - a position to which he was appointed on the retirement of Dr. France - and he retained the office until his death. He was the oldest medical practitioner in the city, and was invariably selected by the Coroner for post mortem examinations.

On the 14th February, 1859, Dr. Tripe was married at Rangiora to Miss Susan Dorothy Brandon, daughter of Captain John R. Brandon. Last Friday was the 49th anniversary of the deceased gentleman's wedding day. Dr. Tripe is survived by his wife and a family of nine sons and two daughters. The sons are Mr. W. A. Tripe (W. and G. Turnbull and Co's staff), Mr. Dudley Tripe (Bank of New Zealand, Wellington), Mr. Thos. Tripe (Union Steamship Co., Wellington), Mr. Joseph A. Tripe (of Tripe and Young, solicitors), Mr. Septimus Tripe (dental surgeon, Eketahuna), Mr. Walter Tripe (secretary of the Gear Meat Co.), Mr. George Tripe (dentist of this city), and Messrs. A. H. Tripe and C. P. Tripe, who are also residents of Wellington. One of the daughters is the widow of the late Mr. Bertram G. Mitford, who was on the local staff of the Bank of New Zealand, and the other is the wife of the Rev. A. M. Johnson, Vicar of Masterton, who is about to take charge of St. Mark's Parish, Wellington. Dr. J. D. Tripe and Miss Tripe, both of Wanganui, are brother and sister of the deceased gentleman. The late Dr. Tripe, who was highly respected by all who knew him, was a scholarly man and great lover of field sports, in some of which he excelled in his younger days. He was a regular attendant for many years at all the important cricket matches in Wellington, and a liberal contributor to the funds of various athletic bodies. Although lying seriously ill he manifested keen interest in the progress of the recent test matches in Australia, and the newspaper reports of the play were read to him as soon as they were published. The funeral will take place at 9 a.m. to-morrow. A short service will be conducted at St. Peter's Church, where the deceased had regularly worshipped, by the Vicar (Rev. G. P. Davys) and the Rev. A. M. Johnson (son-in-law), and the remainder of the obsequies will be confined to members of the family. The interment will be made at Karori.

From the Evening Post (NZ), Volume LXXV, Issue 40, 17 February 1908, Page 2: OBITUARY. DR. W. B. TRIPE, M.R.C.S.


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