Topic: Doctor Peter Lippa

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Doctor Peter Lippa was the first doctor in Kawerau and was heavily involved in the formation of many community groups during Kawerau’s early development.

Peter And Sigrid LippaFor thirty years Peter Lippa lived close to the Danube. He exchanged the Danube for the Yellow River and finally the Yellow River for the Tarawera River and the waters of Lake Rotoiti. Peter Lippa was Kawerau's only doctor until Errol Spencer arrived in 1957. There would be few who did not have their moments with Peter and even fewer who will not remember him other than with cheerful affection. He was known as a man who gave freely of himself as he perceived the need and did so quietly. One gift which illustrates much that was Peter Lippa was the donation of the greater part of his library to the Kawerau College.

He enjoyed bridge and was an active member of the Bridge Club for many years. The Lippa Cup remains the first major tournament of the Club. He found time amidst his busy schedule to represent the Borough, as our first member, on the Bay of Plenty Hospital Board. Of all his known community activities his association with the Kawerau Rotary Club and the Kawerau St John Ambulance Association are most frequently recalled. He was a foundation member of the Kawerau Rotary Club. Peter served the club as vice-president in 1962-63 and then led the Club as president in 1963-64. In 1964-65 Peter was invited to serve on the Rotary District Committee as a member of the World Community Service Committee responsible for the promotion and development of international service projects aimed at improving the well-being of people of the under-developed nations. A mission hospital and school in Western Samoa were the beneficiaries of his generosity.

He was also a foundation member of the Kawerau St. John. Dr Lippa was appointed as the first Divisional Surgeon when the Kawerau St. John Ambulance Brigade was formed in 1955. Later that year the St. John's Association was formed with Doctor Lippa becoming the first president. The early meetings of the Association were held in the small waiting room of his original surgery. His dedication to the St. John movement never faltered. His main objectives for the Order was firstly gaining a section and secondly a hall. The section was achieved by Dr Lippa persuading the Crown to establish the River Road section as a reserve for St. John Ambulance buildings. The first ambulance garage was built with timber donated by the original contractors of Tasman Mill "F.M.R." Dr Lippa then turned his committee's eyes to a more modern and up-to-date building. This took nine and a half years for that goal to be reached. The main fund raising scheme for this project was the sixpence-a-week ambulance scheme-the first to be introduced anywhere in New Zealand. Building of the St. John Ambulance Hall commenced in 1964 and on completion in 1967 Dr. Lippa decided that the time had come for him to step down as president. For his services to the Order Dr. Lippa was appointed as serving Brother of the Order of St. John.

Dr Peter Lippa retired from his practise to live at Lake Rotoiti in November 1974 and passed away on the 7th October 1976.

He was featured as one of our Early Residents in an exhibition held at the Sir James Fletcher Kawerau Museum, September 2010 - August 2011.

Doctor Peter Lippa


First Names:Peter
Last Name:Lippa