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  • January 07 2021
  • Family, Resident Stories

Resident Feature: Allan Ripper

BORN in August 1926 to a Brisbane Dairy Farmer, Allan Ripper was raised by his neighbours as his own mother had died during childbirth, and his father was unable to care for him. Allan kept his family name ‘Ripper’. After leaving school in grade 5, Allan joined the Royal Australian Navy and became 1st Signalman (Morse Code). Post war, Allan collected motor cycles which he sold in 1947 to start his business Queensland Nameplates. This business is still operating successfully today, some 73 years later!

During this time, Allan met and fell in love with his to-be lifelong partner, Mavis Burton.

Mavis was born in October 1928 to a Brisbane Whip Maker. Upon finishing high school, Mavis became a draftswoman, specialising in house design. Allan and Mavis met at a local bush ball, where Mavis’ mother expressed an instant dislike for her beau, declaring “if you marry that man, you will never have a home”.

Allan is a distant relation to both William Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan fame (Great Great Great Uncle), and Jane Gilbert (married to Alfred Gilbert), Allan’s Great Great Great Great Aunt! William Gilbert made up half of the Victorian theatrical duo Gilbert & Sullivan, playwright and composer of 14 operas including The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Alfred Gilbert was a 19th Century Sculptor, given a studio and suite of apartments in Windor Castle by Queen Victoria, to create his most famous works: Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in London’s Piccadilly Circus, Queen Alexandra Memorial, and the Queen Victoria sculpture.

Married for 69 years, both Allan and Mavis shared a love of gardening, playing golf, and going out for breakfast at Hinze Dam. They have two children, Pam and Mark, plus four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Allan and Mavis came to HillView Merrimac in 2019. Sadly, Allan sadly passed away earlier this year. Mavis will happily tell daughter Pam, “I am well looked after here and I have a lovely big room. I enjoy walking to the sun room to watch the golfers after lunch.”

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