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Lipman, Abraham (1849–1936)

Mr. Abraham Lipman, who, as indicated in our last issue, was in a low condition on Friday night, passed away in the presence of members of his family at his residence, Alice street, Grafton, on Saturday morning at 5.30 o'clock, at the ripe old age of 86½ years.

Born at Muswellbrook on December 31, 1849, Abraham Lipman, on leaving school at an early age, went into a solicitor's office in Sydney, after which he secured an appointment with a commercial firm, Messrs John Isaacs and Co., 65 years ago. In their interests he commenced travelling on the North Coast, where he was a successful and highly respected commercial traveller for many years. Those were the days before the advent of the motor car when travelling was done on horseback along bridle tracks on the North Coast. In 1878 he was married in Sydney to Phoebe Rebecca Abrahams, and the young couple took up their residence in Grafton, where they established their permanent home.

Mr. Lipman immediately entered with keen interest into public affairs. He was a foundation member of the old volunteer fire brigade in the days when drastic penalties were inflicted for non-attendance. He was appointed to the Grafton District Hospital Board and continued to hold office on that body for many years. He was also a member of the C.P. and A. Society. When the trustees were appointed for Susan and Elizabeth Islands, Mr. Lipman became the first secretary, and he retained that position until the time of his death. He was also chairman and secretary of the old Aborigines Protection Board, which functioned for a number of years prior to the outbreak of the Great War. For many years Mr. Lipman held office on the old Public School Board until it ceased to function. He was a foundation member of the Grafton Benevolent Home. This was an institution which strongly appealed to him and he was first hon. secretary. Subsequently he became chairman of the committee and he was still holding that position at the time of his death. He was one of the first directors of the Grafton Gas Lighting Co., and occupied a position on the board of that company until the last.

In his younger days Mr. Lipman threw his energies into charitable work, and was always prominent in the organisation of carnivals for assisting different objects and especially the Grafton District Hospital. He was also interested in the Casino District Hospital, and was a life member of that institution.

Mr. Lipman was most energetic as an organiser, and he was hon. secretary for many important social functions and charitable efforts. These included the secretaryship to the committee which provided a banquet for the State Governor, the late Lord Carrington, when he visited Grafton in 1886. On the night of the banquet his son, the late Carrington (Carr) Lipman was born. Mr. Lipman was called away from the banquet, and Lord Carrington was told that Mrs. Lipman had presented her husband with a son. Lord Carrington agreed when Mr. Lipman asked for the privilege of naming the son after his Excellency, and 12 months afterwards the Governor sent a telegram to indicate that he remembered the first birthday of this young Lipman who was named after him.

Entering with his characteristic enthusiasm into the political life of the community, Mr. Lipman acted as secretary to the late Sir John See, the late John McFarlane, the late John Thomson and Mr. W. A. Zuill, in their election campaigns. He was also secretary of the Grafton-Casino Railway Committee at the time of the turning of the first sod in 1901.

As a Freemason, the late Mr. Lipman had a record of over 64 years membership, having been initiated in Lodge Robert Burns in Sydney in 1872, and he was a foundation member of another Sydney Institution, Lodge Tranquility. In Grafton he was a member of Lodge Prince Leopold and of Clarence Royal Arch Chapter. He also had the distinction of being the oldest member of the hon. magistracy in the district.

The late Mr. Lipman was ten years older than Mrs. Lipman but their birthdays were both on the same day, December 31, and throughout their long lives that day has always been the occasion of much family rejoicing, for the anniversaries of both birthdays could be celebrated together on New Year's Eve. About eight years ago Mr. and Mrs. Lipman celebrated their golden wedding.

Mrs. Lipman survives with three sons and three daughters. The sons are Messrs J. P., C. S. and A. A. Lipman, and the daughters are Miss L. Lipman and Mesdames Julius Cohen (Toowoomba) and V. Herman (Bellevue Hill, Sydney). There are 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Miss Rachel (Ray) Lipman, sister of the deceased also survives, and is residing with the widow in Alice Street, Grafton.

Original publication

  • Clarence Valley Daily Examiner (NSW), 27 July 1936

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Lipman, Abraham (1849–1936)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/lipman-abraham-13962/text24868, accessed 21 October 2019.

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