Former institute president William 'Bill' Gribble remembered

William 'Bill' Gribble
William 'Bill' Gribble

WILLIAM “Bill” Gribble will be remembered as a witty, intelligent and community-minded man with a “heart of pure gold”.

More than 250 people flocked to the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute on Wednesday to celebrate the life of Mr Gribble, who died on June 2, aged 86.

Institute president Dr Frank Hurley said Mr Gribble had been president from 2000 to 2005 and treasurer from 1998 to 2000. 

“If there is an afterlife, Bill is sitting there among the most decent and truly noble spirits of any age,” Dr Hurley said. 

Born on March 17, 1928, Mr Gribble attended Pleasant Street Primary School and Ballarat College. 

His daughter Catriona Gribble spoke of his undying affection for his family. 

“He was always so proud of all of his children,” she said. 

A Celebration for the Life of Bill Gribble at the Mechanics Institute. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

A Celebration for the Life of Bill Gribble at the Mechanics Institute. PICTURE: LACHLAN BENCE

Son James remembered him as a loveable eccentric who tried to teach him how to sail on Lake Wendouree, despite having no experience in sailing and not being able to swim. 

“The yacht capsized and he lost his wallet and glasses while I floated around in the lake in my lifejacket observing the chaos,” he said. 

“But that was dad, he was always the optimist.” 

Mr Gribble’s desire to be an artist took him on a backpacking adventure in the 1950s. 

He worked in London in winter and spent summers sitting in the sun sketching as he trekked around Europe. 

He met the love of his life, Isabel, in Ballarat in 1956 and they were married for 48 years. 

In 1966 he began working at Bendix Mintex and by 1988 he was chief executive officer of the brake manufacturer.   

Mr Gribble was a member of the Ballarat Golf Club and club golfing champion in 1949. 

He was also the Ballarat School of Mines council president during the 1990s and a longstanding member of the Ballarat Society of Artists. 

He is survived by wife Isabel, children Catriona, Robert and James, son-in-law Andrew Roy, grandchildren William, Alice and Oliver and sister Phyliss Tinney.


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