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Peter Floyd Sheppard (5150), aged 89

09 Dec 2019

Peter was born in Christchurch on 31 December 1929, the son of Floyd and Beryl Sheppard and brother of Norman Sheppard (5707).

He attended Christchurch East Primary School, then Christ’s College from 1942–47. He was a House prefect in Julius House and was awarded his School Colours as rowing cox in 1942 and 1943. Being at high school during the war years had a lifelong impact on Peter, with barely a book written on World War II that he didn’t read.

On completion of his schooling, Peter headed to Selwyn College at Otago University to study medicine. At Otago, other than learning a bit about medicine, Peter did seem to broaden his horizons, donning a tutu to participate in the Selwyn Ballet and developing an appreciation of a good whisky.

Peter started work as a house physician at Christchurch Hospital in 1954, working for two years before heading off on the boat to the UK, where he spent the next five years at different hospitals before becoming a resident medical officer at the London Chest Hospital.

In 1962, Peter returned home to take up a senior medical registrar position in Christchurch and, in 1964, he married Robin Cleland.

From 1965 he set up his private gastroenterology practice, mainly based at St George’s Hospital, and had a consulting physician role at Christchurch Hospital from 1965–95. He became a Member of the New Zealand Medical Association, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

He was also a member of the executive at St George’s, and was a board member from 1985 until he retired. Over the course of his working life he was fortunate to travel extensively, with some highlights being post-graduate study trips to County Hospital, Los Angeles, to study liver disease, New Haven Hospital, Connecticut, to study gastroenterology and liver biopsies, trips to the National Cancer Hospital in Tokyo to study fibre optic endoscopic techniques and an aid trip to Kiribati.

Peter enjoyed long and varied friendships, many were friends he met at College and medical school. He also had a wide variety of interests – including travel, classical music, organ music, golf, sailing, tennis, antique clocks, reading non-fiction, the 1st XI Friday lunch club, malt whisky, Probus, and following Canterbury and All Black rugby – which kept him busy and active in his retirement years.

Peter took great delight in the comings and goings of his grandchildren. He loved to spend time on the sidelines watching football and rugby, and he enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with Christ’s College rowing when two grandsons took up the sport. He also reinvigorated his passion for his old school – donning the black and white striped blazer and taking tours of the school for around 10 years.

Peter was quick-witted and had a very dry sense of humour. He loved to talk or tell jokes, peppered with some dreadful puns or unashamedly politically incorrect.

Peter is survived by wife Robin, children Georgina, Matthew (9765) and Annabel, and seven grandchildren.

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