Pathology pioneer a man of high calibre and detail

Described by his wife and peers as a "pathology pioneer," the late Dr Clive Thomas Pringle will be respectfully remembered not only in a professional capacity but for the ethical values which permeated his life.

Dr Pringle died in October, aged 85, after a much anticipated visit with family in Sydney.

Moving to Dubbo in 1962 with his wife Roma (deceased) and their children Catherine, Romola (deceased), Jack and twins Linda and Suzanne, Dr Pringle established a rural pathology service.

His first premises were in the Century Chambers in Church Street.

Friend and colleague Dr Bob North remembered Dr Pringle as a "high calibre pathologist" with whom he worked alongside conducting postmortems.

Dr North, then a surgeon, said Dr Pringle worked for many years singlehandedly, sacrificing a lot to provide a much-needed service to the community and profession.

"He pioneered the development into pathology," he said.

Gai Manusu remembered working with Dr Pringle at his Wingewarra Street surgery from the beginning.

Her recollections were of a "serious and detail-oriented man" who spent hours absorbed in his work.

"He was very professional and really cared about what he did," she said. "I had a lot of respect for him over the years we worked together."

The doctor later relocated his practice to Brisbane Street where he remained until his retirement in 1984.

His second wife, Donella Pringle, described her husband as a "very quiet and reserved man" who often surprised people by doing things a little unexpectedly.

Some of the doctor's interests beyond his work included a passion for human rights.

His expertise was called upon during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and by the Aboriginal Legal Service in the late 1980s.

He was also a long-term member of Amnesty International and participated and remained a supporter later in life.

He loved the arts, in particular literature and films, and language.

Learning Spanish became a passion for Dr Pringle in later life, and his enthusiasm for the language and culture encouraged a number of visits to a country he had a great affinity for.

Mrs Pringle and her husband made a final trip to Spain just a year ago.

"Clive very badly wanted to touch Spanish soil one more time, he loved sitting immersed in the culture with a Spanish grammar book within arms reach,"she said.

"He just really loved the atmosphere, the people were very warm and welcoming."

Also an avid "twitcher," he loved birds of prey.

Dr Pringle regularly banded kestrels, kites and hawks in and around the local area.

"He loved birds of prey and bird banding requires a tremendous amount of skill and patience," Mrs Pringle said.

Prior to his retirement, the doctor purchased a property on Minore Road and experimented with alternative building construction.

"Clive's persistence saw him design a mud brick home to his own specifications, it gave him a lot of pleasure both to construct it and then later live in it as his home," Mrs Pringle said.

Said to have lived with tremendous courage and grace, Dr Pringle will be fondly remembered by his family and friends.

lisa.minner@ruralpress.com

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