Peter was born in Grafton in 1947 and moved with the family to Casino then Lismore where Peter went to Primary School and was then sent off to The Armidale School (TAS), an Anglican Boys Boarding School from age 11 as a boarder (primary school) until he completed the Leaving Certificate.
At school, Peter sang in the Chapel Choir, the annual School Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas, studied interesting subjects like Latin, found out how to defend the Country by learning the intricacies of the Bren light machine gun as a member of the School Cadets as well as being taught unarmed combat by an ex-SAS soldier/teacher. A well rounded education!
After leaving school, Peter joined the CBC Bank in Lismore, spending two years back with his parents before being transferred to Gulargambone for 2 years and then to many positions and branches in Sydney gaining experience in Overseas Trade, Lending and finishing as a Relieving Manager when he left in 1986.
Whilst in Sydney, he met Noelene and they were married by Peter’s father in 1973 in Noelene’s home town of Coonabarabran. Now living in Putney they attended Saint Chad’s Anglican Church. During that time, Peter was a Church Warden and Chalice Assistant and often took the first part of the Service until the Rector arrived (a lovely man but notoriously late!). Peter and Noelene led the Saint Chad’s Junior Youth Group (years 8-12) of between 40 and up to 80 children and ran the Senior Teen Group afterwards each Friday night. A mammoth task!
In 1986, with Elizabeth on the way, Peter and Noelene left Sydney and migrated to Maitland to be nearer to his parents who had retired close to Gresford in the late seventies. At this time Peter sometimes acted as a Chalice Assistant to his father who relieved in the Paterson and Gresford Parishes.
Peter, Noelene & Elizabeth became regular attendees at Saint Peter’s around 1988, with Elizabeth attending Sunday School, and later GFS and Junior Choir. Peter served on the Parish Council and Noelene helped out doing Special Religious Instruction at the four schools in the Parish, and has done continuously since. Peter and Noelene began assisting and joined the bread collecting roster for the Samaritans from when Peter was the East Maitland Co-ordinator.
In 1987 Peter and Noelene took over the Newcastle Camping and Disposal Centre in Hunter Street, which they had for 10 years with Peter serving on the City Retailers Committee. In 2005 they bought Maitland Auto Parts which they have managed and worked in since. Their auto parts store is also the Hayman Reese centre for the district and Peter estimates that their staff have fitted about 10,000 tow bars in that time.
Apart from Noelene and Elizabeth, Peter’s other “passion” for most of his life has been Motorsport, shared with Noelene after they met, and for the last 15 years with their daughter, Elizabeth (there is varying degrees of “passion” in the family!).
These days, with many other commitments, Peter and Elizabeth only get a chance to do 3 – 4 events a year, sharing the single seater racing car in Hillclimbs, particularly the “Mattara” Hillclimb in King Edward Park in Newcastle each October.
Last year Peter and Elizabeth were 3rd and 5th Outright in this event, although in previous years they have competed in State and National Championships at high speed venues like Bathurst and have had many trophies awarded to both father and daughter, all with the support of their wonderful Pit crew Chief, Noelene. Peter is also active in Motorsport Administration, being a Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (C.A.M.S.) Steward, State Panel Member and has been a Board Member of the Ringwood Hillclimb Complex near Raymond Terrace for about 25 years.
Unfortunately, Peter has not been able to be involved with Saint Peter’s as much as he used to, being the owner of a 7-day a week business, particularly over the last 18 months, but both Peter and Noelene are looking forward to getting off the retail treadmill and retiring to a more sane life eventually.