Peter was born in Tasmania in 1927 and died on 22 September 2017.
He graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Dip Public Admin. He trained for the priesthood at SSM, St Michael’s House Crafers Sth Aust and was ordained priest in 1953.
During his student holidays he hitch hiked across Australia. In his ‘Memoirs’, he lists every town and estimates 25,000 kilometres travelled.
He served 10 years in the Diocese of Canberra-Goulburn then he went to Leeds University where he gained a PHD in Church Administration. His published thesis, “Ministry and Management” was a pioneering work in 1968.
He established CORAT (Christian Organisations, Research and Advisory Trust) and as Director led a team of consultants in churches and Christian bodies in many parts of the world, including England, Europe, countries in Africa and India. His English colleagues plan a 50th Anniversary in 2018.
Returning home in 1977, he set up CORAT in Australia, PNG and Fiji.
About 80 places were assessed of which half were Roman Catholic, including 6 contemplative communities. He continued correspondence with the Benedictine Order for 35 years.
This wide experience enabled him to add Swahili and Hindi languages to his knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French and German.
In 1970 he qualified as a Tax Agent. In 1981 he established his own practice with 6 staff, 1500 clients by 1989 including 250 church ministers, as counsellor and advisor until 2000.
He was a book reviewer for the ‘Canberra Times’ for 20 years, reviewing over 80 books.
A chance conversation led to another interest as a landscape designer, which he did for over 20 years.
Another interest that he started in Canberra was a Croquet Tournament on Australia Day, which still continues today.
At his cricket club in 1970 he gave a parting gift of a trophy for club loyalty which is still being awarded.
Of the 21 books that he has written 8 are on croquet, 1 about gardening, the others on religion, ecclesiastical administration, sociology and philosophy.
At Tumbarumba he was aware of the number of elderly people and set up a non- denominational Thursday Club to meet their needs, which continues today.
Peter’s various positions over the years have included the following: the first Principal Lecturer in Administration at what is now the ANU, Public Servant in Dept of Social Security, Bursar at Canberra Grammar School, 1st Executive officer of the Australian Institute of Urban Studies and Priory Secretary of the Order of St John.
His “Memoir” profiles himself as “student, hitchhiker, Anglican Priest, Management Consultant in Churches, Tax Agent, Book Reviewer, Garden Designer, Sportsman, Scholar, and Author.
He asks to be remembered for one thing, namely;
as a curate in Wagga Wagga, he called the first meeting for disabled people realizing their needs and today that multi-million dollar “Kurrajong Waratah Organisation” is supported by the community and the government caring for thousands of disabled people in the Riverina.
In 1997 Peter had serious heart surgery for a dissecting aortic aneurism but since then, enjoyed relatively good health. Sadly, Pat his wife, developed Parkinson’s Disease in 2014. In 2016 they moved to an aged care facility in Tweed heads.
Peter died there, aged 90.
The Rev Dean Rowney