Peter joined the Australian Province in 1955, having completed a degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Melbourne University. After his Philosophy he volunteered for the Hazaribag Province (then Region) where he spent the rest of his rich and varied life. Being appointed at once to teach Mathematics, he found the Maths teaching a little archaic, and set himself to introduce “new” mathematics throughout the school, writing his own textbooks. He taught Maths and tutored for the rest of his life. When, at his own request to get into pastoral work, he was appointed Parish Priest of Mahuadanr, the Province’s largest parish, he showed the talent of a dedicated and creative pastor. With conspicuous success the fostered the Catholic Cooperative Society.
All throughout his priestly life Peter was in constant demand as a spiritual director and confessor. The older Holy Cross Sisters remember the interesting classes he gave them as juniors in Hazaribag.
The teachers in St. Xavier’s Hazaribag had observed that Peter went about on a cycle, so on his transfer to Mahuadanr they presented him with a new cycle as a farewell gift. In Bokaro Steel City he regularly cycled the 15 kms to Balidih. On one such trip he disturbed a wayside cow which rushed at him knocking him to the ground. He had a long convalescence with a fractured hip, involving two operations. This left him with a limp and he later had a fall while walking from the residence in Mahuadanr to the Carmel Hospital for Mass. He continued to provoke a discussion at meals on any topic, with impish humour playing the opposition.
An inoperable cancer took him from us and he died peacefully in his sleep. The Hazaribag Province was blest in having his talents and companionship for all of his priestly life.
Bill Dwyer, SJ