Peter left school at 16 to collect rents for his father’s flourishing  real estate business. However, Peter felt the urge  to make more  of his privileged  life so he went to Ridley Theological College, Carlton  and  was  ordained in 1959.  Peter’s first vicarage was  in North Melbourne, where he met Helen  Sumpter, who was  helping  to paint the church basement. They married in 1961  and  went and  lived in England for a year. When  Peter returned to Australia  he taught maths at the local high school so his stipend at St James’, Thornbury could pay off the church mortgage. But this and  his idea of raising  further funds  for the poor parish by using  the church as a hairdressing salon during the week  was considered too entrepreneurial by the church hierarchy. He was  warned to desist or face  the sack. He continued and  was  duly sacked. Between 1966  and  1968  Peter was Assistant Priest at St John’s East Malvern,  completed his Diploma  of Real Estate at RMIT and  worked  in the family real  estate company. In 1969  Peter was  appointed Chaplain at Timbertop (Geelong Grammar School). In 1974  Peter went back  to England for further study. At St John’s College, Oxford he became friends  with the future British Prime  Minister Tony Blair, and  Geoffrey Gallop a Rhodes Scholar, (Premier of WA 2000  to 2006). Tony Blair was  part of the same circle and  found his life, faith and  politics influenced by the larrikin vicar’s take on Christianity  and  its daily application to solving human problems. In 1975  Peter returned to Timbertop in the dual role of Chaplain and  Principal, a role he held for eight years. During this time he oversaw the introduction of co- education to the campus. Peter was  Master of St Mark’s College (University  of Adelaide), Dean of International House, Melbourne University and Master of the residential accommodation at Deakin  University. The year  after Tony Blair became Labour  leader he spent Christmas at the Thomson’s farm near Mansfield. Peter later said,  “Things were  happening for Tony, and  I wanted to be part of it.” So in 1996  he moved to Britain and  became Vicar of St Luke’s, West  Holloway and  in 1997,  Tony became Prime  Minister. Tony Blair acknowledged Peter in a video message at the Hall of Fame induction  dinner  as ‘simply the most  influential and  important person in my life’. In 2001  Peter returned to Melbourne to a part-time role at the Brotherhood of St Laurence and  died in January 2010.  

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