He was as Rough & Tough as they come, bur renowned for a great sence of humour & great skating story teller.
After toughing it out in Christchurch the family made a major decision to shift to Masterton, then the base of a number of top New Zealand skaters. So along with his wife Olive & daughter Lynette & Maree ( Tiny ) & Peter (Munga)
they left Christchurch behind them & the Children grew up to now live very successfull lives in the Wiarapa area.
Pete senior was a very astute person when it came to skating & one never known to pull a punch, if he did not like you, he told you & at times it was rumoured, anyone who called at the back door at night, was likely to be greeted by a 4 x 2 hunk of timber.
But he was the father of two World Champions Peter & his younger sister Maree, unfortunately some political problems during the 1980 Masterton world champs in New Zealand, saw them turn away from N.Z. speed skating. For sure more world titles were to be had. But this were one family not to be taken for granted & did not tolerate fools & idiots, or those who thought they stood above them, but never try to stand over them, as Pete had his own set of rules of sport & life.
Some of the memories of the man stand out, in 1970 at the first ever combined N.Z. champs, Timaru skater Alan Oconnor beat young Pete in the 1,500 road race, Alan was hitting 6 foot tall at 14 years old, young Pete would have been about 5 foot 2 inches, Pete senior said bugger the age deciding juniors, it should be done with a sycle at 5 foot 6 inches, to chop out the Big Guys, ironically young Peter matured into a very big strong guy in later life.
On another Occassion in the Rollerdrome club rooms there was a Meetting & a dispute involving Pete senior, Gerry Glover & the late Mort Alexander & Bob Treloar, with pete at one end of a stall & one of his opposition at the other, Pete promptly jumped up & the other gentleman was left sprawling on the floor.
At the New Zealand Bank track champs in Hastings & Doubling as the World trials in 1975, we used to have the one on one 1,000 meter two man sprint. This new skater on the block Manuel Curely overated himself a tad, Pete senior asked him who he had drawn in the first round, he told Pete that he had drawn that old bugger Begg & it would be an easy race. Well Pete never one to miss an opportunity, quietly wispered in my ear what Curley had said shortly before I lined up against him, He told me to make sure I taught him a lesson, he would not forget. Then Pete smugly sat back to see the result. Well Curley started tap dancing around behind me, so I told him to stop playing games, he was not dealing with a kid & promply left him behind & like a dud racehorse, still running after the result was well decided. Of Cource Pete asked him how did he go against the old Buggar.
Pete Senior has just had a heart operation, but is back perculating & for sure if you ever go through Masterton call in & see Pete & Olive. You will be most welcome & Olive makes a lovely cup of tea, you will get the once over from Pete & a few stories tossed in, with plenty of laughs also.
Alan O’connor the Junior boys grade that needed Pete Senior said needed a sycle cutting at 5’6″ to sort out Juniors & a very small Peter 1970 N.Z. 1,500 meters Junior road champs.