Kyabram Free Press
Pete was a real good bloke
OBITUARY: PETER WALSH
Kyabram recently lost one its true gentlemen, a great contributor to our community and just a really good bloke.
Peter (Pete) Walsh and his wife, Helen, came to the Kyabram area over 40 years ago from Melbourne. It was planned to be a short stay, only a six-month stint to experience life in the country. Pete secured a job with Goulburnmurray Water, and Helen a teaching position and they both grew quickly to love the Kyabram people and lifestyle. The six months turned to over 40 years.
Pete was known for his genuine humble character, and the importance he placed on active service to community that you lived in, traits instilled in him by his father. Pete joined the Kyabram Lions Club shortly after arriving in the region. He loved the community at Lions and took on the president role twice, a proud achievement during this time was the drought appeal team he led in the 1990s to secure hay drives, which supported many of our local farmers.
Pete loved the outdoors and had a strong environmental conscience. The Kyabram Fauna Park development became one of his passions, and a place where Pete worked tirelessly as the president for over 20 years. Pete was proud of this work, and was instrumental
“Until recently Pete, in his bright orange wheelchair, would be seen with his carers or wife Helen at Ky’s coffee shops, pubs and restaurants catching up with friends.”
in the development of the education precinct for students and tourists.
Pete’s three boys were keen sportsmen, and embraced the opportunity to contribute through support roles at the St Augustine’s and Kyabram football clubs, tennis clubs, and as field umpires for the Goulburn Valley Football League for many years.
In the early 2000s, Pete was diagnosed with the debilitating Huntington’s disease, which is a slow and progressive neurological condition that affects the nervous system. Pete was, however, determined to live life to its fullest, and remained an active community member.
After finishing over 30 years with Goulburnmurray Water, Pete volunteered many hours at the local Vinnies, was a member at the Men’s Shed, and continued his work with the Lions club. Pete was a firm believer that exercise, a good diet and keeping your mind active would help to keep his disease at ‘arm’s length’.
In 2014 Pete and Helen set up their B&B Haslem Cottage, where Pete maintained a large immaculate garden for the many guests to enjoy.
Pete become a great advocate in the Huntington’s community and participated in numerous research projects, spoke at conferences, supported others struggling with the disease and raised funds for research.
Pete loved a coffee or beer with his mates. Until recently Pete, in his bright orange wheelchair, would be seen with his carers or wife Helen at Ky’s coffee shops, pubs and restaurants catching up with friends.
In March this year, Pete made his home at Warramunda Village. His family can’t thank the staff enough for the beautiful care Pete received until he lost his battle with Huntington’s disease on August 20.
Pete was a genuine bloke and a great mentor. To honour Pete’s life, a memorial service will be held (post COVID and date to be determined) at St Augustine’s Church followed by a reception at Haslem Cottage.