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Wednesday, 28 March 2007
Page: 144

Mr MICHAEL FERGUSON (7:34 PM) —I rise tonight to honour a kind and gentle man from my electorate who unexpectedly passed away recently. Peter Pinder was a hard-working,  unassuming man who had a major impact on the lives of many people both within Tasmania and beyond. Peter Pinder was born near Birmingham, England, the fourth child of William and Ellen Pinder. Quite remarkably, Peter won a scholarship to Eton but was unable to take it up as his widowed mother could not afford the associated costs such as uniforms and board. He was instead educated at the local grammar school. Peter was 13 when his father died.

With the blessing of his mother, Peter emigrated to Sydney under the auspices of the Big Brother Movement. Peter worked for the Australian Gas Co., a finance company and the Parramatta Building Society before entering teachers college. Peter was also involved in lay-preaching and youth leadership from his early 20s. He was appointed youth leader at Parramatta Baptist, and this was where he met his future wife, Isobel, who had migrated with her family from Scotland. They married at Parramatta on 14 October 1967. Their honeymoon was spent at Westbury, Tasmania.

It was during this time that Peter answered a call for adults to train as teachers. He duly entered the Launceston Teachers College, which is now part of the University of Tasmania. Peter was very well read and loved to keep his mind active. His academic achievements are a testament to that. Throughout his teaching career Peter also pastored a number of Baptist churches and was well known as a worker pastor. He pastored several churches including Bracknell Baptist, from 1974 to 1976; Wynyard Baptist, from 1977 to 1979; Longford Baptist, from 1980 to 1984; Enoggera Baptist in Queensland, from 1985 to 1986; and Bracknell-Westbury District Baptist, from 1987 to 1997. He served as a chaplain with ITIM from 1992 to 1997; Coorparoo Baptist, in Queensland, from 1998 to 1999; Elphin Road and City Baptist, from 1999 to 2005; and, recently, Grantown-on-Spey in Scotland, from 2006. Peter was to commence ministry with Perth Baptist.

Peter had a great love for anything associated with the Air Force and he was involved for many years with air cadets and in later years was secretary of the Launceston branch of the Air Force Association. He was chaplain to the RSL, the National Servicemen’s Association, the Vietnam Veterans Association, and the POWs. Peter had a great concern for our returned service men and women. He also served on health boards and community committees. He really was a great man and a tireless contributor to community projects and committees. He received a community service award from Meander Valley Council in 1997 and the Centenary Service Medal for his work with air cadets and lay preaching.

Bill Perkins, from the National Servicemen’s Association, said of Peter:

Peter joined us in 2002 as a Member, he was then asked to be our Sub-Branch Chaplain, a position he accepted willingly, and remained in that position till he left for the UK. A great listener and a friend to all. He will be sadly missed.

Mike Sharpe and Les Batchelor of ITIM Australia, said:

Peter endeared himself to clients by his compassionate nature, his sense of justice and above all his great sense of humour.

Peter had a great joke for all occasions and venues. Not only could he tell a great joke, his delivery was professional and constantly had us in stitches.

The other side of Peter was a very prayerful, compassionate and dedicated man. He will long be remembered by many people in the Launceston area for the caring and compassionate way he supported many locals following a small aircraft crash in the area.

Peter Pinder is remembered by his pastoral colleagues for two philosophies he carried into his ministry and shared with his colleagues: first, the ministry of serving people within the church was really about serving Christ; and, secondly, that pastors serve a God who cares.

The fact that Peter Pinder collapsed while sweeping his church floor remains a touching and unsurprising keepsake memory of a man who earnestly lived to serve his flock and to serve God. I find the image sad but inspiring. Peter’s family and friends will rightfully remember him with great pride, everlasting admiration and thankfulness for his life. He was a gentleman and a great but unassuming Australian. (Time expired)