It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Peter Curtis, a schoolmate to many, a past player, President, and lifelong supporter of the football club.
After completing his education at De La Salle College in 1967 where he had shown great promise on the football field, Peter started his career at De La in 1972 after some time at Springvale Football Club.
Below are some reflections from lifelong friend and schoolmate Gavan Fallon (long time sponsor and supporter of the Club).
- Sport was big on the agenda and Pete was a very good footballer, amongst other pursuits.
- But what really stood out was his presentation – the shiniest of footy boots, the whitest shorts for away games … but nothing came close to the totally unnecessary addition of those whitest of white ankle supports that really made him stand out from the crowd.
- Perhaps a touch of vanity, certainly plenty of flair … and just outstanding preparation for game day!
- But then it went to a whole new level with Cadets (our De La army corps). Yes, we travelled to and from the College on public transport in full uniform and carrying a huge .303 rifle (bolt removed). Hard to imagine these days.
- No man has ever had webbing so clean, brass on the belt that gleamed so brightly or boots that were spit and polished beyond belief. You could have cut your finger on the pleat in his trousers. This bloke just could not be missed strutting his stuff out on the parade ground!
- Peter loved cadets and rose through the ranks rapidly to become a CUO (Cadet Under Officer) leaving us mere mortals behind as lowly Other Ranks. As a CUO he would wear a peaked hat & carry a bat-ton under his arm – what a magnificent sight!
- But despite these traits he was such good company – glass always half full, humorous, competitive, confident, loyal, considerate, good natured, enthusiastic, chirpy, and always with a bit of likeable swagger.
Injury and work commitments prevented him from fulfilling the promise at De La Salle that he had shown at school, however Peter’s enthusiasm was undaunted and his commitment to the club unwavering which saw him take on the coaching of the U/19 Blues in 1982, a challenge he took head on. In 1983 the club approached him about taking on the Presidency which he did with great energy and positivity.
This unbridled energy and a passion to succeed saw the club make it to the A Grade Grand Final under the guidance of coach Neil Lievre in his first year, where a hard-fought victory over University Blues would see De La win their 4th A Grade premiership. John Pollard would take over the coaching reins from Neil in 1984 and Peter’s faith was unfailing despite a poor start to the season.
His attitude was to work harder when things weren’t going well and between he and Coach Pollar, the playing group responded magnificently, turning the season around in the second half, going on to win another premiership, this time defeating Ormond convincingly. Two premierships in two years was of great personal satisfaction to Peter and to see the club in such a strong position for the future was his great legacy.
Peter was a very popular man with great presence around the club, was forthright in his views and was very supportive of all involved at the time. He would go on to be a staunch supporter up until the time his health would no longer allow him to do so. He has battled very bravely over a prolonged period with Parkinson’s Disease, and he will be remembered as a great friend of the club, loyal all the way and a man who made a significant contribution to the club we now enjoy.
We pass on our condolences to his wife Ann, daughters Priscilla and Celeste, and partners Rick and Peter, and grandchildren Lochlan, Dylan, Lorenne, Cameron, Taylor & Ashley.
Tuesday 16th January, 11 am
Boyd Chapel, Springvale Cemetery
(Springvale Cemetery – 600 Princes Highway Springvale).
Followed by a wake at the Springvale Cemetery Function Centre.