The OVA Mourn the Passing of Peter Imlach
The OVA mourn the passing of Peter Imlach on November 5 2019, a tireless life member of the OVA, devoted servant of the Catholic Church and a passionate supporter of the College.
Peter was a man of great faith, integrity, loyalty, determination and good humour and will be missed at all OVA and College events. He was a long standing member of the OVA Executive and an SVC Board Member. Deepest condolences to Verna and the Imlach family.
Rest in peace Peter, securely in the palm of your God whom you served so faithfully. A detailed summary of Peter’s life prepared by the College Archivist is outlined below:
PETER IMLACH (SVC 1946-51)
Peter was born in the front bedroom of his parents’ home at no. 2 Lime Avenue, Newstead, Launceston on June 28, 1937.
In Launceston Peter first went to school at St Thomas More’s in Newstead. He also spent a short time at St Finbar’s School, Invermay, Launceston.
Around 1943 the family transferred to Hobart.
Peter also spent some of his earlier primary years at St Mary’s College, Harrington St, Hobart.
From 1946 till 1951 inclusive, Peter was educated at St Virgil’s. His late brothers, Joseph and Kevin were also educated at St Virgil’s and his late father, Allison, an early boarding student at the College, was Captain of the 1st XVIII and President of the Old Virgilians Association (OVA) for some years.
In 1952 Peter entered the Christian Brothers Training College at Box Hill in Victoria and later he moved to St Enda’s in Strathfield NSW where he completed matriculation. In 1955 Peter entered the Brothers’ novitiate at Minto in NSW after which in 1956 (the Olympic year in Melbourne) he returned to Strathfield for teacher training. In 1957 he was transferred to Clifton Hill in Melbourne where he had charge of 73 boys in Grade 3. At the end of 1957 Peter was transferred to Leederville in Perth Western Australia where he taught Grade 4 (40+ boys) for two years. In late 1959 Peter left the Christian Brothers and returned home to Hobart. He had a short stint teaching with the State Education Department at Natone Area School on the North West Coast near Burnie.
In late 1960 Peter began work with the State Transport Commission at 1 Collins Street, Hobart. He spent ten years at the Transport Commission leaving in March 1971 to start work as an organiser with the Hospital Employees Federation, a trade union, now known as the Health Services Union.
In 1964 Peter married Verna in West Wyalong NSW. They have six children, Frances, Michael, Alexander, Bernard, David and Stephen. The family lived in Claremont and Glenorchy. Later Peter and Verna lived in Dodges Ferry, Howrah and recently at Fairway Rise in Lindisfarne.
In September 1971 Peter was appointed Secretary of the Hospital Employees Federation and was subsequently elected. He was President of the Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council (TTLC) for eight years. Of interest is that during Peter’s time on the Executive of the TTLC, the Secretaries were consecutively, Brian Harradine (later Senator), Robert Watling an OV (later State Industrial Commissioner) and Paul Lennon an OV (later State Premier).
In 1981 Peter was an Australian (Union) Delegate to the International Labour Organisation Congress in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1989 (in controversial circumstances), Peter was appointed a Commissioner of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission. He retired in 2002.
Since retiring Peter was a conference member of the St Vincent de Paul Society and was President of the Human Life Protection Society.
Peter has been a paid-up Life Member of the OVA since 1960. In 2008 Peter was elected a member of the Old Virgilians Association Committee and, when Rene Sluyters resigned in late September 2014, he became Secretary and was formally elected at the AGM in March 2015. He was a member of the St Virgil’s College Board of Management for a number of years.
In recent years, along with the other members of the OVA Committee, Peter has been actively involved in lobbying the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office and the Archbishop for the restoration of Grade 11 and 12 at St Virgil’s. He, Ed Gauden and his late sidekick Dan Reardon beat a regular path to the Archbishop’s door and were satisfied that the OVA’s case had been pursued forthrightly, respectfully and with cogent reasons. They were always pleased to confirm that they received fair hearings. It remains for Ed on behalf of his close friends to receive a positive response – before too long!