Peter Lennard Bettes (SPC 1960-65)
October 7, 2022
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Old Collegian Peter Lennard Bettes (SPC 1960-65) on 5 September 2022 after finally losing his battle with leukemia after 12 years.
In that time, his family paid tribute, saying Peter “never lost his sense of fun, his big smile or his consideration of others before himself”.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his devoted wife Carmel and son Alex, and his extended family including siblings Helen and Stephen (SPC 1967-71, PY1972).
A Funeral Mass was held to celebrate Peter’s life at St John’s Catholic Church in Heidelberg on 15 September.
Peter was a day student at SPC, starting in 1960 and completing his Matriculation in 1966.
Peter’s former classmate Leon Halliburton (SPC 1963-66) shares the following memories of his good friend.
“Peter, together with his parents, Len and Mary, and siblings Steve and Helen grew up in a residence in Peel St Ballarat from where his father ran the Ell Bee Motor Driving School.
“From an early age and with his father’s help and support, Peter learnt driving skills and went on to further hone these skills as a successful junior Go Kart driver as his trophy cabinet attested to.
“This led to a lifelong passion for any sporting event involving cars – Formula 1, Super Cars and Rallying; motor bikes and even the Tour de France bicycles. It also raised, what was to become a lifelong interest in anything mechanical.
“Peter’s time at St Pat’s was devoted to study and cadets. His study efforts were rewarded with an acceptance into the then Ballarat’s School of Mines Mechanical Engineering Course. “His commitment to cadets was full on as he moved through the ranks to eventually becoming a Cadet Under Officer, the highest rank a student can achieve.
“During this time his natural rapport with his fellow students and classmates held him in good stead as a leader.
“After graduating from with his Mechanical Engineering Qualification, Peter’s was employed by Caterpillar Australia as a Development Engineer which allowed to now play with the big automotive toys used extensively in the Mining, Road Making, Transport and Marine Industry.
“After 10 years with Caterpillar including two years at Caterpillar Global Headquarters in the US, Peter diversified into Advertising, Marketing and Business management consulting before setting up his own business in heavy duty Industrial Cleaning machinery.
“In the latter part of his life Peter suffered from several debilitating illnesses including CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia) which ultimately was responsible for his death.
“Despite these experiences and with his partner Carmel and adopted son Alex at his side Peter never lost his trademark smile, his faith, and his love and affection for family and friends.”
Fellow classmate Fr Eric Bryant (SPC 1958-66) also noted that in his own tribute to Peter that he ran his consulting business with “large blue-chip clients”. Some of these included the Reserve Bank, Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, BP Australia, Department of Administrative Services, Hella Australia, Automotive Components Ltd and Fuji Australia along with many others.
During 2016/17, Peter’s health began to deteriorate and he completed two years of chemotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, however it is testimony to his strength of character, that Peter continued to battle cancer for more than a decade.
The Victorian Men’s Shed Assocation (VMSA) also paid tribute to Peter following his passing, stating that Peter was a valued member of the board and “was always passionate about the Men’s Shed movement”.
Rest in peace.
We thank Peter’s classmates Fr Eric Bryant and Leon Halliburton for their help in preparing this tribute celebrating Peter’s life.