Peter Holmes-a-Court, one of our club?s most senior blues passed away on 19th November in Sydney. Peter joined SUBC in the late 40?s at a post-war time of great resurgence for the club and became Club Captain. Peter earned his Blue in 1949 and was chosen as a member of the Australian Eight for the 1950 Empire Games in New Zealand. The rowing for these games was held on Lake Karapiro with Australia taking the gold medal from New Zealand and United Kingdom. Peter rowed at No 3 in this boat.
Other notable SUBC alumni in this crew were Ted Pain, Ross Selman, Allen Brown, Eric Longley and Bruce Goswell.
Peter rowed at Shore school and followed his father who had studied and rowed at Sydney University. Peter?s father, Allan, had won the NSW Champion Junior Fours in 1908 while studying Medicine at Sydney. Peter served in the RaAAF before embarking on a degree in Civil Engineering.
It is somewhat fitting to see traditions continue in our club. The week Peter passed on one of his crewmates (Bruce Goswell?s) grandson James began rowing at SUBC becoming the third generation to join the club.
Peter had a distinguished business career. He joined IBM Australia in its early days and in1958 sold the first business computer in Australia to MLC. Further sales followed to AMP and AGL and Peter while leading IBM to sales success was awarded the Watson Trophy for the top IBM sales in the world.
Peter was a moving force behind the formation of the Business Telecommunications Service which aimed to form a new telecommunications carrier to break down the monopoly of the then PMG. Although this initial effort was thwarted by a change of government Peter?s contribution to the current competitive market in telecommunications is recognised as pivotal.
Peter enjoyed a wonderful family life. He was a keen sailor and a pioneering fly fisherman in the Snowy Mountains area. Peter is survived by his children, Penny, Juliet, Will and Campbell and by his second wife Janet.
Sydney University Boat Club extends our sympathy Peter?s family on his passing and says thanks to Peter for his contribution to our club. Peter maintained an interest in the activities of SUBC throughout his life and following the fire at our boatshed in March this year the club has named one of the new racing pairs in Peter?s honour. Unfortunately Peter did not live to see this new boat take to the water as it was delivered only a week after his death.