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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

A true champion of Docklands passes

02 Jun 2020

A true champion of Docklands passes Image

By Sean Rogasch

Summing up the life of Peter Crowley in a 400- word column is a bit similar to decoding one of the man’s famed long-winded emails; almost impossible.

Thankfully, there are so many locals who knew him and will understand.

Sadly, we lost Peter last month, but so much of his work lives on.

He started his affinity with Docklands as a Vic Urban staff member and by the time he left, he had fully embraced the community, and the community had embraced him. So much so, he made many visits back to the area long after his work commitments compelled him to.

His most lasting legacy in Docklands are perhaps these very pages.

Among his many achievements while at Vic Urban, Peter founded the Docklands News as a way to help build the then embryonic community of people calling Docklands home. His understanding of what made a community tick, his passion for storytelling and that razor-sharp wit quickly built a strong following. For those of us who were lucky enough to know him personally, the paper’s long-lasting success is hardly surprising.

He was outrageously funny, although this writer will admit to not always understanding the joke. On the odd occasion this occurred it was always because of some obscure knowledge you didn’t possess and not a flaw in the gag.

And of obscure knowledge, Peter was king.

Random, often useless but never dull, the man was FULL of facts. General knowledge poured out of his every utterance and you felt richer for every conversation.

The possession of and pleasure in passing on these facts could only be possible because of the way he lived his life, fully committed to whatever he was doing.

He was an action man and this wasn’t confined to his work. Peter personally built his family a house, broke bones on adventure holidays and even allowed his son’s dishevelled university mates to lodge semi-permanently in his home.

One particular friend was known to stay so often, the family were forced to buy a spare bed. And while that would be more than enough generosity towards one of your son’s mates for most people, it wasn’t for Peter.

The spare bed’s occupant got his professional career started thanks to Peter coordinating an introduction to then editor of the Docklands News (DN) Shane Scanlan. He and Shane went on to establish DN’s sister publication, the Southbank Local News, further increasing Peter’s impact on the local media landscape.

This writer – that once dishevelled spare bed occupant – will always be grateful for the influence Peter had on my professional career, but far more so for the way he embraced me personally. It’s been 13 years since sleeping in that spare bed, yet every catch up and dinner party with the Crowley’s since, I’m still made to feel like a family member.

I, among many in Docklands, will miss him dearly.

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