Australia Day Honours – Peter Williams ’56

Peter John Williams OAM was recognised for his service to maritime history in the recent Australia Day Honours. Peter had links with the School from a very early age; his father Bill (’28) was an Ivanarian and Peter was christened by the School’s founder, Rev Sydney Buckley.

Peter grew up in Alandale Road, Eaglemont and attended Ivanhoe Grammar School during his primary years, before transferring to Wesley College where a family member was on staff. After completing secondary school, Peter attended RMIT and subsequently graduated with a Diploma in both Graphic Design and Advertising. His working life included many years with Kraft in advertising roles, but Peter’s enduring passion was history, particularly maritime history.

In 1970, Peter was a founding member of The Maritime Trust of Australia where he served for 5 decades, including acting as Secretary and President. He played a vital role in the restoration of HMAS Castlemaine, now a much-loved museum located at Gem Pier in Williamstown.

Amongst other community involvements, in 1967 Peter was a founding member and later President of the Heidelberg Historical Society and Treasurer of Maritime Museums of Victoria. Peter’s unsurpassed knowledge of maritime matters has led to his authorship of several books on Australian and Victorian maritime history.

Peter remains a very active contributor to Ivanhoe Grammar School, through his assistance in setting up the Ivanhoe Grammar Heritage Trail and frequent donations to our archival collection. Peter still lives in the family home in Eaglemont and regularly returns to School for Anzac Day events and the Buckley/Brown Reunions, where his smile never fails to light up the room.

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