OBITUARY: by Kevin HarroldNews Weekly
A born leader and exemplary Christian - Peter Keogh (1931-2007)
, August 4, 2007
Peter John Keogh (December 14, 1931 – May 9, 2007).Peter Keogh, a born leader with a gift of oratory, led an exemplary Christian life and had an impact on the many lay and church organisations in which he was involved.
Peter, the eldest son of John and Winifred Keogh of the Sydney North Shore suburb of Cremorne, was educated at Sacred Heart School and the Marist Brothers, Mosman. He was very active with parish youth groups and as a young man joined the Catholic Social Studies Movement (usually known as "the Movement").
In 1947, he started work as an electrical apprentice with the Sydney County Council, leaving some time later to work with Macquarie Stevedoring on the waterfront. For some years he assisted with the fight against the Communist influence in various unions. Peter, grounded as he was in the labour movement, and with his flair for oratory, stood out as a natural leader in the field of politics.Marriage
In 1954, following his marriage to Patricia Keenan, he started work for a Cremorne industrial firm, Densified Woods. (Around 1970, it was taken over by Formica, initially settling in Brookvale and then later in Thornleigh. Peter, a well-respected and dedicated employee was appointed manager of the industrial operations section, a position he held until he retired in 1989).
At the famous 1955 Hobart Labor Party conference, the ALP split, resulting in the formation of the breakaway anti-Communist Democratic Labor Party (DLP), of which Peter later became NSW state president (For a time he was also NSW president of the National Civic Council). He and his fellow DLP members fought elections at federal and state levels for years to come, until the party's sudden collapse in 1974.
Peter now turned his energies to the Third Order of St Francis, which had just been introduced to the Mosman Parish. Peter's spiritual activities were always a serious part of his life, and now he welcomed the opportunity to embrace the call of St Francis.
Following the Second Vatican Council, the order saw the need for a new rule. Members around the world were engaged in planning for the reform and Peter was asked to become one of these leaders in the Oceania area.
In 1978, Pope Paul VI approved of the new order. Following that, Peter, demonstrating his wonderful leadership skills once again, became the order's national leader during 1984-86, and again during 2001-04.
During these times, he was an international councillor, attended the order's general chapter in Rome, Assisi and Spain. (He was also active in the Knights of the Southern Cross). In recent years, he continued to work tirelessly to assist the order in Mosman, right up until a few weeks before he died.Devoted to family
Peter Keogh will always be remembered as a loyal, generous and loving husband, father and grandfather, who was totally devoted to his family. His tremendous faith and love of God were an example to all in every aspect of his life.
Rest with God, my dear friend.— written by Kevin Harrold.