One of life’s great gentlemen closed his eyes for the last time recently. Peter Lewer was a man that made Castleisland a better place by his presence.
By: Jack Shanahan
Always ready with the friendliest of salutes, Peter was a familiar fixture, walking his constant canine companion, ‘Shanie’, for many years.
His gentle nature was never more obvious than when, by the river walk, he would draw fascinated looks as robins would alight on his hands.
The Rambling House / O’Connor’s Bar
For most of us, Peter, and his wife Maura, first came to prominence in the town in 2005. For the best part of a year they were very genial landlords in O’Connor’s public house, on Main Street. There was a hint of adventure as we heard stories of military service in Africa.
Born in historic Plympton, Devon in 1950, Peter was from a family of two boys and two girls. His mother was Scottish, helping to form a pronounced and very distinctive accent.
Marine Pump Fitter
Peter initially qualified as a marine pump fitter, but never let this define him. A wanderlust saw him heading to Africa. Starting in Nigeria and meandering through Botswana, Zambia and what was then Rhodesia, Peter’s life read like an Indiana Jones adventure.
He worked in gold and diamond mines, before finally joining the Rhodesian Armed Forces Engineering Corps.
In this position, he rose to become captain, in charge of the bomb disposal squad. He was busy, as there was serious unrest in the country at the time, as it changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.
In midst of all the turmoil, in 1985, Peter found the love of his life Maura.
They met in March, so certain of their bond that they were married, a few months later, in August. Unfortunately, the security situation in Zimbabwe started to deteriorate.
By 1988 Peter and Maura decided to decamp and move back to the UK. They never quite settled and by 2000, the UK’s loss was Ireland’s gain, as they moved here.
Unfortunately, Peter was diagnosed with a very serious illness last year.
While he bravely faced his adversary, fighting as only a soldier can, it wasn’t a fair fight.
On Monday, February 25th Peter finally raised the white flag and he was laid to rest in St. John’s Cemetery on February 26th.
Both he and Maura were profoundly grateful for, and wanted to acknowledge, the great care that Peter received in the new Palliative Care Unit and St. Columbanus Hospital. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
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