Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members



Peter Cartwright was born in Sydney on 9 August 1939 and completed his Motor Mechanics apprenticeship in December 1959. He then married his lovely wife Lyn in 1960 and moved to Gosford on the Central Coast of NSW as a bus mechanic. From 1962 to 1966 Peter progressed to become Service and Road Manager and fathered 2 wonderful children, Kim, and Glenn.

In 1966 Peter was offered 2 positions; 1 with Delta Garage and the other with DCA in what was then known as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. He accepted the DCA offer but moved early to worked for Delta Garage for 6 months then with Delta Earthmoving until 1967 when he was offered a position with Boroko Motors as a result of his Mercedes Benz qualifications. It was at this time Peter joined the Papua Yacht Club as it was then known.

In 1968 however Peter transferred to Boroko Motors Rabaul as Service Manager and joined the Rabaul Yacht Club in 1970. He learnt to sail Fireballs and then big boats sailing on "Kathleen Gillette" a 42 ft Colin Archer, a famous vessel now on display at the Sydney Maritime Museum. He was elected Commodore of the Rabaul Yacht Club in 1970 and remained so until 1972 when he was transferred to Mt. Hagen where he was Branch Manager for 2 year. Whilst there he created and built the speedway track for the Western Highlands District Motor Sports Club. In 1974 Peter was again transferred to Lae as Branch Manager for another 2 year stint.

In 1976 Peter was transferred to Port Moresby as Branch Manager for Boroko Motors before taking over as General Manager, in mid-1978 when he was elected Director to the Board of Directors of W.R. Carpenters, PNG.

He renewed his involvement with motor sports, speedway and rallying at the South Pacific Motor Sports Club and won the 1980 Independence Safari: taking out 2nd placing in 1981 and 2nd place again in 1982. He also won the last ever 100 laps Speedway event at the SPMSC.

Peter’s interest in boating resurfaced about 1982 when he bought a 24ft Caribbean followed by a 26ft Caribbean. 2 year later in 1984 Lyn wanted a sailboat so they purchased a 42ft Roberts Mauritius ketch named Starbuck II quot During delivery, enroute from Cairns to Port Moresby and during the race event, they hit a reef at Hoods Point south of Port Moresby. All were safe after a frightening night pounding on the reef and the vessel was saved. The family enjoyed many years sailing it after repairs were completed and they sold it around 1992.

In 1985 Peter accepted the challenge of the position of commodore of the RPYC, a time when the Club was on the verge of either success or failure. This was compounded by an excessive overdraft of approximately K200,000 and a predominantly transient club membership not interested in long-term support.

Entrepreneurial skills came to the fore and with a lot of time and hard work from Peter and all the committee, the bank balance turned positive, after only the first year of Peter’s Commodore-ship.

Following that financial success, a special resolution was introduced in the 1986 AGM to extend the period committee members could hold office, to accommodate keeping Peter in office. This was unanimously supported by the members showing their full support and appreciation for his management skills and the benefits the members were experiencing. Although the groundwork had been laid by previous Commodores, Peter was the leader that made it work.

An unprecedented five year term was completed as Commodore when Peter called it a day at the end of 1990. He completed 1991 as Immediate Past Commodore leaving the club a legacy of an IBD of some K900,000 plus a healthy club working account. Peter then became Chairman of the RPYC Financial Advisory Board dealing with, among other items, the major task of the proposed relocation of the club and marina facilities.

Amongst his many achievements the most notable would be the FAB acquisition of a 14 hectare harbour lease for the RPYC opposite the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium. With that acquisition the Club was able to forge ahead with the construction of the boat harbour and hard area.

Peter departed PNG in December 1994 and has owned and sold a business after four and a half years then joined The Volunteer Marine Rescue in Southport. He spent 8 years on their Committee, 5 years as President and remains there as a Senior Radio Operator. He says, “It all keeps one breathing”,

Peter Cartwright stands out as an exceptional member of the RPYC’s long history of doers, of the few who are willing to stand up and take the criticism from the uninformed and still maintain a goal without throwing in the towel. It is a known ‘club’ type problem that criticism is all one ever hears and never congratulations on a job well done.