Father Peter Gillam farewelled

Father Peter Gillam farewelled

Former Parish Priest of Redcliffe City Parish Father Peter Gillam has been remembered as a man of the people.

Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Cr Mick Gillam (Div. 8) paid tribute to his second-cousin at last week’s council meeting.

Born at Clifton on June 3, 1938, Fr Peter was ordained in 1962 at Stephen’s Cathedral and appointed Assistant Priest at St Bernadette’s, Scarborough.

His next appointment was to Pius XII Provincial Seminary at Banyo, which led him overseas to study at St Peter’s in Rome.

Return to parish life

When he returned to Australia, he taught moral theology at the Banyo Seminary and became Vice-Rector in 1976.

“He was a people person and didn’t like the academic world as much as looking after parishioners so in January 1977 he was appointed as Administrator of Our Lady Help of Christians at Hendra,” Cr Gillam says.

“He became the parish priest there in 1980 - during his time at Hendra he developed a close relationship with the racing fraternity. He was the Racing Chaplain for 30 years.”

Treasured family man

Cr Gillam says Fr Peter remained involved in the lives of his family throughout his career.

“He did a lot of family business as my grandfather, his uncle, was the eldest of seven Gillam brothers,” Cr Gillam says.

Serving at Redcliffe

Holy Cross Parish secretary Leanne Menyweather first met Fr Peter at St Kieran’s at Brighton in 1992, and joined him at Redcliffe soon after his appointment as Parish Priest.

“I learnt very early on that Fr Peter was very pastoral,” Mrs Menyweather says.

“He always made his parishioners his top priority spiritually. He would still say Morning Mass even on his days off.”

Mrs Menyweather says Fr Peter was the driving force in Holy Cross Funerals building its own funeral home and mortuary on the Kippa-Ring church grounds.

Fr Peter passed away after a short illness on March 3 and was buried at Redcliffe Cemetery with his parents.

Fitting farewell

Mrs Menyweather says such was Fr Peter’s standing, the Catholic Church allowed his Mass to be said at Holy Cross.

“A priest is not usually allowed to have a funeral at a local church, and they are usually buried at Nudgee,” she says.

Overseen by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, six bishops and 28 priests were among those who attended Father Peter’s funeral.

Find more local stories here.

Are you #MoretonBayTough?

Pledge your commitment to support local, spread kindness and show you're Moreton Bay Tough

Sign the Pledge for Free!

item.title
Heartfelt effort for charity

Three gyms from across the region are rallying together to raise money for Australia's biggest killer. Find out what it is here and how you can help Read More

item.title
Team helping break youth crime cycle

Police and youth justice workers have been working with young people across the Moreton Bay Region to reduce crime for the past two years. Find out how it's going... Read More

Join the Conversation

We might be spending most of our time indoors, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay silent – stay connected!

#MoretonBayTough Facebook Group   Sign The Pledge