Peter Tullis

Rest In Peace

Peter Tullis with his N‑Scale shunting layout ‘Weepy Junction’ at the Albany Model Railway Exhibition, August 1998. The layout got its name from George Sumner’s nick-name for Peter: ‘Wee Pierre’ — a not-so-subtle reference to Peter’s height! Photo credit: Don Finlayson.

19th December 1935 — 9th February 2022

Peter was born on December 19, 1935 at Portsmouth, England and was one of three brothers. His father’s work saw the family relocate to Bermuda in the late 1930’s and Peter had memories of their 10 day voyage back to England during the war years — with a Naval escort. He had fond memories of Bermuda and visited there several times in later life.

In 1950, he received an apprenticeship as an Engine fitter/Machinist and the skills learned here would prove very handy in his model railway hobby.

He joined the RAF and was in the service for 20 years. He met his first wife (Doris), they married in 1957 and had three children — two daughters and a son. During his RAF career he was posted to Butterworth (Malaya) and Singapore where he spent a total of approximately two and a half years. His family accompanied him on these postings. Doris passed away in 1976 and Peter met and married his second wife (also Doris) in 1978.

In 1982, Peter, Doris and daughter Wendy relocated to Western Australia. Daughter Carol and son Brian stayed in England. Peter secured work with Stanco Brass and he worked with them until he retired. Doris passed away in 2007 and until Peter’s health started to fail, he enjoyed life before moving into Aged care suffering with Parkinson’s disease.

Peter joined our Club on January 19, 1991. He modelled Canadian railroads in “N” gauge and the Club was leaning towards “HO” gauge in Australian models. This did not deter his enthusiasm and his skills as a metal worker were displayed with the manufacture of metal based track cleaning cars and colour light signals along with other brass items.

He was President of the Club for three years (1995 ‑1998) and Vice President for a number of years in the early 2000’s. Peter was made “Clubman of the year” in 2005 and made a Life Member of the Club at the Annual General meeting on July 16, 2014. Peter’s friend Ian Jenkins, who was best man at his wedding, had got Peter interested in model railways. Ian lived in Canada and was a member of a model railroad Club in Edmonton, Canada. Ian and Peter established a “sister” club relationship between the two clubs. Our club still exchanges a railway calendar with the Edmonton club each year to maintain that relationship.  For many years Peter looked after the purchasing of cool drinks, ice creams and so forth for sale to the public and members at our front counter. Peter was also the “meet and greet” person to welcome prospective new members to the club.

In 1995, a group of club members established a project called “Arid  Australia”. Over a period of years a large portable layout evolved and it was taken to various model railway exhibitions — AMRA Perth (a number of times), Albany, Karratha, AMRA  Adelaide and AMRA Sydney. Peter was a member of the core “Arid Australia” group and he could well remember the eventful road trip home from the Sydney exhibition that faced Tony Gray and him!

As the age of members advanced, a small group of members would go to the club in the early afternoon with one person nominated to prepare a dish for the group’s evening meal. When Peter’s turn, he would sometimes prepare a steak and kidney pie — one of his favourite dishes — but not always so appreciated by some of the others in the group!

For a time, Peter relied on other members picking him up to come to the club, but then it all became too much around 2017 and he was no longer able to attend regularly.

The club was well represented at Peter’s funeral our presence was most noticeable by the wearing of our familiar green polo shirts. Family members spoke to us expressing their thanks for our attendance.

Peter Tullis (3rd from left) in the club room library in the early 2000’s.
(l to r): Wayne Seaton, Dave Williams, Peter Tullis, Len Hughes, Ron Congdon, Brian Few, Ian Rourke.
Peter at the Model Railway Show in June 2016 (in wheelchair). Garry West (pushing wheelchair) and Rowan Benson accompanied Peter. Photo credit: Garry West.

This obituary was prepared by Club Life Member Don Finlayson with thanks to Club Secretary Ross Parker and Peter’s daughter Wendy for their assistance.