The legacy of Peter George "Farmer" Flay
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
We are deeply grateful for the generous bequest left to WIRES from the late Peter George Flay. Below, his brother gives a special tribute to this generous, interesting man.
Like his own father who’d been a drover, Peter loved animals, agriculture and ‘the bush’.
It was our dad who nicknamed him Farmer - a name that stuck for life thanks to his very early interest in the family’s vegetable patch and the many and varied animals that accumulated in our home.
One of his first jobs was in a local pet shop, and he used his early wages to buy finches and quails for our large backyard aviary.
From a young age Peter’s health could be quite fragile, and he was drawn to animals with disabilities – from the permanently moulting galah, the terrier with the skin condition, and the magpie with a bent beak thanks to an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to catch a golf ball mid-air.
Peter was known throughout his life as a good bloke - he had a quick wit and sharp intellect. And whilst he developed a range of mental health challenges and could sometimes be unpredictable, his love of animals remained constant.
Early in his professional life he was a qualified and well-regarded land valuer – a profession that served him well in identifying properties that appreciated significantly over the years.
He had a life-long resistance to technology and until the day he died, never owned a mobile phone, laptop, iPad, microwave oven, had an email address or went on Facebook or LinkedIn. All communication was strictly on his terms, through a single home phone with the message bank which was constantly full – so he was often uncontactable.
For the last few years of his life he lived in an apartment with an overflowing balcony of pot plants, but keeping animals was difficult. He became increasingly concerned about the environment. He was very well known and appreciated locally for tending the garden and collecting rubbish in the local parks. He took the role very seriously and was concerned for the future of humankind when a teenager responded with expletives to his polite request to place dropped food wrappers into the bin; but he made a close friend out of a very large Pacific Islander chap who was impressed a 65kg man would have the dedication and courage to suggest he must have ‘forgotten’ to clean up after he left a picnic site.
Peter was determined to leave a positive legacy. He has 14 nieces and nephews and two wildlife charities who will share a large proportion of his estate and hopefully use it wisely.
There should be more characters in the world like my brother, Peter George “Farmer” Flay.
If you'd like to have a confidential chat about leaving a gift in your Will to WIRES please email our Bequest Manager at [email protected] or call 02 8977 3396.