Peter Kolbe (Photo supplied by Lyn Collingwood)
Peter Kolbe (Photo supplied by Lyn Collingwood)

Glebe Society and U3A member Peter Kolbe died on 11 Jul in the house he lived in from 1985: Coreen, 2 Leichhardt Ave. His amusing memories of numerous neighbourhood burglaries featured in the ‘Who Lived in Your Street’ article on Leichhadt Ave. Peter’s family and many friends farewelled him with a last drink at the Harold Park Hotel on 16 Jul.

Born in Madrid on 12 Apr 1942, Peter was the son of a German diplomat whose fascinating story as America’s most important spy during World War II is told in Lucas Delattre’s A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich.

Peter lived in South West Africa (now Namibia) and South Africa before settling in Australia where he completed a doctorate in geochemistry at ANU in 1964. He was engaged in exploration work in Canada before returning in 1974 to take up a position as a Research Officer at Sydney University. In 1988 he retired but, determined to ‘die educated’, completed a string of courses in a wide range of subjects – the ancient history of Syria, climate change, music theory and bridge – and spent hours reading in the Glebe and WEA libraries. In his last years he rekindled his love of music and attended many musical concerts, particularly chamber music. Fluent in French and German, he sought out fellow speakers.

Always physically fit, Peter played tennis from his school days until Feb this year and will be sorely missed at the Roseville Tennis Club.He was also a keen cyclist and kayaker, and Glebe bocce player.

Peter is survived by his former wife Ursula, their children Karin and Paul, and grandchildren Anna and Robbie. Karin and Paul are now the owners of Coreen.