One thing that can be said about Peter is that he has had an interesting life.
Born in Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation of the island in July 1942, where both his parents were living and had married before the occupation.
His father joined the HK Voluntary Defence Corp, was captured by the Japanese and interned in the infamous Shamshuipo camp.
When the war ended in1945, the family were repatriated back to England where he boarded, first at prep school, Kingwell Court. He then went on to Seaford College in Petworth, Sussex, leaving school at 17 to join his father in business. For a short time in 1959, he went to Koln, Germany, living with a German family and attending Koln University to learn German. After 12 months Peter returned to England, working in his father’s business until 1963 when he emigrated to Australia as a £10 Pom.
Only intending to stay the compulsory two years, he was living in Sydney when he met his future wife, Yvonne, in 1964. She came from Melbourne, so he left his job with QANTAS and moved to Melbourne in January 1965, working briefly with Wormald in Port Melbourne and then 16 years with General Motors Acceptance Corporation, leaving in 1981 to go into his own business.
His first business was a licensed grocer which he says he ‘endured for four years’ and couldn’t wait to get out. He had always had an interest in pubs and knew a couple of people who were in them and decided (in good Aussie parlance) ‘to give it a go’.
His first venture was the Southern Cross Hotel in Market Street, South Melbourne, and he was there for five years, after which he then bought a pub in Garfield which he had for a further five years (and started playing golf). When he sold that, he bought Khyatt’s Hotel in Brighton, running it until he sold it and semi-retired in 2000; but with a taste for pubs and to help out his youngest daughter and husband, he bought the freehold of the Main Hotel in Bairnsdale and kept it for 14 years.
Living in Melbourne, the Loncraines lived in Brighton all their lives – having had three houses in that time – until his wife passed away.
He now has an apartment in Hampton. Peter has four children – a son who lives and works in Port Douglas – and three daughters: one lives in Lake Tyers, one in Brighton and one in in Sandringham. He has seven grandchildren.
He says his only sport now is golf — he has been a member at Victoria Golf Club for 25 years and plays two or three times a week, including the Monday boys where he has been a regular ball winner — but he used to ski and play tennis and squash. His other interest is following Richmond in the AFL