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Peter Hallett (1933 – 2021)

Oct 18, 2021 | Obituaries

Provided by Ken Dayson, Wodonga Rifle Club

16 March 1933 – 30 May 2021

Peter Hallett will stay in the record books as one of Victoria’s finest marksmen.

Born in the small country town of Kyabram, he holds the record of the highest score ever shot on the Williamstown Rifle Range with a .303 rifle in 1968. His total score was 348/355, comprising three day aggregates of 103, 98 and 147. Those of us who shot in the .303 days know just how good that shooting was.  Peter’s winning rifle is now on display at the QRA’s museum.

Peter’s wife Jean accompanied him when his sport took him overseas and on many trips throughout Australia.  Jean particularly enjoyed the trips to the top end where Peter won the No 1 badge in 1980 and 1986. 

Peter’s other Queens successes were Victoria in 1973 and Canberra in 1977. Peter shot in and won many prize meetings and in 1962 was selected in the Victorian Rifle Team, this was the first of 23 occasions that he would represent Victoria. He was selected to represent Australia in Bisley in 1974 and 1976, and in New Zealand in 1972, and in another six Australian teams within Australia. 

Peter had been a member of the Kyabram Rifle Club, Numurkah Rifle Club, Numurkah Small Bore Rifle Club, and the Wodonga Rifle Club. He commenced armouring rifles in 1975 and continued on until 2005 when he started to scale things down mainly because of the tighter gun laws. In this role he helped so many newcomers to his sport, while also being the armourer of choice for many champion shots.

Peter was born at Kyabram Bush Nursing Hospital on 16th March 1933 to Frank and Doreen Hallett of Lancaster. He grew up on his parents and grandparents dairy farm and orchard. At the age of five he contracted diphtheria and was hospitalised at Mooroopna for quite some time. He began his education at Lancaster State Schoo,l riding his bike the three miles plus each way. He then spent one year at Kyabram High School before going to boarding school at Mentone Grammar in Melbourne for one and half years. 

He was forced to leave school when his father became seriously ill and he returned to Lancaster and worked on the farm/orchard and for various contractors in the district. He also contracted pruning fruit trees and picking fruit – he got a shilling for pruning a tree and a shilling for picking a case of fruit. His goal each day was to make five pounds, this was when the basic wage was three pound to three pound ten shillings per day.

Peter was always interested in shooting and joined the Kyabram Rifle Club on 16th June 1951 under the guidance of Tom Hill. He completed is National Service obligation in 1954.

Peter met Jean Combridge at a dance at Lancaster and when Jean and her family moved to Bendigo, he continued to court her riding his trusted AJS motor bike on many occasions. Jean and Peter were married in the Arnold Street Methodist Church on April 21st, 1956. They moved to Katunga on Peter’s parents dairy farm where over the years they raised their family of three girls, Glenda, Jenny and Kaye.

Jean and Peter moved to Wodonga in 1985 and after three moves settled in Marshall Street.  Jean passed away on February 1st 2005, her passion was her garden and pot plants which Peter did his very best to maintain and after said his only regret was that he wished he had spent more time with Jean in the garden, then he would be able to name more of the plants.

Peter was extremely proud of his seven grandchildren – two girls and five boys.  He also had two great grandchildren.

Peter was a gentleman and an accomplished marksman. He left his mark on our sport in Australia and will be sadly missed by many.

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