In the early 80s, Peter convinced Mother Teresa to visit Perth for the pro-Life cause.

The first President and founder of the Right to Life Association Peter O’Meara will be remembered for his passion for the gift of life.

Mr O’Meara passed away on Good Friday, 29 March 2024.

Born 24th June 1935, Peter was passionate about the the gift of life and saw it was his inspired mission to fight against all attacks on life, particularly abortion and Euthanasia.

A Christian and Catholic first, and then, motivated by his faith, a defender of life. Peter made many friends and inspired many people during his life.

He incorporated the Right to Life Association of WA in 1979 after it was founded in 1976 but in truth the work began at the start of that decade in Karratha where Peter worked for the Federated Clerks Union. It was indeed a lifelong commitment.

Peter O’Meara, centre, seated, at the first meeting of Right to Life Federation of Australia

Of course, in the 70s, 80s and 90s it was easier for him to galvanise people into action on life issues because there were more people who practiced their Christian faith and who saw the link between faith and life.

Peter had to work harder than ever in the later years of his Presidency – but he was never daunted, and he always led by example.

Peter O’Meara was a simple man. He had very few possessions and very little money and lived for at least 30 years in a small flat below the Mackay family home in Mt Lawley.

First trained as a Redemptorist, he was a lay brother and ultimately spent eighteen years with that order. Peter worked in a number of industries and for the Post Office and even had his own courier business at one stage.

His ability to fundraise was legendary. His efforts through raffles, dinners, quiz nights and sponsorships allowed the Association to flourish. Many Perth Catholics may remember the quiz nights fondly. Nobody ever went home empty-handed!

Peter O’Meara following his retirement from his role as President of the Right to Life Association WA.

Peter was also an eloquent public speaker. He didn’t just speak to the faithful; however, he spoke whenever the opportunity arose.

He was also famous, or perhaps notorious, for his writing. In his early time in Perth, Peter, who was originally from Victoria, spent a lot of time writing letters opposing the spread of communism in the union movement.

And Peter’s newsletters were inspiring. In the early 80s, Peter convinced Mother Teresa to visit Perth for the pro-Life cause.

She flew over with just a little box of possessions on her lap yet managed to fill the Perth Entertainment Centre with her message, before going on to the Eastern States to spread the message there.

It was an opportune time for her to come as Peter was wondering if he should continue his pro-life work full-time.

Mother Theresa asked him a simple question that pushed him in the pro-life direction: What is the most important issue to you and the Lord?

Peter O’Meara on his birthday in 2023.

Never seeking personal fame, Peter’s work was recognised by the West Australian when Journalist Norman Aisbett’s article about him was published on 6 May 2006.

On 12 May 2015, Peter’s work was again recognised when he was given the VON GALEN-BONHOEFFER award by the then President of the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life – Mr Dwight Randall -at the annual Rally for Life at Parliament House.

Peter was a confidant of now Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey, with Peter work praised in the Archbishops recently published memoirs My Spirit Land.

Mass will be celebrated for Peter at St Pauls Catholic Church in Rookwood Street Mount Lawley in early May. Contact the Right to Life Association of WA office for more details.