Honouring a Legacy: The Life and Influence of Peter John Lacey

By Adam Lacey, Managing Director, Lacey Group

In the heart of the Gold Coast, amidst the architectural elegance of the buildings that dot the skyline, lies the legacy of a man whose life was a testament to dedication, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence. Peter John Lacey, a name synonymous with competitive surf lifesaving and a pioneer in the business community, left an indelible mark on both the sports and business worlds. His sudden passing on 9 January 1997, due to a heart attack, sent ripples through the communities he had touched, drawing more than 1500 people to his funeral, a testament to the lives he influenced and the respect he commanded.

Peter’s wife, Ann Lacey, and their children, Adam and Kate, carry forward his legacy, embodying the values and principles he lived by. In a heartfelt interview, Ann shares insights into Peter’s life, shedding light on the man behind the public persona, his contributions, and the profound influence he continues to have on his family and the Lacey Group, a boutique property development company founded by his son, Adam.

A Sporting Legend

Peter’s passion for sport, particularly surf lifesaving, was unparalleled. Ann fondly recalls, “During Peter’s life, his love of sport never wavered. He was proud to have won a medal at 22 consecutive Australian Championships.” This remarkable achievement was the result of relentless dedication and a testament to his skill, as competitors had to triumph at club, branch, and state levels before even setting foot at the Australian titles. His commitment to excellence in sports mirrored his approach to all aspects of his life, setting a standard for those around him.

A Businessman of Integrity

In the realm of business, Peter was known for his unwavering integrity. “Peter’s word was his bond…a handshake was all that was required,” Ann reflects. This principle guided him through a successful career, earning him the trust and respect of his peers. His approach to business, rooted in honesty and trust, laid the foundational values upon which the Lacey Group was built, influencing its ethos and approach to property development.

Family First

For Peter, family was paramount. He nurtured a loving environment that encouraged independence and kindness, without pressuring his children to follow in his footsteps. “He would support both children at their weekend sports…took the children to the beach and taught them how to read the surf,” Ann shares. These moments, coupled with shared overseas travels, left a lasting impact on Adam and Kate, enriching their lives with experiences and lessons that they hold dear to this day.

A Proud Legacy

Peter’s legacy is vividly alive in his children, Adam and Kate, who have grown into strong, independent, and kind individuals. “Peter would be SO proud of his children,” Ann states, highlighting Adam’s courage in founding Lacey Group during challenging times, a move that would have filled Peter with immense pride. The values Peter instilled in his family have become the guiding principles of Lacey Group, reflecting his vision and dedication to excellence.

A Life of Discipline

Peter’s personal discipline, particularly his abstinence from alcohol and smoking, set a powerful example for his children, who followed in his footsteps well into adulthood. Ann recounts a poignant moment when Adam, faced with peer pressure on an overseas rugby trip, sought his father’s advice. Peter’s immediate response, leaving work to support his son, epitomizes the depth of his commitment to his family and the values he championed.

A Lasting Tribute

Peter’s contributions to surf lifesaving and his community were immortalized with a statue outside the Surfers Paradise SLSC, sculpted by Phillip Piperides in 1997. His induction into the Surf Life Saving Australia Hall of Fame in 2004 further cements his status as one of the sport’s greatest exponents. Buried in the Allambe Garden of Memories lawn cemetery, Nerang, Peter’s spirit continues to inspire those who knew him and the many lives he touched through his sporting achievements, business acumen, and family values.

In remembering Peter John Lacey, we are reminded of the profound impact one individual can have on their community, family, and the world at large. His legacy, carried forward by Ann, Adam, Kate, and the Lacey Group, continues to shine brightly, a beacon of integrity, dedication, and love.


* The information provided in this document has been prepared as a guide and does not constitute advice. Every effort has been made to ensure the information is complete and accurate. The information has been provided in good faith and with due care. The developer and seller of this project makes no representation (expressed or implied) as to the accuracy, adequacy or reliability of any statements, data, images or information contained within. Lacey Group Pty Ltd reserves the right to make changes to the contents of this document at any time. Whilst all endeavours have been made to ensure the content of this document is correct at the time of publishing, the information it contains is to be used as a guide and for information purposes only.

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