After a long battle
with illness, Greg Roberts died on Christmas Eve. He
leaves a widow, Louise.
Greg and Louise moved to Scotland Island in 1994,
occupying Pitt Point House, close to Tennis Court
Wharf. They lived there until earlier this year,
when they moved to Bayview.
receiving his Premier's Bushfire
Emergency Citation Award, December 2020
During their 27 years on the island the couple were
well known across the offshore community. Greg was
president of the Scotland Island Residents'
Association and was also active in the island's
rural fire brigade.
'Greg had community at the centre of his life', says
Paul Purvis, a former editor of the PON. Paul
remembers how Greg worked to improve the lot of all
those who call offshore home. Among Greg’s many
achievements was the securement of cheaper wharf
fees for waterfront offshore residents. Greg's
argument was that for them access to the water was a
necessity, not a luxury.
‘The offshore community has lost one of its most
stalwart supporters’, says Paul. ‘Greg spent hours
each week writing to anyone who would listen to his
concerns, not just for Pittwater, but for humanity
as a whole.'
Sharon Kinnison, Vice-President of SIRA, describes
Greg as an exceptionally good SIRA president. 'A
quietly spoken man, he always tried to lead through
consensus', she recalls.
Greg, a retired corporate trainer, cared about
community, but he was also an ardent champion of the
environment. This was an interest he had in common
with Alan Yuille, who recalls how Greg introduced
him to the Northern Beaches Sustainability Advocacy
Group. ‘He was a wonderful man’, remembers Alan.
‘The more I got to know Greg, the more I loved him.’
sailing his hand-built dinghy
Greg was an active member of the island fire
brigade, attending training sessions well into his
80s. Captain Peter Lalor describes him as a
‘passionate advocate for the brigade’s Community
Fire Unit’, with his contribution being recognised
with the CFU ‘Member of the Year' award in 2020.
But it was not all work in Greg’s life. His easy
charm led to many friendships, not least because he
helped organise the Pittwater Offshore Wine
Syndicate. Greg and Louise also shared a love of
One of Greg’s greatest passions was for boat
building. He constructed yachts, skiffs and even his
own commuter boat. These were always made of timber,
and Greg could frequently be found working on the
lawn adjacent to Tennis Wharf. His attention to
detail attracted the admiration of marine architect
Hans Weitmann. ‘His craftsmanship was superb: a true
perfectionist’, recalls Hans.
Greg was often helped by Paul Purvis in his boat building.
‘Greg had a love for classical music, which we would
listen to while toiling over boat construction.’
Paul also remembers with affection his ‘wonderfully
esoteric discussions’ with Greg.
and Louise with friends Jenny Cullen,
Sharon Kinnison and Hans Weitmann.
Photo: Shane O'Neill, O'Neill
‘Greg was a selfless man, always ready to repair a
damaged wharf, clear a blocked drain, or whatever
needed doing', says Paul. ‘But he was also one of my
closest friends. I'll miss him dearly'.
On 5 December Greg and Louise visited the Two
Catherines Café, where they were presented with a
framed montage of photos chosen to represent the
many facets of their lives on the island. Each of
the 24 images, reproduced below, tells its own
The offshore community
extends its deepest sympathies to Louise. Funeral
arrangements for Greg will be published in the PON
as soon as they are known.