SEVERIN, Peter

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.

Peter Severin was established at Curtin Springs long before tourism started at Ayers Rock.  In their first year Peter and Dawn saw only six people drive down what was then the Peterman Road.

He was instrumental in supporting Len Tuit's vision of the potential of Ayers Rock.  Peter had a large role in establishing the first infrastructure at Ayers Rock (graded the first airstrip, put in septic and water reticulation systems, built Bill Harney's house and ranger station, had the contract to put the chain up the Rock).

The Curtin Springs Roadside Inn became the first tourism operation outside Alice Springs; having also been the first diversified pastoral business in the region as well.

"WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT TOURISM WAS AN INDUSTRY!"

Hundred of miles from anywhere, water was even more valuable than petrol and Peter had the only bore around.  After filling the thirsty vehicles, Peter and Dawn would feed Len's campers with morning tea; fresh scones and cuppas, showing those early visitors a real taste of outback hospitality.  They employed their first tourist related staff in 1964.  Peter and Dawn offered water, fuel, food, fresh milk, bread, meat, ice and goodwill.  These were not available at Ayers Rock.  Peter is the longest-serving licensee in the Northern Territory.  He could (and still does) offer a cold beer to hot dusty visitors.  He is well known in the area for his generosity.

For many, many years Peter was the only one available to help the buses and trucks.  Peter covered distances up to 80 miles (one way) to give a hand.

It could be anything: bogs because of dry sand or mud, broken axles, springs, steering arms, tyres, general repairs and it was usually FOC (free of charge).  Many thousands of miles were travelled over the years to help people out.  Peter participated in many searches for lost people and carried bodies down off Ayers Rock in the early days.