Dr Peter Marendy, a lifetime of service

Published 7:06am 15 May 2024

Dr Peter Marendy, a lifetime of service
Words by Kylie Knight

Dr Peter Charles Marendy will be remembered as a man who dedicated his life to serving and helping others – his church, patients, the medical profession and the local community.

The much-loved long-time GP died on May 8, aged 91 years, after quietly battling blood cancer for the past two years.

Dr Marendy’s devotion to his patients was such that he endured chemotherapy while still running his Margate practice in the lead-up to his retirement last year.

It marked the end of 61 years of private practice during which he made a profound contribution to the medical profession broadly but particularly on the Redcliffe Peninsula. It is believed he was the second oldest practicing doctor in Queensland when he retired.

Dr Marendy, born in Innisfail and raised in Townsville, was the eldest of five children, surviving a serious bout of pneumonia as a young child but recovering to make each day count.

He knew from a young age that he wanted to be a doctor, studying medicine at the University of Queensland after completing his schooling in Townsville.

He did his residency at Princes Alexandra Hospital but also was an anaesthetic registrar on call for emergency cases in his second year. He graduated in 1959.

Dr Marendy worked at Ipswich Hospital and in Townsville before buying a medical practice at Redcliffe.

At that time, there were no local specialist anaesthetists and at the invitation of the Superintendent of the newly opened Redcliffe Hospital, Dr Marendy stepped up.

During a period of 25 years, he administered more than 20,000 anaesthetics at Redcliffe Hospital while managing a busy general practice.

The longevity of his career and achievements would not have been possible without the unwavering support and sacrifice of his wife Mary, who was by his side for 63 years, their children, and his dedicated staff – Amanda, Nancy, Gabrielle, Shannon and others.

In the early 1970s he established the Redcliffe and District Local Medical Association, and was the first president, and was later made an honorary life member.

He undertook additional studies in acupuncture, skin cancer (in his 80s), aviation medicine and also toxicology. He was a designated Aviation Medical Examiner and also an Examiner for the RACGP.

In 2007, at the age of 75 years, Dr Marendy wanted to do more to help people suffering with addiction. He had seen the effects during more than 40 years as Government Medical Officer in the Redcliffe district, which included serving the needs of Redcliffe Watchhouse.

Dr Marendy subsequently qualified as an opioid prescriber and ran a methadone program from one of his practices for 10 years, assisting 90 patients.

Dr Peter Marendy, a lifetime of service

Community contribution

He also made a significant contribution to the Peninsula community through his involvement in service, sporting and special interest clubs, and his willingness to support community initiatives and fundraising.

He was a life member of Redcliffe Golf Club becoming patron of the juniors and was also patron of Peninsula Camera Club.

He was also heavily involved with Rotary, serving three terms as president of Redcliffe South Rotary Club and later was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for services to Rotary.

He was instrumental in establishing Redcliffe Probus club in 1982.

Dr Marendy received an Order of Australia (OAM) in 2019 for services to medicine and the community.

The establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church of St Paraskevi at Taigum was Dr Marendy’s labour of love.

With the guidance and help of Parish Priest Father George Papoutsakis he threw himself into fundraising for the church. The land was bought in 1987.

A hall was built and used as a temporary church and through the hard work and generosity of the ladies’ Philoptohos, and many other dedicated people, the church opened in 1995.

Dr Marendy served as parish president for 35 years.

His motto was: “life is short - you need to do the best you can and make the most of every day”.

Dr Marendy was the adored husband of Mary; cherished father and father-in-law of Elessa and Bill Trifunovski, Charles and Sue Marendy, Anthony and Barbara Marendy, and Stephanie Marendy; and doting grandfather of Dominique, Nicholas, Marko, Sam, Peter, Daniel, Timothy, and Annika.

A funeral service will be held at the Greek Orthodox Church of St Paraskevi, Taigum, on Thursday May 16 at 10am. This will be followed by the burial at Redcliffe Cemetery at 12.30pm.

In lieu of flowers, Dr Marendy's family is asking for donations to be made to the Greek Orthodox Church of St Paraskevi, Taigum.

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