Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born at Brockdish, Norfolk, England, on 3 May 1853; died on Fanning Island, North Pacific Ocean, on 19 April 1913, and buried on Norfolk Island, South Pacific Ocean, on 21 July 1913.
Peter was born in Norfolk England in 1853, later educated in England and, on the suggestion of Bishop John Selwyn, moved to Norfolk Island, South Pacific Ocean 'for the good of his health',
Peter departed from London on the Cuzo and arrived at Sydney on 15 November 1877. Here he met and soon after married, a local girt, Janet Anne Nobbs on 14 November 1883, and later was granted land on 25 June 1886. They had five children.
He was Norfolk island's longest serving medical officer (1879- 1912), initially practising at his surgery in Kingston, No.11 Quality Row, but later moved his practioe to his home at Waveney to allow easier access for patients.
Peter's many other duties, interests and untiring dedication to the welfare of others are outined in Duke's reference below.
Peter was appointed Deputy Chief Magistrate in 1898, Justice of Peace in 1903, acting Chief Magistrate in 1907, and in 1909 was appointed to the Executive Council.
He took twelve months leave of absence in 1907, departing from Norfolk Island in April on the Southern Cross and in May from Sydney on the Ortona, and returning in October to Sydney on the RMS Orontes.
He died on 19 April 1913 while relieving for a fellow doctor on Fanning lsland, North Pacifc Ocean and was buried on Norfolk Island on 21 July 1913.
Peter was interested in natural history, collecting many specimens of Norfolk's fauna and flora, and greatly contributing to the knowledge of ornithology of Norfolk and Phillip Islands. He is known to have made herbarium collections of Cyathea australis subsp. norfolkensis.
Duke, M. (1994) 'Dr Peter Herbert Metcalfe MRCS (Eng.). Norfolk Island's longest serving medical officer 1879-1912'. pp.40-45. In Norfolk Island Hospitals and Public Health from the 1st Convict Settiement, (ed. M. Hoare), Norfolk Island Historical Society, Photopress International.
Source: Extracted from book: 'Passions in Ornithology: A century of Australian Egg Collectors' (2020), Mason & Pfitzner, Canberra. [consult for source references]
Portrait Photo: courtesy of Shane Quintal, extracted from above book.