09 Jan 2020

Vale, Prof. Peter Swannell

The Empire Theatres management and staff were saddened to learn of the passing of former Chairman of the Empire Theatres Pty Ltd, Professor Peter Swannell AM on Wednesday January 8, 2020.

Empire Theatres General Manager Kerry Saul said Prof. Swannell’s passing was a great loss to performing arts in the Darling Downs.

“We have lost a passionate leader and supporter of the Empire Theatre and arts in Toowoomba,” Mr Saul said.

Current Empire Theatres Chairman of the Board, Andrew Wielandt said the Empire Theatres board as well as the rest of the Toowoomba community would be deeply impacted by his passing.

“He was not only a strong and passionate leader for us at the Empire Theatre, but indeed for our whole community and will be missed by all here at the theatre.”

Prof. Swannell served as Chairman of the Board since the inception of Empire Theatres Pty Ltd in 1999 until he stepped down in October 2017, a total of 18 years.

He served with immense dedication and distinction through periods of great development and change with the Empire Theatre’s precinct, including the official inclusion of the Empire Church Theatre and the construction of the newest venue to the precinct, the Armitage Centre.

His tenure as Chairman included many achievements and milestones, the most recent of which was the Empire Theatres Open Day celebrating the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the theatre in 1997.

The thoughts and prayers of all at the Empire Theatre are with Peter’s wife Janice and his family during this difficult time.

The Funeral will be held in the Empire Church Theatre on Thursday 16th January at 11am. The funeral will be livestreamed via https://vimeo.com/384936140