• Loddon Herald

Life in QR


WANDERING Inglewood Cemetery, you’ll find on one new headstone a now familiar site - a QR code. It’s not another location where you are required to check-in.

Instead, the code takes you to the life story of Peter Watts who passed away in March 2020, just as the arsenal of measures to combat COVID-19 was being rolled out.

Peter was born in the town back in 1937, later lived and worked in Queensland, Boort and Wedderburn and finally retired back to Inglewood with wife Sheila.

He was a musician who made his own guitar and performed on Melbourne radio station 3DB on his 21st birthday, loved motorcycle and scramble racing, built up a knowledge of Mallee fowls and even tried his hand at opal mining.

The QR code that has been etched on Peter’s headstone at Inglewood cemetery takes you straight to his story.

Nephew Matthew Rees had suggested the QR code, taking viewers to an online video he recorded with Peter in 2017.

”I sat down with Peter over two days in his shed while he regaled me with his life story,” Matthew said.

“The shed was located directly behind the old family home in Verdon Street Inglewood.

“Peter was not a man defined by his job. He had a number of passions for life, many you can see germinating from his early childhood.

“Peter was an important part of my life, at first my uncle and then a great friend. We shared many interests and stayed connected until he passed away.

“It was a honour and pleasure to craft this autobiography.”

Matthew says he’s sure Peter would have liked the idea of a QR code on the headstone.

“Peter would love this technology and to know he was still entertaining. He was into technology and made his own electric guitar,” Matthew said.

That guitar and others were used by Peter across the Loddon playing in several bands and at hundreds of events.

On the video, Peter says he was born in modern times where there were cars, planes, radios and telephones but in an area where there were still “horse and carts in the street, no electricity”.

He shares memories of growing up in World War Two when three older brothers served in the army and the journey of life across the Loddon and interstate.

Technology means future generations can still hear his story.

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