Our beloved Secretary General of the Conch Republic, Sir Peter Anderson, passed away from lung cancer at age 67 in his sleep at 9:18 a.m. on Wednesday, July 16th, 2014. He was surrounded by his daughter Mikaela Anderson, former wife Judith Anderson, and former girlfriend Kate Miano while peacefully lying in his own luxurious king-sized bed. Sir Peter was not only a treasured part of this community, but he worked hard to protect the community's integrity and best interests.
Born in Washington D.C. on Jan. 12th, 1947, he was raised on the eastern shore of Maryland. In his early 20's he moved to the Big Sur coastline in California and started working designing and building homes for many wealthy and well-known people including the late David Carradine. He traveled the world as a builder most of his life, and made himself a part of history nearly everywhere he traveled. He attended the first space shuttle launch in 1981, coined the phrase "cotton center panel" instead of "cotton crotch" (they were seriously going to call the cotton panel in women's pantyhose the "cotton crotch"), and made important connections wherever he went.
An avid, salty, and skilled sailor, Sir Peter had a love for the high seas and the fascinating creatures that called it home. He was dedicated to conserving and protecting marine life and showed his commitment over and over again through his efforts as both a member, and later the President of Reef Relief. Most notably he was successful in encouraging cruise ships to give up dumping raw sewage into the ocean offshore, and install waste water treatment facilities on their ships.
Appointed by Capt. Tony Tarracino (mayor of Key West at the time) as the Secretary General of the Conch Republic in 1990, he developed not only the brand of the Conch Republic, but he also created one of the city's most important and profitable annual events, the Conch Republic Independence Celebration, leading the parade down Duval St. for 25 years (including this year). With his famously great sense of humor, he also devised and was the sole purveyor of the souvenir Conch Republic passports, and appointed countless ambassadorships and consulates worldwide through his work as the Secretary General. The foreign policy was founded on the mitigation of world tension through the exercise of humor, warmth and respect in a world we find in sore need of all three.
Sir Peter was an advocate for many causes including the 7-mile bridge restoration project, founding the Conch Republic Foster Children's Fund, and becoming the founding president of Habitat for Humanity. He also served in many organizations which included the Navy League, Conch Republic Navy, Conch Republic Air Force, CIA Shhhh!, Propeller Club, and Sons of Italy. He was also awarded the title of Honorary Fire Chief by the Baltimore County Fire Department, was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel, and was knighted by the Government of Solaria as the Knight of Freedom.
Sir Peter was predeceased by his mother Ann Elizabeth Cissel-Anderson, father Richard Dabney Anderson, and sister Hannah Jean Anderson. He is survived by his daughter Mikaela Elizabeth Anderson (26), sister Jane Patricia Anderson (58), and brother Jack Philip Anderson (60).