CHOICE is deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Horvath, who lost his long fight against stomach cancer on 10 September 2019, with his son's family by his side. He was 64 years old.
Peter came to Australia from Hungary and worked in the CHOICE laboratories for about three decades. A first stint in the 80s was followed by 21 years of service to Australian consumers from 1997 until his deteriorating health forced him to retire in November 2018.
As the Test Coordinator for Home Appliances and DIY, Peter was responsible for testing a wide range of products. Always looking for ways to streamline test programs and focus on what matters most for consumers, he was a highly efficient and effective tester.
His portfolio included espresso machines and vacuum cleaners, which are among the most popular tests with CHOICE members. And the expertise he built in these product areas over the years was highly regarded well beyond CHOICE – Peter also conducted industry seminars on our testing, as well as product development testing for manufacturers.
As a byproduct he became quite the coffee nerd, having great difficulty drinking an espresso he hadn't blended and roasted himself.
On Peter's schedule were some of the most patience-challenging test procedures (such as hours and hours of "watching steam escape" for our rangehoods test, or comparing hundreds of slices of toast to the pictures on our toaster scoring chart), but also some of the most exciting.
For example, Peter was instrumental in developing – and over the years optimising – our current tyre test program. His role as the test driver (occasionally wearing an "I am the Stig" t-shirt) took him to Morgan Park Raceway in Warwick once or twice a year, while various gardening and camping gear tests required his presence for weeks at a time on test sites in the Hunter Valley and Cairns. He loved it. He truly loved this part of his job.
But most importantly, to those of us lucky enough to regularly sneak into his lab for an expertly brewed shot of espresso and a square or two of chocolate, he was a very fine and much-loved friend who'll be sorely missed.
You were never a fan of fancy words, but – vale, Pete.